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"Your 'reality', sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
— Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von M√ľnchhausen

Daily Show Oblectatio Est!

In an earlier post, I wrote a bit about the Pope's failing health and speculated as to who the next Pope will be. Personally, I'm split between Francis Arinze and Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga (odds of my being right according to Paddy Power: about 2/1). I think that Ratzinger, though touted as a favorite, is not figurehead material.

Then last night, on The Daily Show, they ran a mock Vatican political ad, with Arinze smearing Rodriguez-Mardiaga in Latin. Really funny stuff, instantly giving me ideas as to how magi might insult one another in Ars Magica . But this is the real world, and it's already underway. It makes you wonder what's going on right now behind closed doors, who's trying to jockey for position, curry favor, backstab, lie, blackmail, manipulate or even kill to gain the unparalleled power and prestige that comes from holding the highest office in Christendom.

Saying that might upset people in one of two ways. The first group that statement might offend are those that are offended by someone besmirching the name of the Church, because it is insulting to imply that cardinals might do sinful things out of personal interest. Of course, if you're offended by someone insulting the Church then you're probably over the age of 60 and wouldn't be reading this blog, anyway, because you are frightened by the strange, glowing machines some call "computers".

Alternatively, you may be upset because clergy are supposed to be above such things and you're frustrated by the Church's corruption and hypocrisy. People often take a discussion like this as a jumping-off point to talk about how greedy Cardinals or molesting priests are hypocrites for telling people to be moral and then sinning themselves.

To all those I say: who are you to judge? No one is saying that immoral behavior is acceptable for anyone, and it is even less acceptable for clergy because they are supposed to set an example. But no clergyman is free of sin, because he is a human being. Calling someone a hypocrite for failing to be faithful to a higher calling is sheer ignorance. The vast majority of these men dedicate their lives to the selfless service to the Church. They have failed at something neither your nor I would even try. Walk a mile in their shoes, if you dare.

One thing is for certain, though: someone, somewhere in the Vatican is committing a sin to affect the outcome of the Papal Conclave. I guarantee it.

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