Saturday, December 26, 2009

Joe the Pope Stumbles at Midnight Mass

Since the beginning of the age of Darwin certain scientific methods apply to all things. Cause and effect in one such conundrum.

Joe the Pope stumbled the other night at Midnight Mass which was not at midnight. The 82 year old pontiff with a busy seasonal schedule wanted to go to bed early and get some rest for the next day. Midnight mass started at 10 pm. When you change anything around away from its norm – you have cause and effect. If you want to get to bed early, you are not staying up later than the homeless and the wandering crazy people particular to every urban center on the planet.

A young woman, 25, jumped the barricade separating the processional column of clergy including the Pope from the attending crowd. The security guards tacked the possible assassin and in the collateral damage (catalytic reaction) the would be assailant drags the pope to the floor by grabbing onto his garments.

Scuffle over. The pope is unharmed. An aged French cardinal gets a broken leg. The pope, the superstar of the evening, puts on his usual great performance.

Moral of the story. Security at the Vatican is as lax as at the White House where two publicity seeking clowns walk into Obama’s first State Dinner for the Prime Minister of India. They get photos with everyone and slip away as people are being seated for din-din and where there are no place cards for two party crashers.

The security at the midnight mass looked like they hired some husky tall moonlighting Italian policemen for the evening event. These days all corporations and all governments seem to be staffed by part time, minimum waged temporary staff and guards.

The young lady of Swiss Italian background had apparently done the same thing last year and in the same bright red clothing as at last year’s Christmas midnight mass – so much for my theory of staying up later than the crazies. The temp guards from last year who grabbed this same jumper before she touched the pope were not on duty or not looking or screening the people coming into the mass this year? People were admitted by ticket only.

Which goes to my previously stated assumption, of the fact that only tourists fill in the gaps of the big events like midnight mass – staged for the cameras. So easy to get tickets like at your hotel front desk. No real Roman would go out on a cold winter’s night for midnight mass at St. Peter’s. Romans may show up on a warm spring day for Easter in the plaza but other than that, few if any of the native population participate in the ancient rituals of the church.

Which brings me to my previously stated position, that only a few hundred or a few thousand Romans go to church on a regular basis. Which puts the Bishop of Rome as supposed premier moral leader of the Christian world as a shepherd to an active flock as large (or as small) as any Jesus got in his barnstorming days of preaching.

In any case, the pope is a symbol of Christiandom. I personally do not want to see him harmed. He and his office are deserving of global respect.

Besides, who would I have to call Joe the Pope? Better the pope you know than the pope (next pope) you don’t know. But then again I have already named him Pius XIII and Joe the Pope has yet to give him a red hat. (cause and effect).

If and when the rabble and crazies do storm the Vatican with torches and pitchforks, it won’t be with Joe Ratzinger, the current German pope in residence.

In the meantime, the Vatican better spend a few more lira on competent full time security staff.


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