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Sneed: Is Pope Francis about to name a woman as Vatican spokesperson, or financial adviser?

Chef Grant Achatz

Chef Grant Achatz

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Updated: March 3, 2014 1:25PM



The Pope scope . . .

Sneed hears papal whispers that Pope Francis, who wants to elevate a woman’s role in the Catholic church, is about to do so.

◆ Translation: Word is the pope, who ruled out a priestly role for women, may name a formidable femme to:

◆ become his top spokesman . . .

◆ . . . or restructure the Vatican’s finances.

Mass exit?

Sneed emailed the White House inquiring if President Obama, whose administration has been criticized for closing the U.S. Embassy at the Vatican, has ever included attendance at a Catholic Mass in the tradition of former presidents mixing up church attendance on Sunday.

◆ The White House response: The president’s schedule is public; the president usually visits St. John’s Church in D.C., “which is formally Episcopal” — and the president has many high-ranking Catholics in his administration.

The Filan murder . . .

Hmmm. Imagine the parental shock over at Brother Rice High School now that police have charged a 20-year-old prostitute, Alisha Walker, with the brutal stabbing death of Al Filan, 61 — who spent the past 40 years teaching at the prestigious Catholic school.

A source claims Filan lived poorly in a sparsely furnished setting, held two jobs and reportedly used the Internet to solicit prostitutes.

◆ Backshot: Walker told police Filan had contacted her several times via a website called Backpage.com; and a quarrel over money and a subsequent struggle led to his death.

Hill swill . . .

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hasn’t driven a car since 1996.

◆ Vroom kaboom: That was “the last time I actually drove a car myself,” quipped Clinton, who claimed it was one of her biggest regrets about public life . . . which now, of course, enables her to earn a $200,000 fee while addressing groups like the National Auto Dealers Association Convention in New Orleans on Monday.

French way . . .

Ooh la la. Croissant capers. Unmarried French President Francois Hollande, who is now single and will remain so during the rest of his administration, is now being criticized for helping fund the salacious love triangle that ousted his French consort, Valerie Trierweiler.

◆ Translation: It’s all about comfort food: Not only did his government pay a bodyguard to accompany Hollande to his rendezvous with la French actress, but Hollande apparently had him deliver croissants after the assignations. Voila!

Bench press . . .

Femme fodder. Argh. In case you missed it, TV’s legendary “Judge Judy” Sheindlin is launching her own legal eagle TV show called . . . “Hot Bench.”

◆ Translation: Two of the three members of the show’s legal panel are women . . . and the glass ceiling still looks like a powder room mirror.

A swift move . . .

A Grammy camera picked up singer Taylor Swift and her team looking ready to accept the “Best Album of the Year” award — until she realized that the announcer’s first consonant, “R,” didn’t stand for her album, “Red,” but for Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories,” which won.

Take ’em . . .

Alinea Chef Grant Achatz tweeted recently the Irish linen napkins from his tres-expensive eatery are constantly being swiped by patrons.

Sneed still wonders how a very, very heavy, marble candleholder managed to exit his restaurant unnoticed.

Sneedlings . . .

Tuesday’s birthdays: Elijah Wood, 33; Nicolas Sarkozy, 59, and Alan Alda, 78.



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