The Catholic Church is in a crisis that rivals the time when Pope Paul VI died in 1978 and his successor, Pope John Paul I died after only thirty-four days in office.
Back then, the rumors were rife that the new Pope had been poisoned, or somehow assassinated. Today, there are rumors of a homosexual cabal, blackmail and financial skullduggery added to fact of child sexual abuse throughout the United States and Europe. What a mess for the 1.2 billion Catholics in the world. To say that Pope Benedict XVI was a bad manager is to make an understatement of world-class proportions. Read more >>
In fact, since the cartoon was published the crisis has deepened within the Catholic church. Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, acknowledged yesterday (Sunday) that he had been guilty of sexual misconduct, a week after he announced his resignation and said he would not attend the conclave to choose the next pope. Full story >>
1. In Catholic tradition, the election of a new pope is signaled to the masses by sending white smoke up the Vatican chimney. If a new Pope is not elected, black smoke is used. This worked well until the 1958 papal election sent a cloud of grayish smoke up the chimney, leaving the crowd in the dark about the status of the election. Since then, they've used smoke bombs and army flares to try and produce a more distinguishable color. Unfortunately, this often left hazardous smoke inside the room as well. [Source: HowStuffWorks]
2. SOS is the commonly used description for the international Morse code distress signal (· · · — — — · · ·). This distress signal was first adopted by the German government in radio regulations effective April 1, 1905 [...] SOS remained the maritime radio distress signal until 1999, when it was replaced by the Global Maritime Distress Safety System. [...] SOS is still recognized as a visual distress signal. In popular usage, SOS became associated with such phrases as "save our ship", "save our souls" and "send out succour". These may be regarded as mnemonics, but SOS does not stand for anything and is not an abbreviation, acronym or initialism. [Source: Wikipedia]