I really wasn't going to mention the pope karking it. The death of the leader of a bizarre death-cult of bigots who engage in symbolic cannibalistic rituals is not noteworthy in itself for me. But two things have pushed me across the commentary threshold.
Firstly, the curious sadness his followers feel. If they truly believe he's 'gone to a better place' why aren't they celebrating?
The only answer I can come up with is that, as Attila The Stockbroker has pointed out, somewhere inside they don't really believe the eternal bliss stuff. If you take a priest and put a gun to their heads they'd be begging for their lives, the same as the rest of us. No serenity, and certainly no 'yay at last here I go'.
I know pointing out Christian contradiction is something of a fish/barrel/firearms scenario, but the sheer gall of saying you're God's number one rep on earth, a 'man of faith', and then surrounding your vehicle in two inch bulletproof glass!
The outrageous front in being the head of one of the richest organisations on the planet, the biggest tax dodgers in the history of money, and then giving sermons about duty to the poor. His friggin outfit must've cost the price of a Tanzanian hospital wing. And the hush money given to children buggered by priests cost a lot more than that. Given that that's where it goes, it makes me glad I've never put money in their collection plates.
But anyway, the second dead pope thing is one that made me laugh out loud. A truly magnificent headline for an article in the Seattle Times:
Some Catholics surprised by own emotions
Read that again. There's several fabulous comedy angles to take this one from.
I too know some Catholics who are surprised by their own emotions. They'll be there with you, doing something really cool and enjoyable that does nobody any harm, then all of a sudden they get weird. They feel bad, wrong, dirty and/or guilty, often seemingly because what they're doing is causing them personal pleasure without detriment to anyone. They know it's bollocks, yet still they feel it, and so are understandably surprised at their own emotions.
Another reading is to put the emphasis on 'own'. Having spent a lifetime being told by twisted celibates what's right and wrong, many Catholics realise it's a load of vicious repressive twaddle and start to form their own ideas. This too must feel surprising at first.
The only downer is that it does, as the headline says, only apply to some Catholics.