Tapestry of Papistry


Cardinal Ratzinger, who holds the office colloquially known as Grand Inquisitor, has his own unofficial fan club. They have merchandise for sale.

Here are some odds on the papal election. You can even bet on which name he’ll take (John Paul, of course, is the favorite). Here is some discussion on the phenomenon of papal betting.

One poster there makes the good point that claiming the name of a schismatic pope will help reinforce the true lineage… I seem to remember this is what John XXIII did, taking “John” and putting a number on it to reinforce how many legitimate Pope Johns there had been.

One of the most clueless example of “the Internet will save the universe” hype is this post by someone suggesting ways to use the Internet for the papal election.

Just for the sake of adding some of my own content, three quick reasons why this was a dumb suggestion:

  1. The cardinals deliberately make the process secret, not “more transparent.”
  2. They don’t need a wiki of the different papal candidates. They gather information about each other by actually getting to know each other personally over many years, much of that interaction face-to-face.
  3. They’re looking for divine inspiration from the Holy Spirit, not an American Idol-style popular election by those with access to the Internet.

The Internet is a useful tool for communication but it is not the end-all and be-all of society. Go outside and take a walk (and don’t blog about it while you’re doing it).

One thought on “Tapestry of Papistry”

  1. Thanks adambud for the mention and the link. The Ratzinger Fan Club rocks, BTW (“The Inquisition, let’s begin/The Inquisition, look out sin”).

    But I really liked the Grand Inquisitor’s homily at the Holy Father’s funeral. For one thing, it was the first time I’d ever actually seen him on live TV (the nature of his job is mostly a written one) and he really came across as a humble priest and not as … ahem … a Grand Inquisitor (again the nature of his job is not primarily a pastoral one). He tied in his He had both a memorable opening line (“follow me”) and he had a great walkoff theme — about John Paul standing at the window to bestow an Easter Sunday blessing, his last public appearance, and how he was now at the window of his Father’s house, blessing us all still. And when (I’m assuming) the image on the Vatican TV feed cut away from Ratzinger to that window at the palace, it was as if … as if we were expecting John Paul to be back (even typing in these words causes my eyes to well up). And it underlined that he wasn’t, at least in the earthly sense, and then Ratzinger gets to the punch line about the Father’s house. Just one of the most incredible TV moments ever.

    In other words, Ratzinger’s eulogy was everything the homily at a funeral Mass should be. I hope he’s the next pope (Victor ducks …)

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