I remember my one and only visit to St Peter's in Rome and the sour wave of Calvinism that swept over me when confronted with the bludgeoningly ostentatious ghastliness of the fixtures and fittings. I have no taste for the baroque, but (a few incidental masterpieces aside) the elaborate trash that clutters up a fine building left me reeling and nauseous. It's almost as if a bunch of philistine celibates with unlimited financial resources and no taste had been given free reign to displace their feelings of sexual frustration into an extravagant visual correlative. I mean look, just look, at these baldachins (if that's the plural):
Unrelatedly, perhaps: the Vatican City State, a walled enclave with a population of under a thousand and the smallest independent state in the world, raised the age of consent from twelve (the lowest in Europe) to eighteen. They did this last year. Did you know that the cashpoint machines in Vatican City offer instructions in Latin?