Just Stopping By…

Rob Meltzer

Since no one else wants to comment about the Pope, I thought I’d just drop in for a moment for some retrospection about Benedict XVI, the Nazi Pope, who is going into retirement.  Back in 1979, I learned that Joseph Ratzinger and I had something weird in common (other then our people being in camp together)– a devotion to the Hermann Hesse novel, the Glass Bead Game. I had first read the book that year, and one of the masters at my college prep school happened to mention the influence that the book had over a certain percentage of German Catholics. I loved the book, and I spent about 18 months trying to self-teach myself German so that I could read it in the original. I re-read the book regularly, but I forgot that the future Pope had such a fascination until 2005, when he picked the name Benedict. In the Glass Bead Game, one of the most significant characters is a Benedictine priest. When the name was selected, many people speculated why the new pontiff selected that name, but few except for Hesse fans seemed to realize the connection between the new Pope and Hesse’s book.  I’m convinced when the proper history of this pope is written, it will have to be written in conjunction with a close study of the Glass Bead Game and its influences on the pontificate. I only mention this because in the Glass Bead Game the Game Master, also named Joseph, who is essentially the Pope of the Glass Bead Game Order, resigns his pontificate to go walk in the woods. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that this Pope is resigning. What is surprising is how few people seem to know how influenced this pope was by Hesse, and how much that influence was likely to impact the ending of this pontificate. Shane out.