Pope Benny XVI, Comedian, Prankster, and Father

pope-smokingFor many people, the announcement of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation came as a shocking surprise.  For the first time since 1415, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church will be stepping aside, citing diminishing mental and physical health.

If I were me (which sometimes I am not) I would have retired from my job for those very same reasons twenty years ago.

Some believe there is more to the Pope’s stepping down than we are being told.  You know how it goes inside The Vatican – lots of secrets, backstabbing, gossip and deceit.  And then you have what’s going on with the cardinals and other Pope-side people. That’s why they all speak so many different languages inside those walls, so no one else can figure out exactly what’s going on.  Some are speculating the Pope couldn’t deal with the sex abuse crisis in the church.  Who knows? Maybe The Da Vinci Code was fact and it burst his religious bubble. I think it would be pretty darn funny if his decision to retire sprang from an intense desire to convert to Buddhism and go live in the mountains somewhere.

I saw a transcript from an interview NPR did on their All Things Considered program.  During a briefing, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi was asked several questions and it was surprising how many simple questions have no real, easy answers.  In fact, I thought the questions were rather ridiculous and meaningless, but it’s territory The Vatican hasn’t had to venture into for a long time.

Questions including: Will Benedict be able to make public statements after he retires; what will he wear – the white of the pope, the red of a cardinal or the black of a priest; and when will the papal ring and seal be destroyed, as is required by church rules.  And they haven’t decided what his title will be after his official resignation, either.

Personally, I don’t think he’ll need to make any public statements after he retires because of why he says he’s retiring.  If he can’t think straight and can hardly stand up, what is he going to say that’s of any real importance?  I think he can get away with wearing jeans and a t-shirt, but when he goes out to get the morning paper he might want to dress it up a bit, maybe upgrading to a polo shirt. You just know he’s one of those guys who wears dress socks with sandals, right?  They should let the guy keep his ring and seal, at least until he’s implicated in some church sex scandal and has to sell the stuff on eBay to pay his lawyers.  His title?  How about “Really Religious Guy Who Used To Be Pope”?



I do have to admit, the coolest thing I ever saw Pope Benedict do was his impersonation of Michael Jackson dangling his baby from a hotel balcony.  Here’s a picture of that, but in this case the Pope was smart enough to use a “pretend” baby instead of the real thing:


Lots of laughs at The Vatican as the Pope performs his Michael Jackson baby-dangling impersonation with a “pretend” baby, 2010 (good times, good times indeed)

You have to give Benedict some real credit.  He knew how to work an audience with successful jokes and stirring lore. He was quite possibly the funniest Pope ever. He was known as a prankster around the Vatican and loved playing the old “pull my finger” joke on unsuspecting visitors.  His impersonation of Michael Jackson’s baby-dangling went over so well he decided to build on it by dangling a “pretend” alligator at another Pope-A-Party:


More hysterics from His Popeship as he dangles a “pretend” alligator to the comedic delight of thousands (2011)


pope-confirmed-smokeNow we get to watch in wonderment the process of selecting the next Pope.  I always pictured a bunch of cardinals sitting around a table playing Russian roulette, drinking vodka and swearing a lot in Italian.  When the game starts they build a fire and add chemicals to produce dark smoke.  When there’s one guy left at the table they add chemicals to the fire to produce white smoke, signifying to the world several cardinals lay on the floor bleeding to death while one lucky guy made it through the game intact.  A roaring cheer erupts from the crowd gathered outside, they issue the winner a white suitrobe from the Papal wardrobe collection, and off they go into the reality of deep enlightenment.

Or something like that.

By the way, if you’re curious about who has the best odds of becoming the next Pope, oddsmakers have already come out with the favorites as of today, February 14th.  Here are the top five lucky contestants according to Bet365.com, and remember to place your bet soon because the book closes on March 11:


The process is very complicated and very simple at the same time, mirroring the Roman Catholic Church itself.  I can’t imagine what one’s incentive would be to want to be a Pope.  You don’t get paid, you definitely won’t get laid and you have to dress in some pretty dumb looking clothing.  And the hat?  Who designed that hat?  The Devil him/herself?  Then you have to spend the rest of your life trying not to slip up because billions of people are counting on you to lead them.  They look to you for life’s inspiration and you simply CANNOT have a ketchup stain on your white robe or no one will take you seriously.

I think the time has come for some modernization at the papal level.  I want to see a Pope in jeans, wearing sunglasses, having a pack of cigarettes rolled up in his shirt sleeve and I’d like to see him cruising around The Vatican streets on a Harley.  Maybe slick the hair back a bit and hang out in a nice leather jacket, maybe with some cool leather boots, too.

If that sounds like James Dean to you, ask yourself who you’d rather follow:  A really cool guy who lived fast and dressed cool or an old religious dude who lives life at a snail’s pace and dresses like a mattress on display at a furniture convention?


The New Face of the Papacy, Pope James I

Leave a comment


  1. Michelle Boyer

     /  February 15, 2013

    I just saw the documentary, “Mea Maxima Culpa; Silence in the House of God”. Now I know why the pope is resigning… This documentary, though sickening, is a must see. I feel I have a much clearer view of right and wrong than this pope and the last one for that matter…

    • It’s a little strange, the information that is coming out now about some things and how they have been purposely kept from the public. Things like his pacemaker, the surgery to fix his pacemaker a few years ago, and the fact they have been building his retirement “house” for several months now (and well over budget). As you know, there are several other more intriguing things the general public knows nothing about when it comes to the Vatican and what goes on inside those walls.

      As always, thanks for taking the time to visit my blog and post a comment, Michelle!

  2. Michelle Boyer

     /  February 14, 2013

    So are the odds on next Pope on streak for the cash? I choose the Dali Lama or even James Dean…I think the Dali Lama leads a more christian life than this pope did! Sorry, but I really think so.

    • If Streak For The Cash does a prop every year for Groundhog Day (which they do), I would think there will be one for the next Pope!


I appreciate your comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: