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The News You May Have Missed

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By Michael S. Rose | September 2005
Michael S. Rose is Web Editor of New Oxford Review

Secondhand Pope

David Bawden, 45, has never been ordained a priest and hasn’t been to Mass since 1989. But that hasn’t stopped him from claiming the title of Pope, taking the name Michael in 1990, when he was elected by six people, including his mother and father. He has maintained his “Vatican in Exile” at his family’s consignment shop in Delia, Kansas, earning him the nickname “Secondhand Pope.” But, according to The Wichita Eagle (May 30), the Rev. Lucian Pulvermacher, a former Capuchin priest from Spokane, Washington, contests the validity of the election that elevated Bawden to Pope Michael. Pulvermacher, you see, claims he was elected Pope Pius XIII in 1998. “Bawden was ‘elected’ pope by his parents and a lady friend,” said one of Pius XIII’s electors. “Anyone with an ounce of common sense would see such as a flawed election.”

Battle of the Bulge

Besides terrorists, germ warfare, and nuclear weapons, U.S. military officials increasingly worry about a different kind of threat: troops too fat to fight. According to a July 5 report on MSNBC, thousands of soldiers in all branches of the military are battling the bulge, and thousands more have been booted for obesity in recent years. The bigger worry, however, is about those not yet in uniform. Two out of ten men and four out of ten women of recruiting age weigh too much to be eligible for military service. “This is quickly becoming a national security issue for us,” said Col. Gaston Bathalon. Unless weight rules are relaxed, “we’re going to have a hard time fielding an army.”

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