by Anura Guruge
After his busy day in Assisi on Thursday, October 27, where he looked very frail and hunched, the pope did not venture far from his quarters on Sunday. As is fairly common (and made a virtual hallmark by the aging John Paul II (#265)) the pope delivered the customary, Sunday noon time Angelus, from the window of his private study, within the Papal Apartment, on the top [i.e., 3rd floor], of the Apostolic Palace. The pope seemed rested, though some of his arm movements were slow and delayed.
Per my countdown clock the Benedict XVI will become the 6th oldest pope, as of 1400, in 120 days [4 months]. That is on February 29, 2012. 245 days from then, i.e., EXACTLY a year from today, he can become the 5th oldest, leapfrogging Innocent XII (#243). 71 days later, he could be #4 brushing aside the ‘Eternal Pope’, Pius IX (#256). So a lot to look forward to — IF his health stands up.
Over the weekend, there was again talk as to whether he may resign. That is pie in the sky. I personally don’t think that this pope will resign. If anything the Vatican will opt for their ‘Plan B’. One of the Vatican’s paid lap-dog wrote a piece claiming that there was nothing the matter with the pope’s health. Well, credibility has never been his strong suite.
The pope started the Angelus with a reading of a letter by St. Paul, to Thessalonians, that the Gospel should be treated as: ‘not as a human word but as what it really is, God’s word’. Following the Marin prayer, the pope expressed his empathy to those in Thailand as well as those in the Italian regions of Liguria and Tuscany, that have been affected by recent, heavy rainfall and floods. He assured them of his prayers. That always make me chuckle. Yes, as I have openly admitted in my posts, I find the whole concept of prayer incredibly puzzling to say the least. Prayers AFTER natural disasters irk me. To me it is akin to closing the barn door after the barn has been flooded killing all the horses. I would rather there was NO flood and no horses killed. Pray for that — IF you think God actually listens to you.
But, that he ‘prayed’ for the Thai, touched me. Yes, it is yet another country that I have spent time in. My parents lived in Bangkok from about 1972 to 1979. Actually my father was supposed to be going to Bangkok this week to deliver a speech to celebrate the birthday of the King’s father. He couldn’t go because of the floods. If the pope, as God’s vicar on earth, had interceded BEFORE the floods then my father and the King would be so much happier. I actually looked this up to be sure. Thailand is one of the LEAST Christian of countries. Only 0.7% of its 65.5 million population is Christian. So that is under 500, 000. But, it is cool that the pope reached out. I just wonder how many Thais have actually heard of the pope. Read this post.