I woke up Sunday morning eager to check whether FC Juventus had won their weekly Serie A match, but a little surprise was awaiting me: no soccer that Sunday. Why? Apparently because “the holiest man on Earth” had died the day before. “Strange,” I thought. “I don’t remember seeing anything similar happen last December when a few more people – 300,000 – lost their lives in Asia.”
Well, a solid reason was behind this special manifestation of respect. After all, the great person who died last weekend was an incredible man who always stood for just causes and proudly represented the values of that tiny country situated on the Vatican Hill – a country that diffused peace and love all around the world throughout the centuries.
For example, remember those good guys in the Inquisition? Thank God they saved us from insane people like Galileo Galilei and Giordano Bruno and their crazy ideas! An infinite universe? The Earth revolving around the Sun and not vice versa? Come on, who could possibly believe anything of that sort! It’d be like claiming that the Earth is not flat or that it wasn’t created in 4004 B.C. Unthinkable.
But let’s forget about the church, about its indulgent business and about its ingenious network to smuggle fugitive Nazis to Argentina after World War II, and focus on Karol Wojtyla instead, one of the most liberal popes to ever sit on the Vatican throne.
Yes, so liberal that, in his latest book, he called abortion “the new Holocaust,” and gay unions “the expression of a new, evil ideology.” He did, however, apologize for the church’s past mistakes – to God by the way, not to the victims – which should be enough to let us forget that he holds enormous responsibilities for the spread of AIDS in Africa and South America, where the tools of Satan – which in I.V. we generally call condoms – could have saved millions of lives and prevented other millions from being born with the sickness and having lived short existences of pain and agony. Let’s also not mention that he gave moral support to that friendly, moderate man by the name of Augusto Pinochet, with whom he shook hands during a trip to Chile, while thousands of political opponents were being subjected to barbaric tortures in the country’s prisons.
He justified the bloody conflicts that plagued former Yugoslavia, but so what? He did condemn the war in Iraq, so we’re even, right? And who cares if he made saint a few priests who worked with the fascist dictator Francisco Franco in Spain or with the Croatian nationalist movement inspired by Hitler. Those people were just having innocent dreams of a new Torquemada, anyway. Don’t we all wish we could burn all the witches, Jews and heretics who don’t believe in God?
And we all agree that women are better off at home incessantly popping out children, as the pope has always promoted… or that giving them the choice between an abortion and a life in pain – for them and their children – is outrageous. How could we not stand by him when he criminalized homosexuals or when he defined sexual desire as the most direct way to hell?
Thus, please, let us honor that virtuous man! In fact, I urge the media to increase his presence on the news from 20 to 24 hours a day. After all, Bush & Co. are doing a great job and we definitely don’t need to be informed about the newest additions to their brilliant master plan to make America and the world a better place. Instead, feed us more touchy memories of the noble deeds of the defunct leader of that aggressive multinational corporation known as the Roman Catholic Church.
Yes, I’m probably going to hell. But certainly not before I go to the Study Hall for my daily drink and stamp.
Raffaello Colasante is a senior computer science major.