On April 27th, next year, Pope Francis 1 will canonize two past popes, John XX111 and John Paul II, in the biggest Twofer in the history of the church. To achieve that aim, they have to bend the rules ever so slightly.
Except in the case of martyrdom, Vatican rules require one miracle for a candidate’s beatification and a second for his or her canonization, as confirmation that the candidate really is in Heaven with God.
However, Pope Francis 1 has decided to set aside this rule in the case of John XX111, whose first and only miracle, so far, was healing a woman who was “ailing.” There’s a lot of that about.
I’d imagine Pope Francis 1 would prefer if Pope One-Short John XX111 could come up with a second miracle before next April to avoid embarrassment and eliminate the suspicion of a ready-up.
Another man in search of a miracle is the newly appointed, interim, Irish football manager, Noel King. As a player/manager in the old League of Ireland, Noel King gained a lot of experience moving around and he won his coaching badge as far back as 1978. In the year 2000, King finally got an international break when he was appointed the manager of Ireland’s Womens’ International team. In 2010, under King’s guidance, the women’s under-17 team finished runners up at the 2010 EUFA Championship and the team also qualified for the 2010 World Cup.
After his success with the Irish women’s squads, in July 2010, King was appointed the Head Coach of the Irish Under 21s and on 23 September 2013, King was named as interim Irish Senior manager, following the resignation of Giovanni Trapattoni, a man who often behaved as though he was Pope, Giovanni 1.
Pope One-Short John XX111, was a likeable pope, who unfortunately introduced the vernacular into the church and ruined Mass for everybody. Mass was grand while it was in Latin and you could pursue your own thoughts, while the priest wittered on in Latin, up on the altar. Worst of all, this dramatic change to mass in English opened the door to that most heinous of hybrids, the Folk Mass, which is never less than a parody of a Peter, Paul and Mary concert.
But let us forgive him. According to Pope Francis 1, Pope One-Short John XX111 was a bit of a culchie.
“Blessed John was a bit of a country priest,” said Pope Francis 1, “a priest who loves each of the faithful and knows how to care for them. He did this as a nuncio as well. He was holy, patient, had a good sense of humor and, especially by calling the Second Vatican Council, was a man of courage. He was a man who let himself be guided by the Lord.”
Meanwhile, back in the ungodly confines of the FAI, supremo John Delany, has ruled out Noel King as a candidate for the full time job of Irish manager. But King has some important admirers.
Veteran soccer writer Paul Hyland says, ”he has threaded his way carefully through the peculiar difficulties, which Irish football presents to anyone who wants to make a living out of the game here and he emerged as a man of some substance and with his ambition hunger and effervescent enthusiasm for everything to with the game, intact.”
Shrewdly, King got cracking as soon as he was appointed interim manager and immediately, rounded up all the victim’s of Pope Giovanni’s purple reign. Andy Reid, Darren Gibson, Kevin Doyle, Anthony Stokes, Wes Hoolahan, were all name-checked, when King announced his squad and he even made a friendly call to the recalcitrant Stephen Ireland.
Ireland’s two remaining games in the World Cup qualifiers are against Germany and Kazakhstan. We beat Kakahstan 2-1, but the Germans humiliated us, thrashing us 6-1 on home ground. Revenge is called for and if Noel King could reverse that result, it would be nothing short of a miracle, which is exactly what Pope One-Short John XX111 needs.
For a while I deluded myself that Trapattoni might be the man to make contact with the Vatican on King’s behalf, suggesting a little “freebie,” in return for the handsome pay-off he got from the FAI. Then I spotted a picture of Andy Reid with his guitar and my resolve shriveled on the vine.
But there must be a way. Pope Francis 1 looks like a man who does text and I bet Marty Morissey has his mobile number. If we can get the Vatican to call for prayers for the Rep.of Ireland a week from now, the power of prayer in the name of Pope One-Short John XX111, may spur us on to previously unattained heights and Pope Francis1 can at last claim a second miracle for Pope John XX111, the curing of a football team that is “ailing.”
And if by a further miracle, Noel King gets the job as Irish manager, the Vatican will have a spare miracle in their back pocket for the next time they are stuck..Article Written by Shay Healy First Published in The Irish Daily Mail, Saturday 5th Oct 2013 Shay Healy’s latest eBook ‘The Danny Boy Triangle’ is Out Now on Kindle 2.99 Free Kindle Reader – download app