Wednesday, February 27, 2013

There's No Place Like Rome

It's good to be pope. You're one in a series that began with Saint Peter himself, part of God's entourage, all lined up at the Gate with a good chance of being invited backstage. It's a big deal. They kind of expect you to keep on poping until you keel over, I guess, because the current one decided to retire, and everyone's all worked up about it. He's an old man and one would think he had the right, if he wanted to, not that I understand what is so very taxing about being the pope. It doesn't seem like there's all that much to do, plus you get ruby slippers. That's another thing: nobody even knows if he gets to keep the ruby slippers, or will have to give up the whole cool fluffy outfit and get former-pope pajamas or a sacred jogging suit or something. The last dude to give up the gig did it six hundred years ago and no one remembers the drill.

So now we get to have another Conclave in the Enclave wherein a crush of cardinals is jammed in together until smoke comes out their spires and they figure out who the new pope is. That routine got instituted ages ago when a group of cardinals failed to come up with a solid lead on the pope issue, and they dinked around with it for almost two years, just ordering take-out and holding votes and rolling dice or whatever it was they did, and five thousand pizzas later the public got peeved and sealed them up in the conclave until they put out. Which, at that point, they probably did by rendering Caesar's likeness into the air and seeing if he came up heads or butts. How likely they were to be able to pinpoint the very holiest candidate this way I do not know. Even now, you hear people speculating about who the next pope will be, with special attention given to cardinals from underrepresented or undersanctified areas, like Canada, which makes the whole process sound a lot more like picking a presidential running mate than anything else.

The business of coming up with a new Dalai Lama is a lot more promising, if you ask me. People shnuffle around in the boonies looking for unusual toddlers that might be housing an immortal soul. Without a tracking number, it's hard to see that they got the right soul, but it does seem likely that the chosen one would at least be interesting, like one of those kids you knew in grade school who wasn't quite right.

Anyway, the main thing that's troubling theologians now is the whole infallibility thing. If Benedict, being pope, is infallible, does he quit being infallible if he steps down? Does he get a gold watch and permission to be mistaken once in a while? Or what? People get excited about infallibility, because the idea is that God is speaking directly to us by flapping the pope's lips. But they only decided he was infallible in 1870. And if no one was infallible before then, I don't see how they can be so sure about that little pronouncement. I mean, consider the source.

But hey. Let's assume Benedict, in his current condition, is infallible, and he decides to retire. That means, ipso fatso, God has decided to retire. And why not? He's old, if there's any meaning to the word. He's had way too much work to do, what with all those touchdowns to monitor, and keeping track of which sick kids have an ace prayer team, and stuff, and he's had it. He's had to sit there and engineer all those wars and mayhem being done in his name, and condemn underbaptized babies, and elevate the desires of sperms over those of women, and he just said you know what? Fine. You guys figure it out. I'm going fishing.

88 comments:

  1. Pope Poot I ?? That does have a ring to it. Do yo think he has a chance? I haven't heard anyone suggest an actual stuffed candidate. But talk to me Murr....I want to know you're still here, and haven't been struck down by lightning. (Even if the Big Guy has taken a sabbatical, he has minions, you know.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Man, if I haven't been hit by lightning by now, I think I'm good for the duration, don't you? And I would feel so hopeful for the world if there were a Pope Poot I. Not that there would be any living with him.

      Delete
  2. They were considering a North American Indian but Pope Sequoia didn't come out quite right. I do agree about the infallibility part though. If he was fallible (???) until 1870, what changed and how did they know? And don't worry about retired Popes, as only active Popes can lip-sync God.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should read up more. I don't know if the pope in 1870 discovered he was infallible or if it suddenly came to his--cabinet, or whatever he might have. Must have been a stirring discovery. Like waking up and realizing you're Pat Robertson or something.

      Delete
  3. ABC News last night: Benedict will be Pope Emeritus, will live in a monastery, will still be called His Holiness, and will wear a plain white cassock and *brown* shoes.

    He didn't much impress me with the papal regalia anyhow.

    ReplyDelete
  4. My mother always said if do not have anything nice to say...or write...so I will go to the next blog. Cute Bears!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry if I offended. Pootie is a dog, but if he sits on his tail in photographs it tends to look like a...well, you can see it if we take a picture from the back, okay?

      Delete
  5. You surpassed your already superlative humor with this one..... I'm just shaking my head... too much of it is too close to the truth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Religion brings out the [insert your preferred word here] in me.

      Delete
  6. The Pope Pootie threads? Best outfit ever. He looks born to the position.
    The Catholic religion sure is....interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to admit this post has just about my favorite photos ever.

      Delete
  7. "What if God Was One of Us?" by Joan Osbourne will be the ear worm of the day for me....

    ...."nobody calling on the phone
    Except for the Pope maybe in Rome..."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And now it is. It's like you can predict the future! (Although, what else is there to predict?)

      Delete
  8. You have an unbelievable gift when it comes to witty writing :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, OE (also stands for Oxford English)!

