Warning: If you are easily offended, please stop reading now. Otherwise, keep an open mind. It was not intended to offend anybody.
I wrote this “article” back in April 2005 when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope Benedict XVI. The Joseph Ruspin mentioned in the article lives in the same kampung as me, a Catholic but is not known to be much of a churchgoer. In fact, he is more into “worldly” things (I’ll leave you to interpret the meaning of that yourself). Another person mentioned, Benedict Andsunal, is an acquaintance.
This is a picture of him receiving First Holy Communion, December 1980. I can’t remember seeing him ever entering a church since then.
Joseph Ruspin, 38 created history by being the first ever Asian Pope. Even more shockingly, he achieved the unprecedented feat of a non-priest, and an inactive church goer at that, to bypass even the favoured Cardinal Roberto Vidal of the Phillippines, let alone Bishop John Lee of the diocese of Kota Kinabalu.
Sources within the Vatican said that due to an administrative error blamed on a mentally unstable clerk at the Holy See, Joseph Ratzinger’s name was mistyped twice into the Vatican’s database, first as Joseph Ratruspin, then Joseph Ruspin. Adding to the confusion, due to the similarity of their names, not mentioning their appearances
(although why the age difference did not make them realise their mistake is still a mystery), the ever-effective machinery at the Vatican rushed to send delegates to the hitherto obscure and sleepy Kampung Kionsom Baru to locate Mr Ratruspin, to the bemusement of the locals.
Trusted insiders told that Mr Ratruspin was indulging in his usual habit of participating in a drinking session, and that he was caught by surprise and immediately whisked off to a waiting Vatican-sanctioned helicopter on a connecting flight to Rome. His pleas for mercy went unheeded.
Back at the secret conclave, the obviously unimpressed Cardinal Bishop Joseph Ratzinger asked him immediately on his preferred papal name, upon which Mr Ratruspin blurted out: “apa bah kau cakap ini?” whom even the fluent-in-10-languages Cardinal could not understand. After frantic discussions among themselves, and frantic calls to the
Malaysian Embassy in Rome, they managed to get an interpreter rushed over. After thinking for a good while, Mr Ratruspin created another historic moment when he uttered a name which has never been used as a papal name, Pope Benedict Andsunal I.
Needless to say, the mentally unstable employee was summarily sacked, Pope Benedict Andsunal I’s reign terminated after a mere few minutes, and the rightful Pope Benedict XVI was installed. All these went unnoticed by the 1.1 billion faithful which surely must have stared in disbelief at the sight of the unknown Pope appearing at the Vatican
Definitely not by the AFP :-)