FRENCH PHILOSOPHER François-Marie Arouet alias Voltaire, [in]famously smacked, “God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.” And looking at what is happening in the Vatican at the moment, Voltaire must be smiling in his grave. Pope Benedict XVI is a joke. And yes, a bad example to family heads, too.
In your relationship, you should never invoke the name of Benedict or Ratzinger – whatever his real name is. How do you just resign like that? Yes, some clumsy records indicate that at least 10 Popes have ‘resigned’ before. And if you cared to dig into it, you will find downright comical stuff about the resignations. However, for this Benedict one, we need a big NO.
I say it is cowardly for a head of an institution to sight ill health and resign just like that. It is so unAfrican. During his eight uneventful years in office, Benedict actually visited Africa, but his actions are blowing the trumpet that he learnt nothing.
As the Pope of your household, never entertain thoughts of resignations. Even if Mama Baby shouts and hurls all sorts of obscenities so that all and sundry can know how you snore at night, the worst you can do is to temporarily resign – take a walk, go to the bar – but return to her warm embrace when the anger has ceased.
It is akin to breeding poisonous mushrooms in your flower vase if you begin to adore Benedict XVI. You will become a quitter and an emotional dimwit who can’t stand his wife nagging for just three days in a month. In the end, you will be like Joe Rickey Hundley of Hayden, Idaho, US. This chap slapped a toddler in a plane, who was making noise. Not his kid, but someone else’s. But he paid the ultimate price: job loss. And you know, if you are sacked from a job for slapping a toddler, you might never get another.
Now, however, if you must look up a Pope because you think you are more Catholic than the Vatican foundation, then Silverius (536 - 537) it is. This Pope, a son of Pope Hormisdas, was deposed and exiled by empress Theodora of Constantinople, brought back by emperor Justinian to stand trial, convicted, and forced by his successor Pope Vigilius to abdicate again. You see such endurance?
It is like his wife hit him with a frying pan, threw him out and did all sorts of things, but he still always came back to the same wife (read the Vatican) wherever they needed a Pope with his tenacity. He was so die-hard that he actually starved to death on an island in the Gulf of Gaeta.
Elsewhere to look up to is North London at The Emirates Stadium, which is always LIVE to TV soccer fans. His name is Arsene Wenger. This wrinkled French professor has not done his bedroom job for eight solid years. The children are actually saying he is not man enough, that he was clobbered by Brentford, humiliated by Blackburn and thumped by Bayern. But the professor is adamant he won’t quit anytime soon. He says the omens came in the shape of Letter B, so he hopes to restore parity by beating Aston Villa today.
Relationship is not for the fainthearted. It demands the tenacity of Wenger, not the weakling of Benedict XVI. You need the endurance of a Silverius, not the whines of Mummy’s Boy.