Friday, March 11, 2016

Gotta have money to be a saint.

By Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

Pope Francis, the Italian/Argentinian CEO of Vatican Inc. is moving to curb the cost of Sainthood or the “saint making business” as the Guardian refers to it in today’s issue. It appears the cost of beatification, which is the process that leads up to a person becoming a Saint, is approaching $550,000.

Given all the compensation Vatican Inc. has had to pay to victims of the pedophiles in its ranks, and for protecting them once they were found out even sending them to fresh pastures to continue their activity, finances are a little low in the religion industry.

In line with the finance industry after the Great Recession, regulations are being introduced that might curb the excesses. After all, there is much competition for Sainthood as a successful candidate gets to sit in the sky, not just on clouds relaxing and playing lyres and stuff, but actually in heaven which is god’s retreat up there and can “intercede with God to perform miracles.”, according to highly educated experts on the subject. So a successful applicant can put a word in for his or her mates.

One aspect of the new regulations is eliminating the shroud of mystery that has obscured the process up to now by creating a body of administrators that will oversee each case and also a solidarity fund for candidates for sainthood who come from poor communities, working class backgrounds and just don’t have connections to moneyed interests.

Being sufficiently holy is not enough to get the job done. A successful candidate has to have been involved in a miracle, in fact, two miracles.  This is a dodgy business as defining a miracle is not easy. Doctors and other religious experts have to be brought in to ensure that there is a miracle about. Let’s say a cancer victim thought to face certain death doesn’t die within the time limit allotted by plain old doctors or even lives much longer than thought. These experts have to agree that the person’s survival had nothing to do with “earthly intervention”.   This is an important part of the process as if doctors and scientists can’t determine why the person didn’t die, it stands to reason that god decided to keep the person alive.

It makes sense doesn’t it?

These reforms are also important as the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent by outsiders, friends, lovers or relatives of a would be saint could be spent elsewhere like helping the poor.

As if the pope doesn’t have enough on his plate he has to decide whether or not to put that Mother Theresa on the fast track to Sainthood.  Remember her, she was a good friend of the Bush’s. But she has enemies undoubtedly controlled by Satan who are spreading nasty rumors about the old mum misusing funds meant for the poor and that she was actually more a supporter of evangelism, gasp!

Perhaps pope could send a guy up there who would put a word in god’s ear to do something about economic refugees and refugees fleeing capitalism’s wars and market forces.

A couple of books about Vatican Inc.
Avarice, by Emanuele Fittipaldi
Merchants in the Temple, by  Gianluigi Nuzzi
God’s Bankers by Gerald Posner

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