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Papal Digest : Priest Has Got the Pope Down

September 17, 1987|NIKKI FINKE from staff reports

Can Rich Little do an impression of Pope John Paul II? Well, it doesn't matter because Father Alfred McBride can. McBride is a press information officer with the U.S. Catholic Conference's national office in Washington and his job is to study the pontiff's speeches in order to anticipate questions from the media. Except McBride does more than just answer questions; he can do it in a Polish accent that's a dead ringer for the Pope's.

The Irish Catholic priest, who is traveling with the pontiff on his U.S. visit, said he doesn't mean any disrespect: "I mimic him a little, just for fun, just to lighten the conversation. It makes everybody sit up and listen."

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