A neutron goes into a bar and asks the bartender, "How much for a beer?"
The bartender replies, "For you, no charge."
church's internal politics.
After much sifting through memo slips and monitoring of internal emails it has been disclosed that Ratzinger was not the College of Cardinals' first
choice. That was, interestingly, Cardinal Hans Grapje.
Grapje was raised in a Catholic school in The Hague and, as a young man,
aspired to become a priest, but was drafted into the Army during WWII and
spent two years co-piloting B17s until his aircraft was shot down in 1943
and he lost his left arm.
Captain Grapje spent the rest of the war as a chaplain,
giving spiritual aid to soldiers, both Allied and enemy.
After the war, he became a priest, serving as a missionary in Africa,
piloting his own plane (in spite of his handicap) to villages across the
continent. In 1997, Father Grapje was serving in Zimbabwe when an explosion
in a silver mine caused a cave-in. Archbishop Grapje went down into the
mine to administer last rights to those too severely injured to move.
Another shaft collapsed, and he was buried for three days, suffering
multiple injuries, including the loss of his right eye. The high silver
content in the mine's air gave him purpura, a life-long condition
characterized by purplish skin blotches.
Although Cardinal Grapje devoted his life to the service of God as a
scholar, mentor, and holy man, church leaders felt that he should never
ascend to the Papacy.
They felt that the Church would never accept a one-eyed, one-armed, flying
purple Papal leader.