A time to cast away shoes/ A time to gather shoes together

So, El Papa's not doing so well. The Vatican denies claims that he's slipped into a coma. But what if he were to do so? Here's what I know/think I know about the beliefs and desires of Juan Pablo II:

  • Life is sacred. Keep me alive at all costs.
  • As long as I'm alive, I'm the Pope.

Who's going to make the decisions if God's telephone to Earth is on the fritz? Will a sub-pope be chosen? Will someone put their ear close to his comaey mouth and listen for advice? Will all sort of splinter groups form, some who want to follow his shoe and some who want to follow his gourd and some who will want to take off shoes and some who will want to gather shoes together? Isn't there some kind of system in place? How has this Church made it this far?

srah - Friday, 1 April 2005 - 7:43 AM
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Comments (14)

gravatar Anonymous - April 1, 2005 - 8:50 AM -

Q: How has this Church made it this far?


A: God

gravatar srah - April 1, 2005 - 8:58 AM -

Riiiiiight, I guess. Something like that. If you believe that the Catholic Church is the One True Faith, I guess you can go with that.

I was talking more in terms of organizational structure. Since the whole thing is based on one person making rules based on his interpretation of God's Word, what happens when he's out of commission? Then whose interpretation do you follow? I'm saying there ought to be policy about this kind of thing, or there's the danger of chaos.

gravatar Maine - April 1, 2005 - 9:01 AM -

I think if the pope is out of commission, then we all turn to George Bush for moral and religious guidance. He's the holiest leader in the free world, right?

Expect a new set of Crusades in 2006, by the way.

gravatar Not a Catholic - April 1, 2005 - 9:44 AM -

I am of the opinion that the Pope should have passed the staff on to someone else a year or two ago when he started being so sick. He should be allowed to die in peace.

He must be a publicity addict if he wants the world to know every time he gets a UTI or can't feed himself. I don't know the way the system works, but can't he just resign? Or is he stuck as Pope for life?

gravatar Anonymous - April 1, 2005 - 11:23 AM -

srah
1 April 2005 - 8:58:37 AM Riiiiiight, I guess. Something like that. If you believe that the Catholic Church is the One True Faith, I guess you can go with that.


Actually God works no matter the subject be Protestant or Catholic. The situation, though, has been that the Pope has been able to carry out his papal duties to the extent neccesary and there is centuries-long tradition as to the process of papal selection. After a time of mourning the cardinals will sequestered until the "smoke turns white". It is highly unlikely that an american cardinal will be named.

gravatar Not a Catholic - April 1, 2005 - 11:39 AM -

A friend suggested that the Pope situation is similar to Weekend at Bernie's and thinks the Popelets are moving him around and may even have strings or sticks attached to make him appear to be waving. We only see him from the chest up.

gravatar ME - April 1, 2005 - 1:02 PM -

i like the pope, cuz the pop smokes dope

gravatar srah - April 1, 2005 - 2:01 PM -

To Anonymous Family Member:

Right, he's been able to do it so far - that's why my question is about what would happen if the Pope were not able to fulfill his duties. My argument was not one of religion or faith, but of organizational policies.

gravatar Anonymous - April 1, 2005 - 2:04 PM -

For the first time ever, though undisclosed, Pope JP II had written instructions as to what steps were to be taken should he be incapacitated.

gravatar srah - April 1, 2005 - 2:35 PM -

Here is an interesting FAQ on Papal Transition.

gravatar jday - April 1, 2005 - 2:58 PM -

If George W. Bush is the holiest leader in the land and our next religious role model, let me die now.... Forget it, I'm moving to another country until 2008!

gravatar Lazaro - April 1, 2005 - 4:07 PM -

I believe the College of Cardinals ends up making the decisions for him. I'm not Catholic and I don't know exactly how it works, but there's definitely a system (see any book on Church history--especially Cornwell's "Hitler's Pope," and "The Godfather, Part III"). He's not married and I'm pretty sure his parents have "passed on," so there's none of that Schiavo foolishness.

Okay, that wasn't very funny. My apologies.

gravatar ev - April 1, 2005 - 5:04 PM -

I agree with the Weekend at Bernies theory, that they pretend the pope is still alive until they choose a successor, to avoid chaos. So they'll vote on some new guy in a secret Cardinal's meeting tonight, and then the pope will "pass away" tomorrow.

gravatar katie - April 4, 2005 - 7:16 PM -

Q: How has this Church made it this far?

A: Things have really gone downhill for them since the split. Click here for a Catholic perspective, here (scroll down to section with heading: Eleventh Century Divisions) for an Orthodox perspective, and here (scroll down to section with heading: The Great Schism) for a Protestant perspective (I think).

My personal favorite is the Protestant one because it is so thorough, unbiased, honest and clear. At very least read that one. It is the neutral, outside point of view.

Katie now tiptoes away before doing any damage to what might otherwise be considered a first for her: a balanced, neutral, (almost) inoffensive religion-related comment.

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