      Delete
  9. I am rewarding your lines about touchdowns and ace prayer teams and war and sperm and underbaptized babies with this line from Stephen Colbert last night, exclaiming over the problem of having two popes: "That's one pope over the line, sweet Jesus, one pope over the line!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sittin' downtown in the Conclave prayin', one Pope over th' line.

      Next line...

      Delete
    2. I've been prayin' as you can plainly see,
      I felt the boy and learned not to get blamed like the cardinal said,
      If it wasn't okay with god, he'd surely strike me dead.
      Now I'm one pope over the line sweet Jesus...

      Delete
  10. I think I feel another "I need reading glasses" post coming on... I looked at the letters on Pootie's Pope hat and read "S.O.B." *dodges lightning strike*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WELL...that's what you get when you get your duds from old Christmas cards.

      Delete
  11. I'm not sure whether you're having more fun writing or dressing up Pootie. I do know I'm having a hard time deciding which is more fun for me. Especially enjoyed the poke about touchdowns and prayer teams. Why do the earnest not see the problem?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I admit it. Both were very very fun for me this time.

      Delete
  12. I've always (well, since I was about 14, when Pius XII got promoted) wondered what all the fuss is about who will replace the Pope? Isn't all that supposed to be inspired by God? And if it is, why does anyone give it any thought a all -- just go in, throw whatever name popes into your head into the hat, and then order pizza. Theologians make things so complicated.

    ReplyDelete
  13. It's the infallibility bit that gets me as well. He WAS infallible, and now he's not? Or, having been touched, as it were, by the priests/cardinals/bishops/whatnot that chose him in the first place, does he maintain infallibility, making him a real drag to play Trivial Pursuit with?

    Pearl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "As it were..." ar ar ar
      Remember that classic Gary Larson cartoon with God playing Jeopardy and the score was like 325,000,000 to zero to zero?

      Delete
  14. God is going to retire, too? Well, I can't really blame him. We haven't really lived up to his expectations so he has likely lost heart -- finally. I hadn't actually pondered whether infallibility was transferable to civilian life for a retired pope. And what do retired popes wear? Many questions to still be addressed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some of which have been answered. As l'Empress reports: he wears a white frock and brown shoes.

      Delete
  15. Since I am not Catholic, it is all a mystery to me. I suppose they will all sort it out. One thing for sure: the new pope won't be a woman.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The outfits would be all wrong. They'd have to come up with something new. Pope Carhartts.

      Delete
  16. All I really know is that I HOPE THEY PICK ME.

    For I surely do love going nekkid under my robes, and that right there could win Der Kathlick Cherch a heap of new converts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooo, ooo, ooo, toss your big pointy hat in the ring, Jocelyn!

      Delete
  17. Many of my doctors have considered themselves to be infallible. Pope understudies? Pope in waiting.
    And Susan is right, the new pope probably won't be a woman though I am pretty sure that there was a Pope Joan who was of the feminine persuasion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There have probably been many that have been at least of the feminine persuasion.

      Delete
  18. I enjoyed this post and I nominate Pootie to be the next Pope! Have a happy week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great! That's you and me, eileen, and between us I think we have a ton of sway.

      Delete
  19. It is about time God retires - he is past his sell by date.
    the Ol'Buzzard

    ReplyDelete
  20. Two infallible men living in the same religion....that should be interesting. The whole thing is so ridiculous that it is hard for me to believe that we are still doing this and people are interested in it in the 21st century. Pootie would do a better job than any of those Cardinals.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes he would. Just by virtue of not making much in the way of pronouncements, and making sure there is plenty of chocolate around.

      Delete
  21. Fly fishing no less. Catch and release? Really, you just wanted to play dress up with Poot, didn't you? Clever girl.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Catholicism, from which I am recovering, is a perversion. Pootie would NEVER tolerate, cover-up, lie about condone the abuse of children and the subjugation of women.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, you're correct about that, of course, not that he can't be a pain in the ass sometimes, but I'm just enjoying the fact that so many people outside of this particular house know where Pootie's coming from.

      Delete
  23. Looks to me like his pointy hat says JOB. I think that's a guy who didn't fare so well in the bible, so just fair warning to Pope Pooty. He may lose everything, including some nuts I'm not sure he has. Dark clouds a-brewin'.

    Just popping in to say hello, as I ramp up to get back into the bloggy world. I'll be by again!

    Kimber

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! You're back! And I'm having a lot of trouble imagining the Poot with boils, and such.

      Delete
  24. Pope Pootie and I have the exact same pajamas, blue with little lambs and clouds! Should I draw any conclusions about my relationship with the almighty from that?

    ReplyDelete
  25. I am still laughing at your post...I am catholic because when our family escaped from the Czech Republic and moved to Montreal I had to be Catholic to go to French school (it's what I spoke then). So my parents had me baptized at the age of 9 .... I have only been to a catholic church like three times in my life; midnight mass one year, an Easter service and when I got married. Tells you how seriously i take the whole thing :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't look now, but I think you're probably going to hell.

