Is it time for Pope John Paul to go? Speculation rises about his successor.
Expectations that the present Pope might resign are greatly denied. The recent speculation by Cardinal Daneels, (Archbishop of Malines), are not only dismissed out of hand but is sure to make his own elimination from the contest certain. So much for divine appointment! The Catholic Church’s own newspaper, The Catholic Herald informs us,
‘In Rome the game [!] of spotting the next pope is the hazardous, but exciting preoccupation of many’.
We shall soon be hearing and reading of the usual signs, portends and prophesies associated with Papal electioneering. The prophesies of St Malachy, attributed to a 14th century Archbishop of Amagh are purported to foretell, by means of Latin mottoes, each pope to the end of time. According to these prophesies, ‘The Catholic Herald’ reported, there will be only two more popes, the last one being named Peter. The next pope according to this nonsense is described by the motto, Gloria Olivae – Glory of the Olive Tree – inferring that this pope will have close ties with the Holy Land.
It is said that a Jewish connection and preferably a Jew by birth (as were Jesus and Peter) would be the next choice. This could suggest Cardinal Lustiger the Archbishop of Paris. A Jew to be the Anti-Christ!?
For those who do not want to believe that the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope usurp the rightful place of Christ, an article of The Catholic Herald of 17 November 2000 clearly states that in light of this Jew being the next pope but one,
‘One must hope that the prophecy of St Malachy is totally wrong about such a man being Christ’s last vicar on Earth.’ (emphasis mine)
On a slightly different note one of the names bandied about the papacy as a likely successor to the current Pope, although one hopes not with too much ‘bruta forza’, in polite company at least, is the Archbishop of Genoa. His name is Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi which in colloquial Italian means, ‘Bull’s Balls’.
With all these balls up in the air, I have just thought of Medici. The name of Medici represented a powerful family that ruled in Florence from the 15th –18th Centuries. Initially pawnbrokers (now you see where the balls come into this story) the family became bankers and patrons of the arts. They also ‘gave’ three popes (later known as the Medici Popes) to the church, namely: Leo X (in whose pontificate the Reformation began), Clement VII (who refused Henry VIII’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon) and Leo XI who reigned but for a few months.
As for this nation and that of Luther, these represented a pain in the - ‘neck’.
This leads me to an apt play-on-words in the play, ‘Luther’, by John Osbourne.
In act two, scene six, the drama centres around Martin who has just received a bull from Pope Leo X. It is his excommunication notice! Martin responds to the bull, by throwing it into a great fire and as he does so delivers a scathing speech about the papacy which ends with the following marvellous line:
‘And as for this bull, it’s going to roast, it’s going to roast and so are the balls of the Medici!’