As a Roman Catholic male, I am eligible to become Pope. Granted, it’s something of a long shot, but just in case, I have prepared my application:
“Howdy do, Buongiorno and Dominus Vobiscum from Indianapolis, Indiana, home of the world’s greatest automobile race and, should the white smoke puff in my favor, thenextBishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City, Servant of the Servants of God.
“I’d like to state my case for papal office. As you can see from my resume, I am currently a freelance writer, part-time farmer and adjunct professor. This means I have plenty of spare time which I would gladly apply to Popeing. Popeitude. Being Pope.
“You can also see that I have been something of a “free spirit” in my life, owing to a background in music, which I believe will bring a certain New World aesthetic to the leadership of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, to wit:
“A. Papal Wardrobe – Let’s get rid of the ermine and jewels and go for something practical. I’m thinking bowling shirts with names over the pockets. Imagine how many hungry people we could feed, clothe, house and comfort with the money we’d save (and the fortune we’d get selling the old duds on Ebay).
“B. Speaking of Old Duds – It’s time we got some younger people in the church hierarchy. By younger, I mean “less than the College of Cardinals’ current average age of 72.” A few wild and crazy 68-year-olds could really liven up the joint.
“C. Downsizing – Do we really need our own country on all that valuable Roman real estate? Should a church even have borders? Let’s see about shutting down some castles and getting into a few floors of an office building somewhere. Indianapolis is a nice, central location for a North American branch. I can start the search right now if you like.
That’s about it, I guess. I hope you don’t think that by joking around a little I’m being sacrilegious. I’m not. I love the church and I love being Catholic. I just think a new pope, elected not in a time of grief but in one of anticipation, could bring great and positive change to the church and the world, and maybe usher us into an era where the power of churches, all kinds of churches, is in the way they serve their flocks and not the other way around.