      Delete
  26. Well according to Stephen Colbert with Pope Benedict emeritus and a new Pope TBD, that's just
    - one Pope over the line, sweet Jesus, one Pope over the line. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd watch Colbert but it's easier for me to get the abridged version here and on Facebook.

      Delete
  27. Fine madness, Murr! I've offered my services a rental Pope and have not yet received a reply. Not Catholic --the statues frightened my dad so I was raised recusant Presbyterian-- but I am an ordained gardener. You've followed my blog so you know I know some Latin. Put in a word for me, you got pull.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not really. My grandfather was an Episcopalian--whatever they call them. Minister? That gets me close, but the Lutherans on the other side diluted all my influence.

      Delete
    2. "ordained gardener..." I love that, how can I apply? I'm a Master Gardener, is that enough credentials?- she says, with dirt under her fingernails.

      BC

      Delete
  28. "and he just said you know what? Fine. You guys figure it out. I'm going fishing."

    Love, love this sentiment. If only ALL the god botherers would retire the world would be a better place (I say this as an ex-catholic - enough said).

    Still, if the catholics have to have a pope then Pootie gets my vote. I love his whisk variation of the Pope's Staff and am positive it's just as effective at casting out devilry and other dastardly spirits. Although, your writing is definitely more powerful. Love it all. Smiley face.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm: some famous person once talked about being "fishers of men." Who was that?

      At least he didn't say "fishers of boys."

      Delete
  29. When they are locked up trying to decide who the next Pope get to be, I have often wondered what they do in there. Do they smoke a little doobie to try to get special insight on the decision? Do they watch skin flicks and swear each other to secrecy? Do they drink and play poker??
    Hmmm...can't see them just sitting around a table for such a long time and discussing who would be the best pope. Too boring.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Gosh I was going to apply for the job, thought it would be nice gig to support my other habits of writing and making pots and then I realized..... Crap, I'm a woman..... But the shoes, I love the red shoes! Would love to see his closet :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. I love the idea of the Pope as God's entourage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't mind if they'd just quit trashing the hotel.

      Delete
  32. He does have to give up the Prada red shoes, according to news I've read. So sad...

    ReplyDelete
  33. A little birdie told me he is only one jump away from his Breaking Bad years, he should keep the ruby slippers. Run Benny run. Those poleeze have really fast cars and very loud sirens.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  34. They might want to think about picking one who's not so damn old this time. Like in ancient Egypt when they'd toss those prepubescent kids on the throne and call them the child King. I think a child Pope would be quite an improvement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As long as they don't let him drive the Popemobile with other adolescent bishops, I think we'd be just fine.

      Delete
  35. I think the fouet is the clincher...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To whip his flock into shape. Or at least until soft peaks are formed.

      Delete
  36. One of these days I'd really like to see a chick pope.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Oh what cool outfits Pootie has!
    I left the Catholic church years ago. Their weird bright outfits, funny bell sounds and incense all made my head hurt at mass.
    I wasn't able to believe they had God just for themselves and I had to be in their group to be blessed like them. Na. It seemed to selfish.
    P.S. I was amused by "undersanctified Canada".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would give me a headache too. Especially the incense. I had to defect from hippiedom because of that.

      Delete
  38. More Popery, or whatever. I heard this on NPR last night, and I promise I am not making this up. Whoever the appropriate power is took a silver hammer and destroyed the current former pope's pope ring. It is the same silver hammer that has been used in the past to pound purportedly dead popes' foreheads to make sure that they were dead.
    Truth IS stranger than fiction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No! Maxwell's silver hammer is a real thing? Do you suppose the modern ones really bang on the them, or is it just a ceremonial tap?

      Delete
    2. Pound Pope's foreheads to make sure they were dead? Sounds like a Looney Tunes cartoon!

      Delete
  39. The Pope's silver hammer and Maxwell's are not related, alas; one has to do with validating death and the other has to do with instant karma - though I suppose an argument could be made that they are, on occasion, one and the same thing. I think Poot for pope makes as much sense (or more) than voting for his human equivalent. Somehow a stuffed dog does not look as foolish in papal getup as do grown men.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In fact, whenever I look at Pootie I am reminded of the quote by Albert the alligator: "funny how a handsome man look good in any old thing he throw on."

      Delete
  40. The fate of the ruby slippers? Pope Benedict XVI clicked his heels together, repeating "There's no place like home", and soon found himself back in Germany surrounded by weinerschnitzel, good beer, and even better heavy metal bands. The ruby slippers were afterwards gifted to the Lollipop Guild as a tourist attraction.

    I personally think Pootie would make an awesome pope. He's cuter than any of the old cardinals up for consideration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, John Paul was cute. Not Pootie cute, but cute.

      Delete
  41. Replies
    1. Bless yore bones, wideopen! Tickled to see you here.

      Delete