If you’re a lapsed Catholic who recently got dragged into Mass, you probably got thrown for a loop when you were the only one in the pew to say, “And also with you,” to your priest. Apparently, someone changed the response to “And with your spirit,” which makes no damn sense except as a gotcha. (John Mulaney knows what’s up … now.)
Instead of “Lead us not into temptation,” Pope Francis believes that “do not let us enter into temptation” is a better translation because apparently god does not present temptations. This is, we will remind everyone, the same god who gave us bacon, beer and motorcycle ramps.
Of course, the real hazard here isn’t just tricking Christmas-and-Easter Catholics. It’s the English language. The Pope speaks Spanish and got the new wording from France — romance countries where pretty much every sentence ends with similar sounds. (This is why Latin Music has its own Grammy’s — too easy to qualify.) So, while we’re certain the new words maintain a similar cadence in romance languages, in English, we just 11 pounds of holiness into an eight pound censer: 11 syllables into an eight syllable line.
But, if you end up tripping up communal prayer, at least take solace in knowing that some sinner is taking forever working through his penance after confession this week.
It’s been a while since The Guys heard from Pope Francis I, so we sent the Harlem Globetrotters over to check on America’s favorite Catholic-who-didn’t-host-The-Colbert-Report.
Frank’s OK, folks! More than OK, actually. He’s now an honorary member of the Globetrotters, which — aside from being the voice of God on Earth — is the greatest distinction a man of his swatch can achieve.
Actually, you know what? We’re pretty sure this beats being the rock Jesus built his church on.
Troubling news this week coming from the Vatican. It seems Pope Francis has finally said something completely tone deaf with modern views: all animals go to Heaven. Here’s what his holiness had to say:
One day we will see our animals again in eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all God’s creatures.”
Chilling words. If animals go to Heaven, that means they have souls. And if they have souls, they’re just as good as humans. And we’re pretty sure God gave us dominion over the animals. If all animals go to Heaven, what incentive do they have to be good? Because there are some birds out there that are total assholes.
This also means that when we humans get to Heaven, we’re going to be constantly in danger of animals. Want to go strolling through that Heavenly garden? Not unless you want to get mauled by bears. Want to grab a quick swim in the waters of the righteous? Too bad, the water’s infested by sharks.
On the upside, there are dinosaurs in Heaven. Welcome to Jurassic Paradise.
People just can’t get enough of the new pope. Not since Pope Benedict the XVI retired and the Vatican rebooted the papacy with Francis, the first originally named pope since — I s**t you not — Pope Lando in 913 A.D. (John Paul I doesn’t count because his name was just combined his two direct predecessors.’)
But they didn’t just give him a fancy unnumbered title and lens flare. With each news story, Francis acts a little more how each of us, Catholic and non, would like to see a pope act, which is usually not like any pope we’ve known in our lifetimes.
In fact, he’s so un-pope-like that … well, what if he’s being pope ironically? I’m not confident enough in my afterlife to outright call the holy see a hipster, but here’s evidence that, were it anyone else, would cause even the juicer at Whole Foods to throw their douche flag. (It’s dry quinoa wrapped in a keffiyeh, bound with old timey packaging twine.)
Just like with the printing press and television, we knew that the Internet was going to change the way the world works. And by change, we meant destroy the very fabric of society, leaving those unfortunate souls who remain shambling around alone into signposts, staring into their pamphlet/portable TV/iPhone.
And, for the most, part, yeah, that’s the way things turned out. In fact, I’m writing this very post while I’m driving. (Calm down, I’m dictating it to my secretary. I can’t write, steer and hold this wine glass. That would be irresponsible — everyone knows how easily Chateau Lafite bruises.)
But, here’s the thing: while, yes, the Internet is a distraction at best and providing a platform to the worst people at worst, it’s also changed some of the old ways we do things for the better.
There may be two popes in the Vatican these days (OK, technically one’s Pope Emeritus), but only one of them just performed an exorcism in broad daylight. The real surprise is that it wasn’t the showy one.
After a recent mass, Pope Francis laid his hands on a man in a wheelchair and prayed over him. The man then convulsed in his wheelchair and slumped over. A television station that covers the Italian Bishops’ conference consulted exorcism experts (because European pundits are better than ours), and they all agree: Pope Francis cast the devil out of that man.
We hate to diminish Frank’s work while he’s contending with a squatter in the guest room, but one exorcism on camera? Please. If that’s an exorcism, then the Beatles are saints.
The conclave is over and Catholics have a new pope: Argentinian Jorge Bergoglio, now known by Francis I — shut up, guys. Francis is totally a guy’s name.
Now that Pope Benedict XVI has been replaced, the Guys want to assure Pope Francis that Ben was just our practice pope. We were younger when that guy got elected. You probably wouldn’t have even liked us back then, when we’d basically make fun of any dude in a white robe and red shoes.
This Wednesday marks Pope Benedict XVI’s last day on the job. The Guys are taking this a little personally, especially when you consider that we never expected to cover a pontiff’s entire term on a Web site.
But, we’re not the only ones experiencing loss. The outgoing Pope will lose his house, Latin decoder ring, fancy red shoes and his current title. He will, however, become our Pope Emeritus, which in a patriarchal faith like Catholicism means that we’ll have a new Pope and our old Pope that we have to spend every other weekend with at his new, less furnished apartment. (This is why Catholicism frowns on divorce and living ex-popes.)
The important thing here is to not think of this as the end, but as a new beginning. Plus: dude, two Christmases!
Pope Benedict XVI launched his official Twitter account, @Pontifex, today and used his first tweet to bless everyone. It was a good start for the pontiff, but papal analysts believe tomorrow’s tweets will be along the lines of, “Not really sure what Twitter is for,” followed by participation in hashtag games like #biblequoteswithfood and #S–tOurFatherSays.
The account will remain active until either His Holiness dies and the Cardinals elect an even older new pope … or when he accidentally tweets a picture of his penis that was supposed to be a direct message to one lucky follower.
The Vatican threatened legal action, while Head American Catholic Blogger Bill Donohue blogged some, over a picture of Pope Benedict XVI kissing Imam Ahmed Mohamed el Tayeb. Meanwhile, the White House endured some stupid questions in the press room, this time over the picture of President Obama kissing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
All in all, Benetton’s “Unhate” campaign has been a success. They’ve only had to pull the picture of the pope, and everyone else has helped make sure we all know the-damn-well who they are. And all it cost was about $200 for a Photoshop license.