man, aspired to become a priest, but was drafted into the Army during WWII
and spent two years co-piloting B17s until his aircraft was shot down in
1943 and he lost his left arm. Captain Grapje spent the rest of the war as a
chaplain, giving spiritual aid to soldiers, both Allied and enemy.
After the war, he became a priest, serving as a missionary in Africa,
piloting his own plane (in spite of his handicap) to villages across the
In 1997, Father Grapje was serving in Zimbabwe when an explosion in a silver
mine caused a cave-in. Grapje went down into the mine to administer last
rights to those too severely injured to move. Another shaft collapsed, and
he was buried for three days, suffering multiple injuries, including the
loss of his right eye. The high silver content in the mine's air gave him
purpura, a life-long condition characterized by purplish skin blotches.
Grapje is now a cardinal, having devoted his life to the service of God as a
scholar, mentor and holy man. However, commentators and analysts completely
discounted him in the recent conclave.
The Church is simply not ready for a one-eyed, one-armed, flying purple