The secret diaries of . . . The Pope's wellwishers
All of us at 3rd Degree wish Jorge Bergoglio well as he takes on the top job in Rome.
But a question mark surrounds his appointment. And the truth will remain hidden until it's ferreted out by a hard-hitting New Zealand current affairs TV show starring the talented and beautiful Anna Guy.
As soon as the plume of white smoke rose from the roof of the Sistine Chapel, we hit the phones to ask Pope Francis to front up on our programme.
We called an Italian who we met once. We said, "Luigi, can you pass on a message?"
He promised that he would - but that was the last we heard from him.
It's a silence that can only do the Catholic Church lasting and profound damage. And silence is the one thing it can't afford.
Are they willing to pay the price? We're challenging the Vatican to answer the big question: is the pope a Catholic?
After the break, Guyon Espiner has another big question. It's about bears in the woods.
I'd like to wish the new pope well in his endeavours. It won't be easy. I should know.
I've been in charge of a large corporation, too. He looks after souls. I was in charge of coals. They're both slippery substances! I dropped one or two, and by the time I left Solid Energy, it was $389 million in debt.
I guess the best advice I can offer Pope Francis is to give a lot of thought to his retirement plan.
People think that gardening leave is a walk in the park, but it's not. It's a lot more sedentary than that.
Solid Energy said, "We'll continue to pay your salary while you work from home, because we really need your corporate memory."
I said, "I can remember things in my sleep."
And so what I do these days is sit at home on my big fat arse, close my eyes, get comfortable and doze off.
National MP Tim MacIndoe
I was talking to God the other day, and said to Him, "Can you pass on my best wishes to the new pope?"
He said, "He'll be very pleased to hear from an obscure and toothy MP in Hamilton. Is there something else, though? You look troubled."
I said, "I am. It's this marriage equality bill. I know that you love everyone despite their sexual orientation, and so do I, sort of, but I'm having difficulty in believing you want this change to be made. What should I do?"
He said, "Vote against it, of course".
I said, "Thank God!"
Labour MP Shane Jones
I want to make myself very clear.
But first I want to concede that, yes, there's a combination of unusual circumstances and decisions at play. There always is. Politics is complex. Few can understand it. Many just go on and on and on.
But I also want to spell out that there is no evidence of any improper motive, collusion, or political interference. And I think you should know that I have the support of Labour leader David Shearer.
It took him a while, but he has come to the party, and left again, leaving me alone, my future hanging in the wind like an old sock on a clothesline, but hopefully that won't distract from my message, which is that I wish the new pope well.
It's one thing to wish the pope well, but it's an entirely different matter to find out what bears do in the woods.
Look at my suit.
firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter @SteveBraunias
Taranaki Daily News