I usually reserve that expression for the blessing I give to the “City and the World” from my balcony overlooking Vatican Square.  But I have decided to use it as the title for this exceptional post in an exceptional Blog created by an exceptional bloke whose name is Frank (just like mine).  He has already gone on at some length – as is his wont, as he would say in his dated English – about the name we share, about the Ford Focus we both drive, about the identical number of siblings each of us has or had, about the fact that we are exactly the same age, are or were both members of Religious Orders, studied and taught Theology after Ordination to the priesthood, and served the “People of God” for many years, he as just one of the servants and I as the unique Servant of Servants, Pope of the Roman Catholic Church.

So what, you must be asking, is the Pope doing writing a post in this Blog ?  It is true that as soon as this is published, Associated Press, Reuters, CNN, the BBC, Al Jazeera and the whole planet will be sharing the news which I have given Frank as a scoop : I no longer believe in God.  No, Carissimi, this is not a hoax, not something even a spin-doctor (A.B.T.) like Frank  (who should have been like me a Jesuit) could dream up.  It’s the plain, honest truth – which has finally set me free !

You will, of course, not be able to escape the non-stop TV programs, the explosion of the Internet, the bold headlines of the printed media which will speak of nothing but this “Motu Proprio”, my very last, just as soon as my namesake and new mate gets over the shock himself and lets the world read this post.

I realize that the fallout from this tsunami in the media will change the world forever.  You will all want to know what made me do it.  I could have gone on publishing encyclicals, preventing clerical pedophilia, cleaning up the Church’s finances, giving audiences, papal blessings and sermons and inspiring hope in people for peace in our time and eternal bliss when, as Frank vulgarly puts it, we croak.  But a bit like Father Leon, the renegade young Franciscan priest, and later the lay-theologian Frank, I felt that only the truth would make me free like him, and it has !

You will get all the detail you want and expect from the media in the very near future.  For the nonce – I am beginning even to talk like Frank – let me just say that at the end of the day (Frank again) I just could not go on believing that a divine Person or Persons, of infinite or even limited Intelligence, made the world, or that all that ridiculous nonsense religions have invented is true.  You’ll get the detail in the Press, but if you want an advance insight into my reasons for no longer believing, read the other 450 posts in this Blog.  That, my friends, is what I did – “in petto”, as Frank would say and as I used to, about Cardinals I secretly appointed but did not name in consistory.  I was, until now, one of his many Silent Readers.  No More !  (I just had to slip in a reference to Thom.  G’day, mate !)

So, dear fellow-fans of “Blind Faith : Blind Folly”, I give you not my blessing but my best wishes for making the most of the life you have and for making the world a better place for all of us to live in harmony, peace and prosperity, without the illusions of pie-in-the-sky and an after-life.  Carpe diem !  Neither Horace nor Frank himself could have said it better.

Your friend Jorge,  a.k.a. Pope Francis  (Frank the First)