Monday, 11 February 2013
The Pope Must Die(t)
I bet there's no contributory Vatican pension pot for the Pope. Well, there wouldn't be one would there. There was, until today, no need for one. Pope's didn't get the gold watch or the ecclesiastical equivalent - they died in post.
You would never see a Pope queuing up at the Papal Post Office to cash in his pension Giro. He wouldn't have a Roman Freedom Pass, or a Winter Fuel Allowance. Now all that's changed. But what's he to do?
I suspect there's likely to be a collection plate passed round at the last service he conducts; that should provide quite a nice tidy sum. It wouldn't surprise me if all the ambassadors to the Papal Court are faxing home asking their Governments to chip in for a suitable farewell gift. Failing that he'll have to fall back on the State.
I don't know what is the going rate for a single person's pension in Italy, but I doubt if it'll keep him in sanctified underwear and blessed jimjams. He could, of course, throw himself on the mercies of some closed order or two. A small room in some out of the way monastery may not be perfect but I suppose beggars can't be choosers. Alternatively he could return to Germany, write his memoires and live off the royalties. However, that's probably not allowed since I suspect any dosh made that way would go straight into the Papal coffers.
No, this is likely to be a rum deal and no mistake. All the cameras of the world will be on the Vatican's front door as the ex- Pope, the emeritus Pontiff, leaves with a small suitcase and his iPad.
He will no doubt be tweeting about all this and wondering whether it would not have been better to have hung on a little longer until his Maker had found a spare room in that Mansion with many rooms.