Thou Shalt? Or Not?
Last week, the Vatican issued its Ten Commandments for Drivers, a move which surprised and amused many. Especially since the Pope, so far as we know, doesn’t do much driving. (And while the Driving Commandments weren’t directly attributed to the Pope, make no mistake: Vatican offices are not free agencies.) Makes one wonder what might be next: Commandments for pedestrians? eating? sleeping? skateboarding? making donations to the Church?
Anyway, inspired by the Papal Driving Edicts, below are some helpful, well-meant suggestions for the Pope in return — a kind of Ten Commandments for Papal Behavior.
1. Thou shalt not live in a palace nor be surrounded by gold and marble embellishments nor be ministered to by servants.
2. Thou shalt not take money from the poor worldwide to support a rich Vatican lifestyle
3. Thou shalt not remain silent in the face of a holocaust.
4. Thou shalt not terrorize people with tales of fire and brimstone in order to gain control of the nature and practice of their lives.
5. Thou shalt not pontificate about any matter unless thou first livest in a manner exemplary of the behavior sought by such pontification.
6. Thou shalt wear garments befitting a vow of poverty and of unity with most of the world.
7. Thou shalt eschew the use of luxurious vehicles in favor of riding upon an ass on all occasions.
8. Thou shalt decry the naming of former Popes as saints lest doing so become based on the prideful hope that the same might be done for you some day.
9. Thou shalt take harsh steps against any and all ministers in your church who abuse children in any way or abet such abuse through silence, making open and public display of any and all offenders, and not hiding the same inside the Vatican.
10. Thou shalt devote at least half of each year ministering in the field to the poor and sick in different parts of the world on a personal basis.
Active pursuit of the above would surely constitute leadership by example rather than by pontification. Oh, and by the way, the “Vatican hiding” in Commandment 9 refers to Cardinal Bernard Law, formerly head of Boston archdiocese who conspired to hide the hundreds of abuses occurring on his watch in the Boston church. Turns out he’s living quite comfortably in an apartment inside the Vatican.
Also, the Driving Commandments are puerile.
[MYRLN is a non-blogger who guest-posts on this blog on Mondays when the spirit moves him.]