|Stephen the Uninvested|
Y'all are probably aware that His Holiness Benedict XVI handed in his retirement papers, snapping a six century streak of dying in office. The Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has the latest line on the all things papal -- in addition to betting on a specific candidate, one can wager on age, national origin, length of the conclave, number of ballots required ut habeamus papam, and of course the name the new pope will take. As I write this, Peter is an even money bet and Damian is 200:1. Hilarius is not even on this list, a fact on which you and I could capitalize. But first...
|Pope Hilarius -- could be more cheery|
One might not associate the term bathhouse with virtue, but if the Pope builds it, perhaps it is really about public health. Hilarius ordered two new bathhouses to be constructed which would have been an important contribution to slowing the urban decay in fifth century Rome. He also commissioned the construction of a few churches, chapels, and oratories, including one to Saint John the Apostle, to whom he attributed his escape from the Robber Council. And lest you think he was all about the praying and bathing, he also built a couple of libraries.
|Bathhouses, huh? A business plan for tomorrow.|
Second, Hilarius was a solid pope, and no one else has come along to sully the name. Sure, you could go with Leo, but there were good and bad Leos. Same is probably true of John, Paul, Gregory, Urban, and maybe even Pius. I was surprised to see the odds on Julius (50:1) and Alexander (40:1) [as of this writing] since I would have thought they'd both be off the list by associations with prior popes. Even more surprising, there are no odds on Hilarius. I should probably lay money now; I could get 1000:1.
|"Pax Christi" "Amen" "Hail Mary" and such|
|Beloved witness of faith|
|Pope Lando... A New Hope for Catholicism|
If that doesn't suit you, let's take another look at Hilarius.