Saturday, April 09, 2005

Papal Bull

The process of choosing a new pope will soon begin and it brings some questions to mind about the infallibility of this man.

infallible: Incapable of erring

So when they pick the next one, at what exact moment does he become infallible? And what was the final mistake he made? Is he given a period of grace during which he can continue to err, or does he instantly become infallible?

Does a cloak of infallibility descend over him when he's chosen or was he always infallible and just waiting to be picked? If the latter is true, how many infallible men exist in the world at this moment? Are they secret super heroes? Is this where comic book heroes come from? Was Superman an undiscovered pope?

If there's only one cardinal who is already infallible and the others are tasked to ferret him out? What are the odds they'll make a mistake unless they too are infallible?

Indeed, infallibility also belongs to the body of bishops as a whole, when, in doctrinal unity with the pope, they solemnly teach a doctrine as true.

Okay, so the cardinals and bishops are also infallible as long as they agree with the pope. Do they lose their infalliblity when, like now, there is no pope?

The cloak of infallibility seems to be growing so I consulted Dada and he offered the following:

Could it be? There's a whole world of perfect Cardinals out there? That's the implication, right? If the Pope is infallible, and doesn't just become infallible at the moment of election to that supreme office, then all cardinals are infallible. They'd have to be to be considered for Popehood as you suggested. But if that's so, doesn't that imply there must be a whole string of bishops-to-be-cardinals-someday who are also infallible. OMG! Ergo, ipso, op. cit., that might imply all priests are infallible? QED! (Just ask those molested choir boys.) Oh, I'd better stop here, because the can of worms you opened has all kinds of implications. (And what of those priests who aren't pedophiles; who prefer grown men? What goes on behind closed doors, lights-out-time, in the parish?) This only exacerbates the question of fallibility when addressing morality issues, doesn't it?

And then this ignores, of course, the trepidations of the priesthood towards woman and the power wielded thru her vagina but denied her by men whose first act was to surf that sweet channel and then, through their church, condemn all women to the role of "whore" or sub-servant in the promotion of god's will for man while on this Earthly plain. But, whew, sorry, I digress. Forgive.