The Vatican is big business.
Also, it's embedded with global webs of influence and power.
It can't afford for one man to bring all that down.
Clearly, Francis has to go.
Just like the term "impeachment" has become attached to Donald Trump, "stepping down" has become sticky with the pope.
If the Roman Catholic Church were an ordinary business organization, like IBM, there would be an orderly somewhat transparent process to get the guy out of the job and packed off into a low profile.
In the 1990s, that was how IBM disposed of chief executive officer John Akers. And the corporation lived happily ever after for decades - until it bumped up against Google and Amazon.
But the Roman Catholic Church is not an ordinary organization. Because of its embedded mysticism it can proceed under layers and layers of intrigue.
Patterson can come up with clever perhaps even partly believable cover stories for firing Francis.
That's the easy part.
Not so easy is disappearing the man afterward. He's become a total branding liability to the Roman Catholic Church. No, he can't be given a nicely decorated office in the Vatican and a designer motorcar.
Patterson might suggest a kidnapping. You know, an isolated couple from Ireland with a long-festering beef against Catholicism. Yeah, you get it.
Or, there can be one of those exotic drugs which, when entering the body without a puncture wound, can enact what would produce a COD of natural causes.
There are also psychiatric facilities, put to use in the same way they are in nations such as Russia and China.
Later, of course, the Patterson enterprise would put together a novel about the global religious leader who became bad for business.
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