[Dated, but still good! An original blog of mine.]
You may have heard that the pope will be visiting Britain [this was the Fall of 2010]. Due to his “head of state” or almost royal status, the British government is laying out millions, perhaps tens of millions, which citizens are now protesting as way too expensive, especially given that 77% of them have no interest in this visit (at best) or are planning to protest (at worst).
Meanwhile the Vatican is trying to explain that charging money for tickets to see the pope say mass is not really “charging” but insisting on “a donation”. Meanwhile abuse victims are taking full advantage of a new opportunity to get on the publicity bandwagon.
Now, if this were a blog devoted to high flown analysis, I would have put a bunch of links in the first two paragraphs. But since so many have already written about all the complaints taking place, I’ve turned my attention to possible future solutions to papal visits and how to pay for them. And I think I’ve come up with a plan which even The Onion might find attractive.
I call it Papal Lay-Away.
Now you could have called it “Lay Away A Pope” but given the recent sexual scandals in the church, some might get the wrong idea, so I pulled the plug on that one.
Here’s how it works: It’s like a subscription system. People who want to see the pope buy a “lay-away” ticket. Over time, could be even years and years, the faithful who yearn to see the pope pay into this system. Next there could be two ways of handling it. Either the pope visits where’s he wanted (if enough people buy tickets there) or else there is a lottery system, where all deposits are pooled to pay for the pope visiting one country. In another 10 years another lottery. If you’re lucky, or your prayers are answered, you might just get to see the pope! If not this pope, then the next one. Or the next one after that. You could even have a system where people pass on their ticket as a kind of inheritance if they die before they’ve seen a pope!
One final thought. You could give a subscription as a gift. It might even become like the proverbial fruitcake that is given over and over…
Update: "Selling the Pope" is just another example of what I've written about here. Amazing, isn't it, how closely the hierarchy seems to follow the hypocrisy of worldly folk?