With the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, the hunt for a new Pope is on…..
Deals behind closed doors, dirty work at the crossroads, favourites falling at the first hurdle…if the atmosphere still exists as described by Roger Peyrefitte in his novels ‘The Keys of St. Peter‘ and ‘The Knights of Malta’, not to speak of ‘Secrets of the Conclave’.
And in a Peyrefitte world, anything is possible.
The Church is said to need someone who will be a CEO….as well as being a holy man.
Someone who considers himself an ideal CEO in a global enterprise and who would not…while squirming and grinning at the suggestion….be unwilling to describe himself as holy needs a job.
One with sovereign immunity.
Thwarted in his Brussels ambitions, upset by the unfavourable reception of his efforts to make dirty police states acceptable, it occurs to him that one day he might risk the same problems as General Pinochet.
He’ll touch down at some airport and a local judge will have him in the slammer for violation of human rights…or as a war criminal.
So sovereign immunity would be handy.
And he has the qualifications….
He converted to Catholicism some seven years ago.
Canon Law allows for a Catholic layman to be elected as Roman Pontiff…
But there is a stumbling block.
The Roman Pontiff must be capable of being ordained as a bishop.
And the ideal candidate…in his own mind…has a problem there.
He is married.
And even if he managed to bring the entire English nation over to Rome his marriage would still be the stumbling block.
I never thought I would be thankful for Cherie Blair.