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Sunday March 25th 2012    Tim Candler

        When a particular mind hears the Pope of Rome will be visiting Cuba, and it's first response is to ask whether Fidel Castro is still alive, then it's reasonable to bring the word decrepit into the forefront of that particular mind.  Pretty certain I am almost at the sharp end of the decrepit point, because I cannot remember whether Fidel Castro is alive, but I can remember that Castro was excommunicated by one of the Pope John's in 1962.

       In that year, I was at a boarding school, somewhere amongst the English, where prayers were said  and praise given to the lord at least four times day, and many more times on Sundays.  Prayers and giving praise was serious business with no joy attached to them at all.  An agony of monotone and duty and solemn-ness.   Being young and foreign and still anxious to raid cattle from the Karamojong, I remember suggesting to a school master that I too might be excommunicated. Nor was I remotely interested in heaven, and hell still does sound like more fun.

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