Take this job and shove it. Pope Benedict XVI didn’t exactly quote Johnny Paycheck, but that’s the gist of it. The pope is resigning from his job, one that you typically only leave when they carry you out in a casket. But, citing ill health, the soon-to-be former Pope Benedict announced he was stepping down, which is apparently something you can do. It’s like being on the U.S. Supreme Court, only with fewer pro-lifers protesting outside your building.
The world hasn’t seen the resignation of a pope since Gregory XII in 1415, but that was under completely different circumstances. At that time, there were three different claimants to the papal hat, and three different sets of cardinals that elected them. Gregory’s resignation helped to end the Western Schism, which is likely also the name of a band that opened for Radiohead. This time, the pope, 85, just wants to live out the rest of his days without all the robes.
Benedict’s resignation means that we will have a new pope by Easter. Who will be the next pope?
It’s clear that the Catholic Church has some serious damage to repair. It’s been years since the sexual abuse cover-ups were brought to light, but people still haven’t forgotten. And that hasn’t exactly been helped by the pope’s cracking down on American nuns for getting too active, and statements against homosexuality, contraception and probably Obamacare, too. The Church needs to shake things up, and select a Catholic (it can be anyone, not just one of the cardinals present for the vote) that can bring back the believers.
I’ve compiled a short list I think should be considered at Conclave next month. All of these candidates would be excellent for the task.
One of the most important things for a candidate for pope is that they already think of themselves in the role. That certainly applies here. Plus, with his eye problems, Pope Bono would probably emphasize more evening Masses. No more going to church hung over.
What better way to show you’re ready to change your image than electing the first female pope since the founding of the Church itself? Electing her as the new vicar of Rome would also make sure that people were wouldn’t leave her Masses early because they would all wait to watch her walk out down the aisle at the end.
What was the last funny pope? Better yet, when was the last time there was a pope that stars in half of your favorite comedies from your childhood? Provided you didn’t grow up in Catholic orphanage, your answer is “never.” That can all change. A Murray papacy would most likely usher in a new era of extemporaneous homilies and cutting Mass short out of respect for those with tee times. Or, it could get really artsy and only some people will get it.
Maybe if Springsteen is elected pope, God will stop sending horrible storms to hit New Jersey and the rest of the Tri-State area as punishment for broism. We all know that Pope Bruce would have big ideas for social change within the Church, and he would likely shun long robes, as they would prevent him from doing his signature knee slide.
Probably the strongest candidate. This man has never been more popular than he is today. No longer do we have the Neeson who was had quiet strength and heart. We’ve got the badass who has proven he’s willing to fight off aliens, wolves and even kinapping, prostitute selling mobsters from Albania (which is made up of 70% of Muslims and 20% of Orthodox Christians). A vote for him is a vote for gratuitous violence in Jesus’ name.