Feb 262017

Of course, anyone can chime in.

Here’s the ponderable: it is later in the 21st century. For a few decades, the Catholic population of Europe has been declining, while the overall population has grown substantially. However, the long trend of Europeans becoming less and less religious has reversed; Europeans are now very religious. It’s just not a religion friendly to Catholicism.

So for some years not only have the Catholic churches grown more and more empty, Catholics and the church are coming under increasing attacks, legal and physical. Most Catholic churches around Europe are in fact empty… and mostly empty burned out shells or converted to the replacement religion. So now Catholicism in Europe has contracted to within the walls of the Vatican. And it is clear that very soon it will be physically assaulted and destroyed.

That said, North and South America, Australia and the Pacific island areas remain more or less as they are now, demographically, just more so. There are somewhere in the area of a billion Catholics with a lot of money and resources. It is physically possible to send a flotilla of cargo ships to Italy and load up all the Vaticans stuff and transfer it all elsewhere.

So, the first question: under the immanent threat of destruction, does the Catholic Church pull up stakes and move elsewhere, or does it stay put and put its faith in divine intervention?

Second question: assuming it moves… where to? There are a lot of Catholics in the US and Canada, but a distinct minority of the overall populations. Plus, the idea of setting up a sovereign theocratic nation within US borders is probably not a politically floatable boat. On the other hand… from Mexico on south those lands are *loaded* with Catholics, the vast majority of whom would probably be thrilled to have their home town turned into Vatican 2.

And this being later in the 21st century, the possibility exists of the Catholics setting up Space Vatican, in orbit, on the Moon, Mars, asteroids, wherever. However, getting there would be fabulously expensive, difficult and risky.

My own suspicion is that Mexico and Brazil would be in the lead. But then Argentina seems to have the best climate, and the Caribbean has it’s charms. Cuba, perhaps.

So… any thoughts?

 Posted by at 6:11 pm
  • brightlight

    I doubt Mexico for a couple of reason. First, the sheer violence & corruption of the place these days.

    Second is the fact that there is still something of an ‘anti-church’ attitude in the government. After revolts and revolutions by 1940 the Church “legally had no corporate existence, no real estate, no schools, no monasteries or convents, no foreign priests, no right to defend itself publicly or in the courts, and no hope that its legal and actual situations would improve. Its clergy were forbidden to wear clerical garb, to vote, to celebrate public religious ceremonies, and to engage in politics,” When Pope John Paul II first visited Mexico the Church had to get special permission for him to wear his vestments.

    Most of the laws are gone but there is still a bit of stigma. I think it was the current president, or the previous one, who got criticism about attending a public memorial Mass.

    Cuba? Well the Church and the government are pretty tight there. The cardinal arch-bishop who just retired never had a bad word for Castro or a good one for the dissidents.

  • becida

    An interesting thought…
    Isn’t the Vatican an independent nation of sorts? Swiss mercenary guards & all that? Is Italy itself changing that much?
    I’d think they could defend themselves.

    • Scottlowther

      Remember, this hypothetical occurs later in the century, a couple generations from now. That may not sound like all that long, but history has shown it can take only a few years for, say, Tsarist Russia to turn into the communist USSR. With important demographic shifts, it’s easy to imagine a place like Europe going *very* different in a short period of time.

      • becida

        Ok, I understand. Things change… and are changing!

  • Herp McDerp

    You might also consider the Philippines. And by the time of your scenario, Ireland may not consider itself part of “Europe,” so don’t count them out

    But Pope Francis is from Buenos Aires, so I’d guess that Argentina has the best shot.

  • se jones

    Saint Petersburg or Moscow, Russia.

    The inevitable clash between Orthodox Russia and the Russian Muslim territories to the south, will lead to an intensification of Russian religiosity (and some smoking, radioactive holes in Chechnya).
    Physical attacks by sophisticated Muslim terrorist weapons on the Vatican will encourage what’s left of the Catholic Church’s leadership to form an alliance with the Orthodox Russia Church.

    There will be strong Catholic splinter group headquartered in Rio, but the New Vatican and Pope will reside in Russia.

