In “Seventh Episode” of “The Young Pope,” Voiello says mournfully,
It’s now harder to become a priest than it is to become an astronaut.
To which I say (reacting from the gut) “Well, shouldn’t it be?”
Say you’re ‘called’ to be an Astronaut. What does this require? Years of study, dedication to a range of higher sciences, physical acumen, a certain moral and ethical standard, and a dedication of your life to a certain cause, beyond the measure of mere service or career. It’s within reach, certainly, if you really really want it. And if you become an astronaut, what’s the worst you can do to harm another person? Crash the space shuttle?
Say you’re ‘called’ to be a priest. What does this require? Years of study, dedication to a range of arcane texts and protocols, spiritual acumen, a certain moral and ethical standard, and a dedication of your life to a certain cause, beyond the measure of mere service or career. This, too, is certainly within reach, if you really, really want it. And if you become a priest, what’s the worst you can do to harm another person?
And here’s where things diverge. The answer to that question, for a priest, is immeasurable – profound. It’s on the nub of this question where the church hangs its’ pointy red hat. It’s where old testament and new testament cross bloody paths. It’s where everything is at stake, since as a priest, you voluntarily assume responsibility for the ‘salvation’ of other human beings, if you truly believe in such a thing. And if you do not, if you do not believe in an end to suffering as a means to enlightenment, then you probably should find another calling. Maybe be an astronaut, say.
As a corollary, if you haven’t already watched Horace and Pete, please put that on your to-do list. I’d sit here and write a thousand words about how these two ideas share blood, but it’s better if you just go see for yourself.
“But could you just let me have this right now? Just a little peace?”
And finally, why is the main priest in Young Pope named after pasta?