I just realized that I never explained why I love Cordelia’s quote from Brideshead Rivisted about the “sacred monkeys of the Vatican.” While I was working in Rome I became the infromation point for all my students. Their questions would range from practical to bizzare.  Often they would ask what building it was that we were walking by at that point. Like I would know the name and use of every building in Rome.  When I didn’t know (most of the time) I would often use the response “that is where they keep the sacred monkeys of the Vatican.” Like Cordelia I assumed that they would know that I was in jest. . . .

But the sad thing is, even though my students could tell I was joking, I don’t think most tourists that come to Rome can tell fact from fiction.  Its so sad that so many people “know” so much about the Catholic Church, and yet will believe that we have “sacred monkeys of the Vatican.”  They know exactly how we are, what we look like, how we would react to everything, and yet they would believe we have a buildings somewhere for those Vatican monkeys.   Like poor Rex, the man who Cordelia teased about the vatican mokeys, most people don’t bother with true research today, they are satisfied with childhood fantasy.

I love Cordelia’s quote because it is child like.  It shows how sensible children can be, how they do expect grownups to know what is right and what is wrong, what is true and what is false.  It is a reminder to me not to be taken in by what the world says is true.