Of the 264 popes (262 to be exact because Pope Benedict IX, during the dreadful medieval fights between popes and anti-popes, was elected three times) 205 were Italians, (of whom 106 were Romans), and 57 foreigners; comprised of 19 Frenchmen, 14 Greeks, 8 Syrians, 5 Germans, 3 Africans, 2 Spaniards, 1 Austrian, 1 Palestinian, 1 Englishman, 1 Dutchman, and 1 Pole...
I have to get out quick smart from this religious period. I seem to be in. What with Tony Abbott playing the Holy Roller and the opportune demise of Pope John Paul II taking up where Terri Schiavo's parents left off, I crave for a quiet secular moment to myself.
I then pull my pope chart out of my briefcase, and slowly unfold it and lay it on the table. I point to Peter at the left top and ask, “Who is this guy?” They look closely and say, “St. Peter.” I then point to the right bottom and ask, “And who is this guy?” They look and say, “Pope John Paul II.” I then say, “Pope John Paul II is the 263rd successor of Peter, and Peter got the job from Jesus. This is the church Jesus established on Peter. This is the Catholic Church.”Typical responses: “Wow!”...”I can’t believe what I’m seeing!”...”Where can I get one?” One of the best ones: A 26 year old inmate exclaimed, “There really is a God!!!”
So I need to make a stand and say, "Oh no there isn't! " and leave it at that. I want God the Father, God the Son and God the Wired Haired Fox Terrier out of my face. And while we are technically travelling without pope (sans le pape) in this particular moment of theologoical time maybe I can get away with any number of heresies -- like that I don't much care for pontifs...or lamas either(or transubstantiation or virgin births or 'any bless me father' melarky) or prayer or redemption.
As for sin-- I can take it or leave it.
Golly, let me think....I haven't sinned for ever so long. [Scratches head and raises brazen face to ceiling. Crosses heart and hopes to die.] I have not freely and deliberately violated the law of God by so much as a thought, a word or a deed since I became my own man(He, I mean He who is, may think otherwise if he actually was) . I have been lost from the Lord Jesus for 38 years! Hellujah! Travelling light and free of the Lord! Without him! Without sin! Devoid of redemption. Guilt free. Unsullied by remorse. Doing what always seemed like a darn good idea at the time.
O my God, I don't dread the loss of heaven or the pains of hell. I don't much care if I have offended Thee (who is yah yah, you know, supposed to be so, uh,awesome and all that stuff) All I want, when it comes down to it is...a Tim Tam, a cup of tea and a good lie down. Amen