I heard there was a vacancy in Rome, so I have decided to throw my mitre into the ring to be the new pope. I figure by the time the Cardinals get around sending out their smoke signals I could already be planning Vatican III!
There are a handful of cardinals who are rumored to be in the running, though no clear leader has emerged. I’m figuring to get the endorsement of the Arizona Cardinals football team (or the logo anyway), who at least outweigh the poseurs assembling in Rome.
When not in the conclave in the Sistine Chapel, these scaredy cat cardinals are staying closely guarded in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, a Vatican residence. They are banned from contact outside the conclave, including the use of cell phones, social media and the Internet. What’s the big deal?
I, on the other hand, have no such restrictions.
There’s a new sheriff in town
As the new pope, I’m fixin’ to make several key changes:
1. Optional celibacy and marriage allowed
2. Female priests allowed
3. Contraception allowed
4. Papal infallibility changed from “matters of faith and morals when speaking ex cathedra” to “matters of grammar and punctuation when speaking ex couchus”
5. No more “insta-saints” ─ that is, beatification and/or sainthood without proper waiting period, a la fast-tracking of Mother Teresa.
6. No more pedophilia and molestations. This time we’re not kidding around.
8. No more weekly confessions; instead we’ll have an annual “Olly Olly Oxen Free”.
9. Heaven is now the default option. In other words, you automatically go to heaven unless you opt-out in favor of your own version of paradise or nirvana. This overcomes a major theological dilemma of the ages: What to do with all the pagan babies, rain-forest-dwelling tribespeople, Eskimos, aborigines and other inadvertently unsaved innocents.*
In other business, we’ll be declaring a moratorium on certain annoying words and phrases:
1. “sequester” or “sequestration” (except for when I retreat to Castle Gandalf, formerly known as Castle Gandolfo)
2. “reached out to” when “contacted” or “called him” will do
3. “How’s everything tasting?” at restaurants (would you say, “How’s that Pepsi/Sprite/bottle of wine tasting?”)
4. …and the excessively good buddyish “You have a good day now!”
New papal name
Obviously the choice of a papal name is key to the success of His Vicarness. Therefore, I put the question to a key community of the faithful on the official Holy Roman website, “Faciem Libro,” with these results (in no particular order):
1) Veedsus I
2) Nebuchadnezzar III
3) Beelezebub II
4) Judas D’Scaredycat
5) Barabbas II (a prominent misunderstood social vigilante of the 1st century)
6) Papa Veedgilus I
7) Pope Vinediddler
10) Popee McPoperton
11) Popus D’Opus
12) Pope Victor Veedsus V (has the advantage of a snappy “VVV”)
13) Pope Moishe or Pope Moses (we’d like to see the Cardies turn down such a distinguished Old School name!)
Judging by some of the silly names, apparently many of the FaciemLibro folks were too busy playing “Angry Cardinals” and “Farm Villa” to take this seriously. However, one name has emerged that seems to be favored by all constituencies:
Has kind of a nice Italian feel to it, eh?
*In the old days, of course, we had Limbo and Purgatory to play with but they were, at best, theological stopgap measures, pretty much ruined by indulgence-selling and doctrinal disputes, not to mention no one really knew what kind of lifestyle was involved. Nevertheless. as my brother-in-law remarked, “But won’t this let evil persons in?” To this we say, “Wouldn’t it better to let an evil man in than keep an innocent babe out?” Moreover, we suspect that certain naughty types might prefer to go downstairs rather than be bored to tears in an eternal milk-bath existence with the likes of Ghandi and Mother Teresa. Indeed, we’re not naming any names, but certain people might like to be with their relatives.
“Faciem Libro” (snicker) sometimes I just kill myself.