This week in the Papacy


It was big news the other day when we heard that old Benedict XVI had resigned. “Are you getting ready?” a coworker asked me. “Ready to be summoned to Rome?”

“If called,” I said modestly. “Who am I to ignore a summons from Holy Mother Church?”

Let’s not even worry about why Benedict is resigning; we’ll never know the real reason in any case. (I’m assuming the “age and feebleness” rationale being advanced by the Vatican is a big fat lie; he became Pope at the age of 78, and he wasn’t exactly a spry little bunny in those days either.) It’s fun to theorize about scandal, hidden secrets, blackmail, etc., etc., but it will end up being one of the Mysteries of Church History, like Pope Joan and the throne with the big hole in the seat.

The word is that there’s already a top contender, Cardinal Angelo Scola, to wear the Shoes of the Fisherman. The current Pope (soon to be Herr Ratzinger again) has apparently given him his blessing. We will see how well this works. (Two Africans and a Canadian are in contention too, but – I mean really – is the Church ready for a Canadian?)

To be honest, I’d love to be Pope, for about a billion reasons. The hats alone would make me deliriously happy.  I love being chauffeured around. I’ve always thought candles and incense dress up a place.

And then there’d be all the fun I could have with Church dogma. I have a couple of ex cathedra statements ready for my first couple of weeks – priesthood for women, marriage for priests, etc. It’s time to shake some of the cobwebs off the Church; the Second Vatican Council was a nice start, but it didn’t go anywhere near far enough, and the last two Popes did everything they could to take the church back to the way it was before Vatican II.

You might think it’s unrealistic of me to think I’d be made Pope, given that I’m not in holy orders. Not a problem! Any baptized Roman Catholic man is eligible. See?

Best of all, I could probably figure out a way to pre-canonize myself, so that I’d go straight from the Papacy to the Litany of the Saints upon my expiration.

I tell you: if there were a Pope like me, I might actually become a practicing Catholic again.

About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

4 Responses to This week in the Papacy

  1. starproms says:

    I’m not a Catholic so I don’t get the Pope! Doesn’t mean a thing to me. However, it does make sense to me that someone of his age steps down and let’s someone else have a chance to make a difference.

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