Vatican: Bad Romance

Thanks, Irish Times, for answering a bewildering question. How did the Vatican get a seat amongst the nations of the world? “It just did.” OK, so how do they retain their status? The whole of the situation is mind-boggling: how does an organization that boldly discriminates against half of humanity and has an outsize influence on human matters everywhere and non-profit status and crazy sovereignty that they clearly don’t deserve keep it going? They just do.

Meanwhile, reports are coming in of Pope Francis’s efforts to shake up the Holy See. Apparently he is tired of “priest-wheeler-dealers” and “priest-tycoons.” What if reforms went even further? What if the Vatican, en masse, moved into burlap robes and tire sandals and little chapels made out of pallets? What if they did sell all the treasure, much to the delight of Internet commenters web-wide? What if they abandoned the outlandish garb and pageants and sexism and control issues and got back to basics—little bands of possession-free believers who devote themselves to caring for the downtrodden and sowing seeds of peace and justice?

That would be great! But, as a member of two Vatican fandoms, I would like to request that maybe Archbishop Gänswein and Cardinal Burke could maintain a wee castle where they preserve a tiny, ornate yet powerless Vatican just for, you know, history’s sake.

Mary Valle lives in Baltimore and is the author of Cancer Doesn't Give a Shit About Your Stupid Attitude: Reflections on Cancer and Catholicism. She blogs on KtB as The Communicant. For more Mary, check out her blog or follow her on Twitter.