Verbum Sapienti sat est (A word to the wise suffices)

Location: Modi'in, Israel

Thursday, April 14, 2005

A new Pope?

From a special guest blogger (my colleague at work).

Along with intensive speculation concerning the identity of the next Pope, another seemingly more trivial issue, but no less arousing of passion (sic), has arisen (sic) among both Catholics and non-Catholics the world over. And that is, what will the next Pope be called? When Pope John Paul I died after only 38 days of using the name, there was less discussion of the matter, since the name was still fresh and there was lots of stationery and stuff already around, so just adding the II to the end was considered the best way to put off the inevitable battle which is now unavoidable.

And so here we are, with the two principal camps squaring off. Will it be Pope George Ringo or Pope Mick Keith? Ironically or not, members of both camps had not even thought of the other possibility until the issue became practical - for years they had looked forward to "their" next Pope, only to be stunned by the prospect that, once again, the old rivalry they thought was passe was anything but. Of course, it's more of a dispute among the older crowd, but no less relevant for being so, since it seems that most of the Cardinals making the decision are indeed of advanced enough age to remember when the Stones performed the Beatles' "I Wanna Be Your Man", the only fateful moment when the two bands' paths crossed (sic).

There is wide speculation that the decision will be a reflection of a strategic decision as to whether the next Pope will be looking to strengthen his base by continuing the social conservatism of his predecessor (this would be Pope George Ringo), or perhaps reach out to new constituencies by making Canon Law more flexible (Pope Mick Keith). But not all Beatles and Stones fans agree on this supposition. Many of the more traditionalist Catholic Beatle fans are uncomfortable with the next Pope having a name which, with all due respect, implies a considerably less awesome stature than the previous Pope's. On the other side, many Stones fans are uncomfortable with the idea of any Pope, no matter how flexible, being named after the Glimmer Twins. "I think Keith already said it best when Mick got knighted," as one worried Stones fan put it. "It's just ain't what the Stones is about, y'know?".

Whether or not either camp gets satisfaction (sic), there is no doubt that once he is named, the next Pope will try to calm the inflamed passions (sic) quickly by proclaiming "all you need is love" (sic transit gloria mundi).