(Translation: We have a pope! Where can I get a hat like that?)
Congratulations to the man formerly known as Cardinal Ratzinger, now
B3N3D1C7 0x10 (0x10 means “10” in hexadecimal, which is 16 in decimal).
I’ll confess to a little home-team favourtism and say that I’d have
preferred Jaime Cadrinal Sin of the Philippines, who played a pretty
important role in the People Power/EDSA Revolution of 1986, in which
President Marcos was ousted. He’s also a friend of the family, and it
never hurts to have a major religious leader on your rolodex.
For clarity’s sake, I should say that he was very far from being my
favorite candidate, and the decision to elevate to the pontificate the
cardinal who was Rome’s point man relative to the priest-pedophilia
scandal in the U.S. strikes me as an indicator of the Vatican’s
characteristic deafness on this issue.
On the other hand, I’m a little perplexed that anyone feels shocked
at this turn of events. The Vatican is not a hotbed of liberalism, and
the cardinals whom John Paul II appointed reflect his characteristic
conservatism (if not his personal magnetism). If the world honored John
Paul II with weeks of attention and veneration, in what respect do we
anticipate that Benedict XVI — a personal friend and theological soul
mate to John Paul II — will be any less praiseworthy? I’m with Hans Küng,
who has as much reason as anyone to mistrust the new pontiff: “he
compared it to an American presidential election and said people
‘should allow the pope 100 days to learn’.”
Of course, the best solution would be that the next time
’round, they should elect me as “Pope Awesome I”. I’m not sure how the
church would fare under my leadership, but you can be damned sure it’ll
be fun and that the Catholic Church ad from The Simpsons [1.1MB, QuickTime] would become a reality…
Click the picture to see the video.