  • Michel Van

    Best example about “Downfall” of Roman Catholic church is in Belgium
    since Middle Ages they were powerful rulers of this area, until French revolution and Napoleon,
    in 19 to 20 century the Belgium church try to regain control over Belgium.
    like join forces with fascist movement to form a clericalism dictator ship in 1930s,
    then came WW2 and Hitler way of fascism shocked the Belgians deeply.
    after ww2 things became worst for Belgium Roman Catholic church,
    They start to lose political control because Reforms in Belgium
    and Worst over own media the Catholic news papers, who receive the freedom of press
    in last 30 years the Belgium Roman Catholic church were devastated by scandals

    – Embezzlement of Church money and donations
    – Connection to Italian Mafia or Belgiums fascist underground
    – Helping former Nazi or criminals to escape justice
    – and finally massive child abuse

    Last one shocked the Belgium kingdom deeply
    Special as Belgium Roman Catholic church try everything to cover it up
    like case of Serial rapist priest Eric Dejaeger how the Church instead hand over to Police.
    Send him to Canada were he rape 32 children unlit Canadian Police arrested him.
    now the Belgium Roman Catholic church face accusations of
    THREE HUNDERD EIGHTY THOUSAND victims of rape by church
    The first trails were in favor of victims and archbishop of Belgium had to resign
    It will take years until All victims got proper trial and financial settlement
    in total around 3 to 30 billion euro in other words:
    The Belgium Roman Catholic church goes haywire

    oh By the way
    Africa is a bastion of Roman Catholic Church
    One nation in particular the Ivory Coast
    There stand BIGGER copy of the Basilica of Saint Peter in Vatican City (Rome)
    The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Yamoussoukro
    So if Roman Catholic Church have to take there money and run
    there would be good place to hide…

  • CaptainNed

    The planet’s name is Pacem, and Castel Sant’Angelo is disassembled brick by brick and transported there by farcaster. The Aenea Moment happens there.

  • Charles P. Kalina

    One model could be what happened to Orthodoxy after the fall of Constantinople. There’s still a Patriarch of Constantinople, and he’s considered first-among-equals. However, the various churches are autocephalous, usually along national lines, which often leads to getting mixed up with nationalist politics.

    By analogy: There might still be a nominal Pope, and he might still have the honorary title “Bishop of Rome” (even if he’s not based in Rome), but in practice there would be little or no central governing structure. There won’t be a new permanent seat of the church (like Vatican City) because nobody’s going to agree to let a rival country have it. However, some of the larger Catholic countries may try to become the superpower patron for other Catholic countries (like Russia with the Orthodox).

    Catholic churches in laic states, having no temporal power, will be particularly prone to schisms in the absence of central authority in Rome. In the United States, there would probably be several Catholic “denominations”, similar to the divisions in Protestant Christianity and Judaism.

    • Michael Jurkoic

      Speaking as a Catholic, it is not possible to have multiple Catholic ‘denominations’. By definition, a Catholic is someone who recognizes the authority of the pope in matters of doctrine. If segments of Catholics broke with the pope as in the eastern churches, they would not be Catholics as such.

      Just a point of technical clarification. Yours is an interesting analysis, and certainly far from the least likely possibility.

      • Charles P. Kalina

        Granted, “denominations” isn’t the right word. The Pope’s authority and the Magisterium of the church are, in principle, indivisible and independent of temporal events. But in practice, there’s always the possibility of error and schism. My speculation was that in this scenario, the Papacy would be weakened, and error and schism would become a lot more likely. So there could be various groups of churches claiming the “Catholic” label, some in communion with the Church as such, some not.

      • B-Sabre

        Right. And you guys haven’t had multiple popes in power at the same time…

        • Michael Jurkoic

          True, there have been times in history where multiple men laid claim to the papacy, but according to the Catholic Church’s rules of papal succession, there has only ever been one legitimate pope at a time.

          • B-Sabre

            I’m sure that’s what they say now that they’ve gotten things narrowed down to just the one – and have for a couple of centuries. But I could see a fate similar to what is going on in the Episcopal/Anglican churches, where various “blocs” are forming based on opposition or support for various policies that the governing body has implemented. I could see a similar split between “progressive” and “reactionary” branches of the Catholic church if the Pope get’s punted out of Rome.

          • Michael Jurkoic

            Such splits already exist in the present day, to an extent. Take as an example the right-wing Society of St. Pius X, which split from the pope following the 1962 liturgical reforms, and still does not recognize the legitimacy of the current pope.

            One could argue that a fragmentation would be beneficial, in a sense, because it would cull out those sections of the population that are nominally Catholic, but not really faithful to the Magisterium.

            In any case, there would only ever be one legitimate pope, and any Catholic that did not recognize his authority would be in rebellion against the Church. The only question then is how many Catholics remain faithful to the pope.

