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Journeys with the caterpillar: Travelling through the islands of Flores
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Monday, May 14, 2007

A letter to the pope

Dear Mr. Ratzinger,

Hope you are doing well. I heard that your trip to Latin America was a significant event in world history. Hope you enjoyed the food there and the adulation showered upon you by the local people. And by the way, the red dress with gold designs that you were wearing, was looking great on you. How much did you buy it for? And what a nice new name you have got, Benedict XXDCDVII or something, cool!!!

And I really must say that I liked all that you said there. You so rightly said, “Latin American Indians had been “silently longing” to become Christians when Spanish and Portuguese conquerors took over their native lands centuries ago.” So true you are, carrying on the illustrious tradition of your church in upholding truth, like when they dictated that the sun revolved around the earth. But you are right, Latin Americans were indeed longing to be Christians then. When the Inca king Atahualpa was asked by the Spaniards to convert to Christianity, he said that he was not interested since his own religion was good and his subjects were happy and that while Christ died, the Sun and Moon (divine to Incas) never die. Then your followers attacked and captured him and then threatened to execute him by burning him. Atahualpa was horrified since his inferior faith (according to your church), said that his soul would not be able to rest in peace if he was burned. So the Spaniards suggested that he convert to Christianity as a condition to his being killed by some other means. Indeed, Atahualpa had a longing to be a Christian at that point. How wonderfully true you are in your assessment. (Atahualpa was eventually converted and then killed by strangulation by the noble Spaniards)

You have cited Marxism and Globalization as the causes for many of Latin America’s ills. Indeed, while your Catholic whites and mestizos killed millions and gained control over all resources in Latin America during 500 years of their rule, suddenly these Marxists and Maoists (Shining Path, Sandinistas) came up to challenge them asking for distribution of the mestizo’s wealth to the poorer indigenous people. How atrocious of these communists? Many of these Marx inspired politicians like Lula are removing so many people out of poverty by giving them cash grants. Will these poor Indians believe in your god if they no longer have to pray to him to remove them from poverty day after day? Why didn’t your Saint XXX do a miracle to kill Marx instead of reportedly curing some obscure woman and protect the world from all its ills before he could write the Communist Manifesto? But you are no fool like that saint of yours, you know what miracles you need to do, don’t you?

And look at globalization, which you have rightly blamed for creating a false illusion of happiness. Even without taking part in the consumerist culture promoted by it, you have been able to live a happy life. You live in the Sistine chapel where every pee basin is probably lined with gold, you wear these beautiful clothes (your garment, if sold on ebay could feed many poor families for years), and have elegant food without having to bother about how to get the next meal. In fact your predecessor even decided to give up walking, always moving around in a sleek electric van. Didn’t you and he manage to live a happy life without taking part in Globalization? Can a poor disabled Latin American (probably also a believer in globalization) afford an electric van like John Paul? Anyone who sees the pictures I have put will know what life is best for him.

And yes, you are so dutiful in taking care of who is fornicating with whom and when. Your church has rightly identified pre-marital sex, abortion, wearing condom during fornication, and gay-lesbian relationships as the biggest problems facing the world. I fully agree with you and your church that once these are solved or rather banned, Israel will give back land to Palestinians, India will make peace with Pakistan, Osama and Joseph Kony will surrender, and 25% of the global population who remain below poverty line will come out of it instantly. And when has anti-retroviral drugs (for HIV patients) had as much potency as prayers every Sunday? By threatening to excommunicate those Mexican clerics who have condoned abortion, you have given the right warning. But then why did Vatican have to reverse your statement? Sorry, Sorry, no uncomfortable questions for you. And you are so right in opposing abortions. How will you add to your list of Catholics otherwise?

My dear Mr. Ratzinger, you and your church are such a wonderful gift to our world. And look at this world, some of them hit back at anything you say like they did when you brilliantly said that Islam inherently condones violence. Why do they misinterpret everything you say? Why don’t they take the simple hint that they should only analyze your comments four or five weeks after you have spoken (or may be a process similar to the way you evaluate miracles for your saints)? If they bother you much, ask all the poor Catholics to donate money so that you can form an army and conduct something like the Iberian inquisition against the skeptics. If they ask you difficult questions like why are so many devout Catholics in India, Africa and Latin America still so miserably poor, ask them to ignore empirical data, like your church did when they so correctly persecuted Galileo.

These secularists, they never care that even at this age you have to routinely monitor who is fornicating with whom and where? They don’t bother about your health. But I do, so please take my advice and go back to your Vatican, Mr. Ratzinger, and take some well deserved rest. Charge $2 more from the tourists on top of the $30 they pay to visit your houses in the Vatican, and have some great meals and wear a light cotton shirt during this summer (Linen is also back in fashion). Please, Mr. Ratzinger, the world has benefited immensely from your wisdom. Now, please take some rest.

Yours truly,

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