Friday, July 17, 2009

Vacation for the Pope: A Slightly Broken Wrist and Waiting in Line

According to The Associated Press, "...A Vatican statement says the pope fell in his room in a nearby chalet overnight and despite the accident, celebrated Mass and had breakfast before going to the hospital...."

Pope Benedict XVI was on vacation when he broke his wrist. And, he's now out of the hospital.

The Catholic News Agency gives a little more detail. It was his right wrist, and the fracture turned out to be a small one. After Mass and breakfast, he was taken to a nearby hospital, about 12 miles away.
"...When the Pope arrived, other patients were waiting for X-rays and he insisted on waiting his turn, ANSA reports.

"Later the Pope underwent a 20-minute operation under local anesthetic to realign the fractured fragments and reduce the fracture. Benedict was then fitted with a cast which he will have to wear for about a month...." (Catholic News Agency)
The fracture wasn't all that bad, although an injured wrist is certainly not fun.
"...Doctors administered local anesthesia and put the pope's wrist in a cast, Lombardi said, adding the procedure was minor...." (CNN)
The Pope was three days into a 16-day vacation, and apparently is going back to pick up where he left off.

So, why am I spending time with a post about a minor event like this?

Mostly because I'm a Catholic, and the Holy Father is head of my church.

We don't worship the Pope - or anybody else, other than God. We do pay attention to whoever holds the authority given to Peter - which is not the same as thinking that the Pope is superhuman or never makes mistakes. The Holy Father's infallibility is a very strictly limited function. Which I see I haven't discussed yet.

This broken wrist demonstrated, rather painfully I should think, just how 'human' the Pope is.

I'm interested in these breaks in the Pope's routine for about the same reason that I'm interested in reports on the health of the president of the United States and other people in major leadership positions.

When someone is in a position of authority, that person's personal life has the potential for affecting many others. And so, those who might be affected are - naturally, I think - interested in the personal lives of presidents and Popes more often and more intensely than they are in the lives of their peers.

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.