Letters Welsh rugby and the Pope

Don’t worry, Your Holiness!

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b39 (Published 09 January 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b39
  1. Walter Gianni, geriatrician1,
  2. Paola Gazzaniga, oncologist2,
  3. Stefano Zuccaro, geriatrician and member, Vatican medical team3,
  4. Giuseppe Luzi, immunologist2
  1. 1Geriatric Unit, INRCA, IRCCS, Rome, Italy
  2. 2“Sapienza,” University of Rome, Rome
  3. 3Ospedale Israelitico Rome, Rome
  1. walgianni{at}hotmail.it

    We are slightly concerned about the effects of the paper by Payne and colleagues on the Pope’s mental health.1 Hence we suggest:

    • Calling for a crusade against Welsh rugby

    • Engaging a good psychotherapist in the Vatican medical team to support our Pope

    • Buying all the copies of Payne and colleagues’ article to save Pope Benedict XVI from reading it

    • Asking the Pope to pray a little bit harder for the England, Scotland, and Ireland rugby teams and a little less for Wales.

    However, we feel much more worried about the Welsh rugby team than the Pope’s health, which is in good hands. Indeed, in Italy “every time a Pope dies” means “something so rare that it never happens.” So our interpretation of Payne and colleagues’ paper is that the Welsh rugby team should improve its performances and try to win more frequently.


    Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b39


    • Competing interests: The authors are all doctors working in Rome, SZ in the Vatican medical team, and are devout Catholics.