Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Heartsick At Having All His World To Blame

I wonder how old Peter was when he took on the job of fronting the early church. Artists show him as a middle-aged to elderly man - almost invariably bald- but Jesus was in his early 30s (we assume) when he started his work- and it's unlikely he chose men older than himself to form his inner circle. A lot was asked of them- physically and mentally- they can't have been dodderers.

A modern pope, in the nature of things- given that he's had to have had time to rise up through the hierarchy- is bound to be clocking on a bit- past his prime- with all that goes with it in terms of stamina and energy levels.

Pity Francis: he's been tasked with reforming the organisation that created him- and in which he's embedded- and he's well past the age at which people with worldly jobs retire.

Did he know what would be required of him when he was elected? Oh, he'll have realised child abuse was on the agenda- but had he any idea how vast the problem was- how systemic? Did it strike him- and does it strike him now- that it's not just a matter of a few malefactors to be weeded out but that the Church's whole business model is flawed? A priestly caste, all male, unmarried (celibate doesn't seem to be the case any more- if it ever was) and as self-protective as privileged groups always are- does he ever think, "Well we need to get rid of this for a start"?

Does he draw comfort from the knowledge that his time in the post is limited- by which I mean, of course, that he'll soon be dead?
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