Top 5 Reasons I Would Suck As Pope

Years and years of Catholic education did not prepare me for this week’s announcement that the Pope was going to retire.  I had no idea that Popes were allowed to retire.  In fairness to my former Catholic educators, it hasn’t happened in 600 years so maybe that’s why we never covered “Papal Retirement” in school.

I am probably not going to be the next Pope. Or the one after that. There are probably 100 reasons why I’ll never be Pope, but we are all busy today, so I’ll give you the top 5.

Lil Ole Catholic

Lil Ole Catholic

  1. I’m no longer a practicing Catholic. I am thinking this might be a “deal breaker.”  Also, other than an abiding affection for Easter eggs and a childlike attachment to Christmas trees, I am moving in a Jewish-ish direction because of my therapist husband and his family traditions.  (Any religion that offers both fasting and deeply fried potatoes knows a little something about balance and frankly, I want in.)
  2. I disagree with church policy on homosexuality. Yes, this would be a problem too.  I wrote here about how I thought the Vatican should stop criticizing the American nuns who were too busy with social justice issues (like poverty) to advance the Church’s homophobic agenda.  If I was the Pope, I would welcome any loving couple into my fold and ask them how I could serve them.  But then I think Church law would require that I excommunicate myself.
  3. Italian food makes me bloat.  If I became Pope, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t allow me to “work from home” or call in for conference calls with the bishops and cardinals.  I’d have to move to Italy. And that’s gonna be a problem since I have been trying to cut back on my white flour and desserts.  I can see it now: I am all dressed up with the tall, pointy hat and some bishop would be seeking my counsel about the law I just decreed that abortion is a woman’s right, and then suddenly out of the corner of my eye I would see someone walking through the plaza with gelato and I’d be all “let’s support women in new and radical ways by offering her solace and comfort in the event she gets an abortion and — hey, GELATO!”
  4. I don’t object to pre-marital sex. (FN1)  Under my papal reign, that long-revered notion that there should be no sex outside of marriage would get a face life.  Actually, it would get a full-blown transplant. I would steer the church away from the dogmatic rules and shove it towards the support and affirmation of pleasure, including sexual pleasure.  I would give out condoms. To teenagers.
  5. All-male (mostly single) clergy?  How long into the job before I started calling “BULLS*T” on this?  10 minutes? On the taxi ride from the Rome airport to the Vatican?  Before passing through customs?  I know it’s a tradition, but for the love of Michelangelo’s frescos, can we all agree that isn’t working so well? The only thing that has kept the Catholic Church’s pedophilic scandals out of the news recently is because of the news from the other great American religion: Football (see Penn State).

Good thing I am not bitter about the imprint that Catholicism made on my life, huh? Bitterness would not be part of my papal regime, but since I’m not Pope and never will be, I’ll keep stoking that bitterness. Thankyouverymuch.

FN 1: Recently, my mother mentioned she was reading my blog, so if she happens to see this post: (1) I never had premarital sex myself, and (2) I am eternally grateful for the superior education that my parents gave me through the Catholic institutions that I called my home for many years.


43 thoughts on “Top 5 Reasons I Would Suck As Pope

  1. Oh, I love your little First Communion veil! I wanted one of those so badly, but my mom made me wear these stupid, homemade pink bows that matched the trim on my dress. I just ate a ham sandwich–on a Friday, during Lent– in honor of no longer being a practicing Catholic! Love the memories but have chosen a different path, as well.

  2. I can’t believe that the big shapeless black tent dress you would have to wear as a work uniform didn’t even make the top 5 reasons! Oh for the love of Michelangelo’s frescos?! So funny!

  3. I could probably use your top 5 as reasons why I would suck at being a practicing Catholic, except I am a practicing Catholic despite agreeing with you (except the food…bring on that pasta!). I do a lot of “take what I like & leave the rest” & “wearing my religion loosely”…guess St. Peter will let me know how that turns out at some point. or not. . Don’t tell my mom. 😉 And I’ve promised myself my kids can choose whatever spiritual path they like…I’d just like them to have one. As for meat on Fridays and missing Mass…seems to me those should be the very least of our worries. I wore a similar veil & dress. I still have them & the dress is so short my girls could only have worn it as a shirt. Ahhh the 70’s.

  4. Funny post and what a cute picture! I especially loved the footnotes. I hope your mom buys that bs. Haha
    Don’t worry about the easter eggs and xmas trees. Those are pagan anyway.

    My husband and my father are also a non-practicing Catholics. My husband’s parents had to pay him to go to his confirmation. I’m not sure that counts. My father always says he stopped going to confession as a child when he could no longer pack a big enough lunch!

    Apparently the new pope might be a Canadian, so I guess you’re out of the running in any case.

  5. Oh, those dam supportive parents!
    Did you know you didn’t need to be a priest to be Pope? And, did you know that Italians are superb preparers of vegetables, and even meat without pasta or red sauce.
    And, I have nothing against Jews, some of my best friends are Jews, as we say, but I don’t think Judaism thinks very much about women. And as much as I love Italian food, there is the un-fattening mato ball soup, pastrami, great rye bread, and the diabetics delight, endless trips to the dessert table.
    Rock on, Outlaw!

  6. I also don’t know whether you would be allowed to have the word “Suck” in the titles to your documents if you were Pope.

    On the other hand, you do look good in hats (at least if the two pics of you as a child on this page are any indication).

    Wouldn’t you like to be able to travel around in that Pope-mobile?

  7. I’m not Catholic, nor have I ever been, but do you think I’d be allowed to nominate you? I think the Catholic church could use a major overhaul! And I, too, was surprised to hear he was retiring, as I didn’t know that was a ‘thing’.

  8. I was educated by nuns through 8th grade – though educated is hardly the word – disciplined is more apt. Stations of the cross in an overheated chapel, kids fainting in the pews, the rest vomiting from the suffocating odor of incense, the hypnotizing clink of the urn as the priest traveled up and down and around uttering unintelligible Latin phrases. A horror film worthy of Wes Craven. And then 4 years of Catholic high school – fortunately far less rigid – I learned, yes it takes effort, to rebel. And have been doing so ever since. And so I applaud your 5 reasons why, of course, you’d make an excellent manager of an outdated religion, and bring it into the 21st century. Cheers, Outlaw!

  9. Dude! Me, too!
    Except that my stance on birth control would necessitate the Church reversing its policy on keeping all its followers in poverty; my uterus disqualifies me from any role in the Church other than virgin mother; my rejection of all the ridiculous rules they’ve invented since Vatican I renders me a wee bit outside the norm; and my bibliographic methodolical training means I’d be investing new scholarship in all the missing gospels, the previously discarded chapters, and the re-translation of important factors (such as the proper calculation of the Beast’s number as 669 rather than 666 and the proper evolutional allegory that Adam used his the bone from his penis not his rib to make Eve.)
    I’m guessing the first few conclaves will be tied, but I won’t win the white smoke after all.
    Guess it’s back to my Ritz-bound plans.

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