Erm, is it inappropriate to declare this in public??
Is this my irreverent Brit side coming out?
I think if God is the ultimate Game practitioner then Pope Benedict is his ultimate wingman.
Our very own Pope Ben.
AKA Joseph Ratzinger Jr.
I think he's so cute. Just like Danny's Paw-paw.
It's getting to that time in the Church's calendar when we will be seeing more and more of Pope Benedict. Recently back from Cuba and Mexico, he will be leading us into Holy week beginning on Palm/Passion Sunday.
Like most people of my generation, Pope John Paul II is the only other Pope I have known in my lifetime. He was the longest serving (modern) Pope.
He so happens to have been a very likeable character. Young and old easily identified with him. Wherever he went, he was an instant star. He had something that even Pope Ben doesn't have. I can't give it a name. Perhaps the thing that comes closest is charisma?
Yes he came under a lot of criticism for the whole abuse thing. I am not sure of the ins and outs of these, but I suspect all popes had/have this cross to bear on behalf of their more deviant subordinates, aka predatory priests.
Pope Ben is more 'quiet' than Pope John Paul II, in my humble estimation. He was an academic, an intellectual. Not really at home 'on stage'. But he does his best. He has to, because he is 'on stage' whether he likes it or not.
My hypergamy is not limited to the SMP/MMP.
I grew up with priests.
The ultimate priest is the Pope.
Let's just say I am hopelessly susceptible to 'Pope Game'.
If the Pope in question is tall, handsome, famous (everyone knows the Pope, right?), earns more than me (not difficult - the Catholic Church is arguably the richest empire in the world), speaks several languages, travels a lot, has a fancy house (St. Peter's in Rome is not a pauper's abode), has a fancy car (the Popemobile has got to be the coolest car in the world - even if its top speed is 5 km/hour LOL) and is Catholic (um, the Pope is Catholic, right?), he's got my attention :-)
(The ultimate pre-selection :-)
Most Popes are usually really old by the time they start their popedom, but I am sure if one did a poll on young women (Catholic or otherwise), one would find that there are at least some who have major 'crushes' on them. Religious hypergamy at its very best :-)
Or maybe I just need help.
Has anyone been in the tower at the Vatican? I have, twice in the last 3 years. The second time, I and all the other lucky tourists spotted Pope Ben taking a stroll in his magnificent gardens during his daily evening Rosary time.
Considering my 'feelings', I kinda felt like a stalker. Aherm, this can't be good :-)
Every Pope has a team of ceremonial 'guards' of young men who 'guard' them. They are known as the Pontifical Swiss Guards.
Catholic boys in Switzerland have the option of doing this instead of the usual National Service (which is obligatory for all boys in Switzerland, bar a medical reason).
I love their uniform:
If I have a son who comes of age in Pope Benedict's lifetime, he is getting conscripted into this army. No questions asked. Nevermind that I am not in fact Swiss. I might have to beg, borrow or steal a swiss passport for him.
Pope Benedict was born in 1927. At 78, he became one of the oldest Popes in history. Apparently he attempted to 'retire' from the priesthood three times by the time he was 75, due to health reasons (stroke) and the desire to return to his academic lifestyle and write books. But he was denied three times. To add insult to injury, they elected him Pope three years later :-)
I am not sure how widely known the following story is, but it is indeed true.
His father Joseph Ratzinger Sr. was a police officer who apparently wasn't getting too much luck with the ladies. (What's new, eh boys?)
To help his situation, he put an ad in the local paper specifying that he needed a wife who could cook and clean. Only one woman answered.
So not too many takers for poor ole Ratzinger then. I can't really explain this. Perhaps he wasn't an attractive prospect? But why not? As a police officer he would have been a very good prospect in any generation, no?
Or is it that 'personal ads' in the paper were frowned upon in the 1920's?
Anyway, that woman was Maria Peintner. She got the job :-)
Pope Benedict was the youngest of their three children.
Big brother Georg is also a priest. Big sister Maria never married and managed Pope Benedict's household until her death in 1991. In this manner she fulfilled the role I describe here.
So, Papa and Mama Ratzinger produced two priests and a virtual nun.
I don't know how long we will have our Pope Ben for. He himself has (worryingly) predicted a short reign as Pope due to his health problems. I hope he is wrong.
After seven years he is fast filling the big shoes left behind by John Paul II.
That is no mean feat.
John Paul II was a hard act to follow.
Seven years ago to the day, I, like millions all over the world, was pacing up and down and biting my nails anxiously as I waited for the white smoke to come out of the chimney of the Sistine Chapel and to hear the words 'Habemus Papam!'
And then, all I wanted to know was, who was going to be our new Pope?
Would I like him?
Would he be as cool as JP II?
Would he lead The Church well?
I needn't have worried.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Unlike in the secular world where we all vote for who we want as the leader of our respective countries, (except of course those unlucky enough to live under a dictatorship), a new Pope is always a 'surprise' :-)
Sometimes a nice surprise, as in the case of Pope Ben, sometimes a not-so-nice surprise - not mentioning any names :-)
So I pray and hope that Pope Benedict will be with us for a long long time.
I always wanted to be a one-Pope girl.
But failing that, I would be happy with 'two-Pope' girl.
Hey, just trying to keep the number low :-)
And I hope Pope Ben obliges me by staying alive.
Indeed he is blessed.
Viva il Papa!
Happy Easter to all.