  • xvdougl

    Space Pope…good stuff!

  • Michael Jurkoic

    The situation proposed in this post would not be the first time the popes have had to abandon the Vatican due to unfavorable political conditions. In fact, during the latter half of the 13th century, the popes took up residence in a number of different cities around Europe to avoid political conflict within the city of Rome. Following that period, the papacy resided in Avignon for much of the 14th century. Notably, all the popes during that period retained the title ‘Bishop of Rome’.

    If the pope were forced to abandon the Vatican due to the current political situation, he would simply take up residence in another friendly country. He would most likely not try to establish another sovereign state in another part of the world, nor would their be any dispute within the Church as to his authority, at least if Church history is a good model.

    • se jones

      Very interesting, but in Scott’s scenario, Europe is out of contention.

      “Catholic churches around Europe are in fact empty… and mostly empty burned out shells or converted to the replacement religion”

      • Michael Jurkoic

        Nothing says the pope would have to stay in Europe. He could very easily take up residence in Latin America, or in the Philippines, or in Africa, as other commenters have suggested.

        • se jones

          Yeah I guess so. Scott paints a pretty dystopian view of future Europe, not without reasons.

          So…did you watch HBO’s “The Young Pope”?

          • Michael Jurkoic

            No, I haven’t. Why?

          • se jones

            There’s a couple of guys on this thread with some knowledge of Catholic history and the workings of the church. I just was wondering what people thought of that (very strange) show.

            Me? I don’t have the religion gene, but if I was to seek out Jesus, you better believe I’d be looking for him in the great state of Utah!
            For now, my home state of Colorado suits my personality. Colorado was asked to leave the Kansas Territory because we had all the drunken, whoring miners, and to the west, Deseret (Utah) got the Mormons. To the north, Wyoming got the cattle (and wind), to the south New Mexico got…well New Mexico is pretty darned awesome.
            Ain’t history grand?

          • Michael Jurkoic

            I’m a cradle Catholic, so my knowledge of the Church’s history and workings comes from living within its structure.

            From what I’ve heard of ‘The Young Pope’, it is an inaccurate and unflattering depiction of the Catholic clergy. Granted, it is a work of fiction, but it is liable to give Catholics a bad rap with people who know them only through the show.

            And I agree with you, history is grand. There are parts of it that seem like a supreme joke. I personally find it amusing that one of the main catalysts of the Protestant Reformation was an English king who wanted a divorce.

          • se jones

            I grew up in Southern Colorado surrounded by Italians and Mexicans, so I have some small insight, and respect for, the Catholic Church.

            The overall premise of “The Young Pope” is no doubt science fiction, but the story is much deeper and complex than just unflattering depictions of (some) flawed human beings. Ultimately the show is about hope and redemption, but you gotta stick it out to the end.
            Like all HBO productions, they spared no expense, the sets are magnificent, the costumes (made by the actual Vatican taylors) are 100% authentic, and the musical score is lush and well…surprising.

            Yup, history is grand. You can’t imagine where you’re going, without knowing where you’ve been. Which is – frightening when I see how pathetically lacking American education is in this regard.

            I spend a fair amount of time talking to young people from of my Mars Society soapbox, and I tell ya the youngins history knowledge is below pathetic, what little they do know is twisted beyond belief by political correctness and Orwellian eco “education”. How are you gonna tell kids where the Democrat party came from, when they don’t even know what century the Civil War occurred in, let alone who fought in it, how many died, and *why*.

            The kids do however, feel good about themselves and are secure in the knowledge that they are supremely smart and virtuous little snowflakes.

          • James

            Don’t worry about the past we will tell you were you are going.

          • Uxi

            What most miss from the story of Henry because it’s hard to put in a 2 hour movie is that he had to receive a dispensation from the Pope to get married to her to begin with… he’s married to her for 20 years… she has several children, one son lived until he was 6 months old, BEFORE he asks for that divorce (which was all but impossible because of the dispensation alone, to say nothing of everything else).

          • Scottlowther

            > Scott paints a pretty dystopian view of future Europe

            You should see Asia in the same timeframe. Shudder.

        • B-Sabre

          Hah. The pope takes up an offer from the Israelis and moves to Jerusalem….

          • Michael Jurkoic

            Such a move would be…interesting, to say the least. As if we don’t have enough people fighting over Jerusalem already.

          • B-Sabre

            One of the original proposals for establishing a Jewish homeland was to make Jerusalem an independent city, belonging to no-one and open to all. Tom Clancy expanded on this as part of peace agreement, with the twist that security in the newly-open city was provided by – wait for it – the Vatican Swiss Guards.
            Now add the two together….

