Wednesday, May 25, 2005


In a few days they're auctioning off the Pope John Paul's old car. Nope, not the Popemobile, so recognizable from the past pontiff's globetrotting. His car. You know, his drive before being Pope.

A 1975 Ford Escort GL with over 60,000 miles personally logged by JPII will be sold to the highest bidder in Vegas next weekend (3-4 June). The Pope had sold the car to a US based auction house in 1996 and used the money for Catholic charities. The present owner has debts to pay and hopes to get $5m.

It appears that Josef Ratzinger's old wheels (1999 Volkswagon Golf) went for a measley $240g a few months ago.

How long before they sell indulgences on EBay?

Still dwelling on the topic of my last post, I did a quick search to see if there are any official fatwas condemning suicide bombings by jihadists, as T.L.Friedman called for in his op eds last week.

There is at least one (I'll keep looking), and very recent. Fifty-three Pakistani clerics signed a fatwa that rejects the killing of innocents, for whatever reason, as against the spirit of Islam. The fatwa was applauded only days ago by the Catholic bishop of Lahore.

Although it's unlikely that this decree in itself will reduce terrorists attacks in Iraq or elsewhere, it is a glimmer of hope on an issue, up to now, virtually hopeless.