On February 11, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI announced his intention to resign, shocking the Catholic world. This marked the first time in more than 700 years that a pope has left the position by choice rather than waiting to be forced out by death. Some popes would undoubtedly like to stay even longer because of the perks of the job, but it is my understanding that the rules of the Catholic Church require that the pope be alive to collect his paycheck.
The Chief Sage Officer (CSO) of the Church of Infinitiaty wishes the soon to be former pope well in his rapidly advancing dotage. As a gesture of his respect for and honoring of other religions, the CSO bought Pope Benedict a retirement gift: a lifetime membership in a shuffleboard club on the outskirts of Rome, which is a rarity, as bocci is typically the preferred sport of Italian seniors. Then again, Benedict is German, so he might enjoy it.
Now that Pope Benedict has broken this long-standing tradition by not waiting until he croaked in office, the CSO believes it is high time that the Catholic Church breaks with its past in other ways as well. As a sacrifice for the betterment of humanity, he is eager to help them do it. To that end, he has submitted his formal application for the job of Pope of the Catholic Church.
This would break new ground on a number of fronts:
- There is no officially sanctioned means to submit an application for the job of pope, nor is there an official application form, so this would be the first time that the Catholic Church hired a pope who had formally applied for the job.
- He would be the first non-Catholic Pope. He doesn’t believe this should be an impediment as he does believe in God. Not only that, he goes much further than the current pope in this regard. The CSO believes in not just one god, but an infinite number of Them, which would be a bonus for the Church.
- He would be the first pope to not believe (at least, the first to not claim to believe) that our Creator had a child who took on human form. Nevertheless, the CSO is certain that Gods have created other Gods. (He has to believe that. It is the defining principle of Infinitiaty.) It wouldn’t require too much literary license to consider these created Gods to be the children of the Gods who created Them. And many of the created Gods have temporarily taken on human form to come upon Earth and have sex with us. The CSO would be willing to take one of these events and spin it into a God-child incarnate Christ story for the benefit of the more traditional Catholics.
- The CSO thinks it is morally wrong and, considering the heath risks of not using condoms, almost akin to being an accomplice to murder, to order people to not use contraceptives. On the other hand, for at least the past ten years he has not used contraceptives when having sex with his wife and his many mistresses. He thinks that should be more than enough for Catholics as it proves his personal moral commitment to avoid contraception.
- As to the Catholic Church’s stand on abortion, the CSO thinks it is morally bankrupt for anyone, particularly a man, to dictate what a woman does with her body. On the plus side as far as the Catholic Church is concerned, whenever he has impregnated his wife or one of his mistresses he has always tried to talk her out of having an abortion, sometimes successfully.
- Oh, that brings up another point. It’s been almost 750 years since the Catholic Church last hired a pope who was married and more than 450 years since a pope as been known to have had mistresses. So the CSO wouldn’t be setting a precedent here, but he would be taking the Church back to the good old days.
- The CSO would not give up his current job. He hasn’t thoroughly researched the Catholic Church’s long history, but the CSO believes that this would be the first time that the Church had a part-time pope. Even if there have been other part-time popes in the past, the CSO is reasonably certain that this would be the first time that one of the pope’s other jobs was being a high official and ecclesiastic leader of another faith.
At time of writing, the Catholic Church hasn’t yet chosen its new pope. We have our fingers crossed. I’m sure that you will join me in wishing the CSO good luck in his quest for the pope position and in wishing him well if he gets it.