          • Scottlowther

            An interesting notion, and perhaps worthy of examination in some other form… but in *this* future history, there is zero possibility of relocating to Jerusalem.

            OK, short form: the middle/later 21st century turns out a whole lot like the first half of the 20th century, just with lots more people and much higher technology. And thus… the Pan Asian Wars. In a relatively short period, Pakistan and India go at it. China, the Koreas and Japan go at it. The Arabs finally get their shit together and, like Nasser, go after Israel…. but this time, with a measure of success. And while the Israelies go out with a bang, in the end they do go out.

            Imagine an IDF strike-fighter pilot packing a pair of nuclear weapons under his wings looking at a mushroom cloud over his home town, where is family *used* to be. He watches his nation and his people being simply swept away. He has nowhere to go, no place left to defend. But he has a full tank of gas and those two nukes, and the range to cross the Arabian desert… When the Samson Option gets triggered, things will get interesting, real fast.

            So… you wind up with much of Asia being a charnel house. The sky is full of ash, smoke and a whole lot more carbon dioxide in very short order. Consequently, the climate goes insane, and agriculture collapses in northern Africa and southern Asia. The economies in those regions collapse, the cities are trashed and the rivers and landscapes poisoned. So… the middle east is not the place to stay. So you think the Syrian refugee issue is a problem *now?* Imagine all of northern Africa and the middle east looking to relocate. Where are they going to go? Not India or China… they’ll get *eaten* by the starving locals. Many will no doubt try for the Russian Empire, but the Russians have long expected just this sort of thing and they’re not having it. Sub Saharan Africa is hard to get to, full of poverty and having its own massive famine due to the climate gone goofy. Australia and the Americas are very hard to get to. But Europe? You can get there in a raft. You can get there in a car. You can walk there. Europe is in good shape, they’ve got money, they’re open and welcoming, anybody arguing against immigrants has been marginalized as a racist and/or fascist. The “traditional” European cultures have already been partially replaced by the “new” culture through decades of open borders, to the stage is already set. Europe gets an influx of half a billion or so who are pissed off not only because they’ve lost their homes, but because one of the pillars of their faith has just been turned into a vast green glass crater.

            There is no staying in Rome for the Catholic Church. And the can’t go to Jerusalem, because Jerusalem is no longer there.

          • B-Sabre

            It wouldn’t be the F-35 pilot I’d be worried about. It’d be the skipper of that Dolphin-class SSK with a load of 24 nuclear cruise missiles who just got a message from Haifa saying “By the time you read this, we will be gone.” He’s going to unload a measure of hurt all across the Mideast.

            So let me take a crack at this.

            The situation Scott has outlined has come to pass, so the Catholic church decides it’s time to pack their bags, and absquatulates to…say…Brazil. The Curia (the Vatican bureaucracy) is in a shambles, trying to find where they packed St. Peter’s keys and the Pope’s collection of hats, but things are looking up. Brazil is thriving, and has a strong population of the faithful. The Brazilian government even donates one of the palaces left over from the imperial period to the Pope as a new residence. Nice!

            Then the Pope dies. Not entirely unexpected – Pope’s don’t tend to be hardy young men, and this has been an experience to stress out even the toughest souls. So the Curia whistles up the Cardinals, who enter conclave to pick a new Il Papa.

            Problem is, the hierarchy of the Church has been splitting into two camps – let’s call them Reactionary and Progressive – for decades, and the last Pope had been a compromise candidate to try and paper over the differences, but the Absquatulation has ripped those differences wide open. After several stressful days, one of the Cardinals stands up, points across the room at the other party, and says…

            “This is all your fault!”

            And that’s the last rod in that particular reactor. Voices are raised, papers (and a few punches) are thrown, and the Reactionaries (flip a coin, it could be either side) storm out of the conclave. The NewVatican is in an uproar. Nobody knows what is going on for several hours, until somebody discovers that the Reactionaries have fled the compound – and they’ve taken the Papal Seal with them. Last reports have them in a chartered airliner heading east.

            Confusion reigns at the NewVatican, until the next day. The Reactionaries turn up in South Africa, with the Papal Seal, announcing that they have rescued the Church and the True Faithful from those that would lead them astray. And by the way, they took advantage of the plane ride over to elect a new pope, and here he is: Pope Julius IV.

            The Progressives hurriedly convene and elect one of theirs Pope (Adrian VII) and condemn the Reactionaries for daring to divide the Magestirium….and the fight is on.

          • Uxi

            That doesn’t really matter. Schism has happened before and will happen again at some point. When actually faced with it, will they split or will some change sides? There is a split there, and many of us Catholics recognize it. Right now it’s a sort of “cold schism.”

          • Uxi

            I would suspect Europe would see a nasty and rather bloody counter-reaction before it got to that point. France is already on edge and not even close to that. IOW, Italy might be gone, but I suspect Germany and France would be overthrown by rebellion and civil war by their own population and ultimately would be a massacre of African and Arabian immigrants.

          • Scottlowther

            Quite possible. However, indigenous Europeans have a really low birth rate, and I suspect the conversions *to* the new religious culture far outnumber the conversions *from* that religious culture. Put together with the refugee/immigration rate, it’s not unreasonable to suspect that local populations will have large fractions, a quarter or more, who are no longer culturally “French” or “German.” History has shown that when the local populations reach large fractions like this, they tend to get kinda… energetic.So, look back to the first half of the 20th century: what percentage of the German population was actually Nazi? What percent of Russia was actually Communist? In both cases, the percentage was *small,* but that percentage was willing and eager to enforce their will, while the great bulk of the population just wanted to get along. Those who *didn’t* want to g along with the new order tended to pull up stakes. That’s how the US ended up with Einstein.

            So, I can see a nation like France or Germany going either way: being pushed too far and going full-on old-school European and genociding the hell out of the Other, or through the boiling frog analogy simply changing slowly enough that by the time the local traditionalists want to rise up, they are effectively outnumbered.

  • Irek7

    Why are bother so much on Catholic Church in Europe?
    Are you Cristian Catholic or Protestant Christian or atheist or LGBTQWERTY?
    You can see demise of Protestant Church in Europe and the same process in USA.
    In Europe, we in Poland, very hard try to survive (really) deposit of faith. It is very hard work, because of unwilligess of generation of 1968 in other European coutries (depravation, sex with anybody, anarchism etc.-> they have alergy for any of ten amendments, especially 5, 6 and 7 ea. abortion, free sex and thief business).
    I think, Vatican will survive and maybe even create bigger own state, including Rome and neigbouring lands, as was done in the history.
    Pope is a (eccles) vicar of Rome. So, he can abandon Rome for some years. But I belive that he come back to his reign.
    So, I do not think that it is any reason to transfer Pope to other part of Earth.

    • Scottlowther

      > Why are bother so much on Catholic Church in Europe?

      Because it is the only major religion that has an important central base in Europe.

      Thnk of it this way. Assume, for the purposes of political neutrality, a half-kilometer asteroid suddenly falls out of the sky. If it hits Rome, the Catholic Church will be in trouble, though mostly from a political/bureaucratic sense. Theologically it won’t mean much. But assume instead it falls on Mecca and turns the place into a vast empty crater. This would have *theological* implications, since one of the five pillars of Islam, the Hajj, is now *impossible.* Now assume that it falls on Jerusalem. Muslims will be upset by this. Jews and Christians will also be upset, and there will be some theological implications regarding end times prophesy. But on the whole, even Judaism would survive the loss of Jerusalem.

      But consider the Lutherans or Methodists or Baptists. *Where* would you drop a single rock to screw up their religions? Seems to me that they are relatively diffuse compared to centralized Catholicism. And thus… the loss of Europe as a whole would be of greater concern in a certain sense to Catholicism than to Lutheranism

      > Are you Cristian Catholic or Protestant Christian or atheist or LGBTQWERTY?


      • Michael Jurkoic

        I’m not sure a space rock dropped on Rome would do as much damage to the Catholic Church as you seem to imply. I suspect such an event would be treated similarly to the death of a pope by more ordinary means; that is, the College of Cardinals would meet to elect a new pope, and life would go on. Sure, it would take some time for the new pope to reestablish all the offices and trappings surrounding his position, but the Catholic Church would still have a clear leader, and that’s what matters.

        The Church’s bureaucracy would likely become somewhat decentralized for a time, but it probably wouldn’t be the worst thing that could happen to the Church.

        • Scottlowther

          Rome getting cratered would trash the Catholic church’s top leadership and hierarchy (assuming they didn’t evacuate) and would cost the church a lot of money, records, art… *stuff.*If it happened suddenly, it would throw the Church into the same sort of chaos the US would be thrown into if the State of the Union address, with the entire US government in attendance, was similarly taken out. But it wouldn’t *end* the church.

