News that the Pope is the proud owner of an iPod personal music player will be welcomed by Catholics and music fans alike. The Holy Father is well known to be a snappy dresser; the sight of him pacing the Vatican gardens sporting the trademark iPod earplugs will no doubt dispel the stereotype that men of a certain age cannot keep up with the latest trends.
But why, may we ask, did the Vatican Radio employees buy him a measly 2GB Nano, when the Queen of England owns a 6GB iPod Mini? No one would say that our monarch is three times as important as the leader of one billion Catholics.
And how will the device cope with papal favourite Anton Bruckner, the 19th-century Austrian composer of deliciously long orchestral works inspired by polyphonic harmonies (one of them bearing the splendid title Symphony No. 0)? One would be lucky to fit a Bruckner scherzo on a Nano, let alone a symphony.
The Queen is not the only head of state to own an iPod; so does President Bush, whose tastes famously run to two types of music: country and western. As Stalin might have asked, how many gigabytes has the Pope? The answer should be 60, the capacity of the latest top-of-the-range model. Next time a Catholic philanthropist reaches for his credit card, let it be in an Apple Store.