Apologies to Anglicans reading this: I don't know how many canons make an archdeacon, or whether a rural dean is worth more than either. Does anyone?
Mgr Guido Marini and an unidentified pope. 108 points.
Often, you will encounter your lucky cleric on leaving church, just after hearing him preach a sermon. Commenting on the homily is one way to break the ice. If you meet the reverend gentleman in less salubrious circumstances, it may be better to avert your eyes, and pretend you did not see him.
Anyway, here are few gambits that we have tried, with some success.
1. Good sermon, Deacon. I particularly liked the way you refuted the arguments of Fr Timothy Radcliffe. What a numpty, eh?
2. Good morning, Deacon. I'm so glad to hear that the geraniums in your potting-shed are flourishing.
Reading St Paul's epistle to the Geraniums.
1. Father, your sermon made me wonder about adiophora. Would you say that 1 Corinthians 8 was helpful on this issue?
2. Father, I keep confusing good and evil. I couldn't tell from your sermon, but maybe you know. Which side are we on?
1. My Lord, how refreshing to hear the Donatist heresy explained by someone who actually knows what it was.
2. Good to see you, Bishop: you're not nearly as overweight as the man in the Spectator was claiming. Pity about the sermon.
Congratulations on your first prize in the pie-eating competition!
1. Good day, your Eminence. How are we poor laymen to survive if the Church is a ship without a rudder?
2. Good morning, your ex-Eminence. Who are you going to push into the Chair of St Peter next time round?
Don't worry, your Eminence, those men in white coats are your friends. Just get into the van.
1. How good of you to drop in to St Tharg's, Holy Father Emeritus. Of course we're not all familiar with the major German philosophers, but your homily sounded very smart.
2. Hell's Teeth, Holy Father, how are we supposed to keep smiling after what you just called us?