Eternal Affairs

What we sent abroad last month was nowhere welcome. Obama did not like Merkel, the English did not like the bomb parcel from Yemen, arriving via Cologne, and the Spanish did not like my Pope. I say, ‘My Pope,’ because he was my local bishop back in the 70’s.

Some Spanish felt that he should pay for his own security rather than spending €3b of taxpayer’s money. It is worth considering, seeing as it was a ‘private’ visit.

But this would surely have consequences elsewhere, e.g. could football fans pay for the policing of their games, too? Worth considering! Of course, the Pope also was bashed again because of the paedophile scandal in the Catholic Church. Quite right to raise this subject loudly, but is it going far enough? After all, you couldn’t expect an elephant hiding under the daisies. Where is a better place for a paedophile to hide than under the cloak of celibacy?

The real scandal is that back then, when it all happened, nobody would ever have listened to a child anyway and hardly to a woman; and a man had to be tough; and sex was something filthy. That’s how it was and the Church was a pillar in that twisted system.

Worst of all is, the Catholic Church, as an institution, still has not moved forward even an inch – no wonder that people are running away.

Five hundred years ago, a lot of people were unhappy with the Pope, too. At least the resulting Protestant Church – which hasn’t exactly covered itself with glory either – is up-to-date with the 21st Century. Last month, the successor of the first female leader of the German Protestant Church was elected. Later she resigned because of drink-driving. A loss because neither our politicians nor the Pope will learn from her example – demonstrating how to take responsibility for ones actions. But it looks like the new head of the Protestant Church will continue to recognise that Mankind also has a life before death.

What came from abroad was not welcome in Germany, either. But at least it was our own rubbish. I talk about the transport of our reprocessed atomic waste from a French uranium mill to Lower Saxony. A further trainload arrived at Gorleben. Our governments of past and present would like to use this disused salt mine as final burial site and protests have been going on for decades.

Of course nobody wants a nuclear-waste burial site next to their own front door, particularly when the last one turned out to be unsafe after already two decades.

This year protests have been fiercer than usually, because the Government extended the licences of the nuclear power plants, which were due to be shut down within a few years.

But how do you define a final, atomic-waste burial site? Thousands of generations will enjoy our atomic waste – the half-life of Plutonium is 24,000 years, that means that after this time half of it is left over, after a further 24,000 years half of the remaining one, and so on. How the Earth and the salt mine will look like in 24,000 or 48,000 years remains the closed secret of our politicians and they won’t tell us.

Neither can the left-wing opposition tell us, why atomic waste destined for Russia should remain in Germany. To argue that it will be safer to store it in Germany definitely leaves 23,900 years out of consideration, unless they have a fortune-teller.

Mankind has just not learnt the lesson yet, despite Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” from 1827: “Stop! Standstill! Heed my will! I’ve enough of the stuff! I’ve forgotten – woe is me! What the magic word may be.”

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