Instead of sleeping in after a late night, I’m up at the usual time because my brain and body are used to getting up at the crack of summer dawn (even in winter) to wax poetic (or prosaic) on the stories and tales from the interwebs. Like yesterday’s news about the Pope having to give up his organ donor card:
Mgr Gaenswein did not specify why the Pope is not able to donate his organs. But Archbishop Zymunt Zimowski, a member of the Vatican health council, said it was because the body of the Pope effectively belonged to the entire Catholic Church. “It’s understandable that the body of the Pontiff should rest intact because, in his role as successor to Saint Paul and universal pastor of the Catholic Church, he belongs entirely to the Church in spirit and body,” he told La Repubblica.
The Independent article goes on to state facts involving earlier pontiffs who were pulled apart like Egyptian mummies for preservation and one other who, by accident of bad scientific experimentation, putrefied and turned green. So clearly, they just make this shit up as they go.
There is no absolute age limit for organ donation. In general, organs may be donated from someone as young as a newborn or those whose age is below 75. As for certain types of tissue donation, the age limit is below 80 for cornea and between 16 and 60 for long bones. There is no age limit for donation of skin.
As his age exempts him from most donations anyway, this topic is somewhat moot. The skin thing is interesting; most people forget skin counts as an organ. So, if he’s off the list of skin donating on account of his whole body being holy, this brings up some other questions:
Does the man have someone specially assigned to hold the loofah, collect his dandruff, and otherwise sort through the vacuum cleaner bag to find all those dropped skin cells and put them in a special holy jar somewhere?
What if the man requires a new organ at some point? Would the new ones have to be specially blessed before they could be inserted to make sure they were holy enough to replace the originals?
Ordinary organs that don’t get used upon removal constitute a biohazard and will be burned to ash. Would they burn the Pope’s leftovers up like anyone else’s, or would they get preserved and saved in a jar somewhere a la earlier pontiffs?
What about gall stones or kidney stones? His bodily organs create the things. Would they also be holy? Why could those be removed?
Does he still have his appendix? If he got the thing out long before he was Pope, it’s still a piece of his body and its ashes (assuming it would have been burned like anything else removed) would have to be holy now, too, since the rest of him is. Would anyone be assigned to go find those and make sure they got interred with him? Can’t have pieces of holy Pope floating around like dust, now, can they? Does someone else have the job of collecting his hair and nail clippings so no holy piece of him is chucked out like rubbish every day?
What an interesting job his staff must have…