          • Uxi

            Almost all of the Cardinals are spread throughout the globe in the cities with large Catholic populations (Cardinal Archbishop of New York, Paris, Mexico City, etc). The days of most of the Cardinals being from Italy are long over. Depending how bad the infrastructure is, it may take some time to get there but if they have to do on sails or oars, it would be done…. some of the American or Asian cardinals might not make it in time, though.

  • se jones

    Kinda cool the way everyone jumped into this.
    Almost like an enterprising blogger could throw out various future history ponderables, sit back ‘n collect the better responses, then incorporate those ideas in a book or something.

    • Michael Jurkoic

      Shh, you’ll uncovered his plot!

      • Giuseppe De Chiara

        Wow such a terrific question.
        I try to answer by my special position since I’m both Catholic (or better raised up with a Catholic culture since I’m not a follower) and Italian.
        One thing is Cristian religion (for who believes in it) and another thing is the Roman Catholic Church institution.
        The first one is (more or less) Universal, with a broad message that could potentially be applied everywere in the World and elsewere by Italy. This particular form of believe ended with Council of Nicea in IV century A.D. when Empereor Constatino decided to elect such religion as “a political affair”.
        The Roman Catholic Church is the direct sequel of Roman Empire, the Pope is pratically and elected Emperor by the Concistoro (Senate), as a sort of “primus inter pares”. The crucial vote of castity (therorical) is to avoid families of empereors like happened during the Roman Empire.
        Such political operation was highly successfull considering that survived for more than 1,600 years.
        In this form Roman Catholic Church is thightly connected with the town of Rome, is difficult to imagine (even in the worst scenario) that Pope would leave it, but not impossible in principle.
        During past age such event happened, e.g. when there was the so called “Avignone’s captivity”. The Pope was in France and not in Rome but it was a transient phase.
        Since the power of Roman Church is intimately connected with the myth of “West” (at least Rome was the “west” for Ancient Church) and since there was a couple of “New Rome” in the world (first London and after Washington D.C.) it is likely in “what if ” scenario that Catholich Roman Church would establish itself in U.S. rather than any other place in the World, and this for three main reasons:
        1) USA is the direct descendant of the Western culture
        2) USA has a lot of Catholic
        3) USA is a rich place.

        There are my two cents of thought about it.


        • Michael Jurkoic

          The one problem with that is the United States’ stance towards organized religion. Yes, the nation was founded largely on Christian principles, but in America’s early years, Catholics were openly disliked. Today, the nation as a whole has secularized itself to the degree that it is unlikely that the government would openly back any religion, much less one that contains the vestiges of the Roman Empire. Many would point to such a move as a violation of the First Amendment’s prohibition against government establishment of religion.

          To your other point, though, the Church hierarchy has long since abandoned all but a small remnant of its temporal power. It is a successor to Rome mainly in that Rome was the first nation to patronize the Catholic Church and adopt it as its official religion.

          I personally like the idea brought up elsewhere in this comment section of the Church moving to Africa should remaining in Rome become untenable. Sub-Saharan Africa contains some of the Church’s strongest elements today. It would put the pope in a precarious political situation, however, since I can’t say there are any really powerful nations in Africa to back him up against potential opposition from, say, Islamic nations or groups in the same parts of Africa.

    • Scottlowther

      Gotta be careful about that sort of thing. Frex: J Michael Straczinski used to hang out on the Babylon 5 Usenet discussion forum in the earliest days of the series. Would talk to people. Eventually he had to bail because people were guessing at future plot lines and plot points, and he didn’t want to be accused to stealing said plots. Some legalese behind that, as memory serves, with lawyers saying he could get sued.

      In this case, the idea does indeed apply to fiction. But it is way, way background. The fate of the Catholic Church and the Vatican are not planned on even being *mentioned* at any point, but I thought it was an interesting notion.

      • publiusr

        Perhaps the most effective world leader in terms of legacy-staying power was Philip IV of Spain.

        Remember, for the longest time the New World really meant South America–and he went for the long game–and it is working

        I actually see parts of Spain–Andalusia’s cities like Córdoba and Seville replacing Brussels/Rome as the seat of all things. With Islam’s march across Europe, and the New World owing more to Philip’s settlers–I can see a bridge from the old world to the new–with Andalusia playing part of that bridge in the longest term.

        The architecture will be amazing, at least.

        The real winner of this Game of Thrones–think House Martell.