Thursday, May 16th 2013
It looked at first as if the new Pope was going to be different from his predecessors. He has refused to move into his palace, preferring to slum it with lesser honchos in the Vat. After his election, he nipped back to his digs on a bus to pick up his clobber and paid his own bill. He wanders about in crowds and kisses proferred babies thereby giving his security detail the heebi jeebies. But, he let the side down badly last Sunday when he made a bunch of new saints. He canonised 800 of the blighters! 800 new saints at one sitting! Now all of these guys would have been responsible for two miracles or else they don't get in. Most of the miracles that get considered for sainthood are medical ones. Fred, who is dying of a nasty case of whotsit asks recently deceased Sister Bloggs to intercede on his behalf. Fred gets better. Joe then pulls the same stunt via the good sister and he gets better as well. Ergo, it's a miracle. A special medical commission examines the files and gives the thumbs up, and the good sister is on her way. Dodgy old miracles, in my opinion.
But, to sanctify 800 goodly persons in one hit, means that there have been 1600 miracles to consider and His Holiness has only been on the job for ten minutes! The poor old medical commissioners must be out on their feet. And, if miracles are that common, are they miracles? Such are the ways of the Roman Church.
By the way, the dog bag gig is going splendidly and I am expecting a commendation any day.
Stop press: an oncologist in Rome has come forward to say that one of the 'miracles' involving a nun who prayed to one of the 1600 and claimed to be cured as a result, owed her good fortune to well targeted chemotherapy and radiotherapy. He maintains that the miraculous had nothing to do with her cure. Is there, then a faux saint among the canon? Oh dear!
This week's piece: Faith
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Thursday, May 9th, 2013
Almost one year ago I retired from my position as Head of Campus, Rural Clinical School, UNSW, Coffs Harbour where I had 60 medical students to take care of. Hardly surprising, to go from a position like that to doing nothing leaves a sizeable gap in your life and it is advisable to find something to do to fill that gap. So, I have looked around for volunteer work. Three opportunities have cropped up: helping out in the local symphony orchestra office, teaching English to immigrants and being responsible for refilling dispensers with plastic doggie bags at the local, leash free, dog run. Remember, I am now in Canada and nothing comes before filling in long forms.
I did this and went off to an interview at the symphony. I have heard nothing and fear I have been knocked back. I attended a series of tutorials on the art of teaching English. Pat came along to these as she was also interested. Her services have been snapped up, mine ignored. The dog duties merely required the completion of the form and I am happy to announce that I have secured the gig. Consequently, I have been supplied with a huge carton of plastic bags, a special key to unlock the dispensers and two smart canvas carriers for the doggie bags.
So from Head of Campus to O/C Dogshit in one graceful move. Perhaps a long life is required for one to find ones true place.
My golfer's elbow and footrot show no signs of abating and I am obliged to carry out my new duties with the aid of a stick and a theatrical limp. But, at least it is Spring.