Thursday, April 18, 2013


'P' is for Pope
"In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti, Sancti, Sancti...
HEY!!  All you wops, a get offa da lawn!!!"

NOTE:  This is not mine, but from a Cheech and Chong record from the 70s.
I still think it's funny.


The following isn't exactly a repost.  Not exactly.  Rather, it's inspired by a post written by my alter-ego as part of Just An Observation in the Philly Burbs cyber-organization of people too cheap to buy the newspaper.  The good people of my local news group have graciously extended an invitation to me (I friend) to write for them and receive the same amount of money I get from Blogger.  Which I a chump or what?

  Feel free to click on the Link (yeah, as if) above to read what I (err, I mean the other guy) wrote.  I think you'll like this better, though, if only because it has more pictures.  And I can write "effin."

    Pope Benedict XVI, citing poor health, stepped down as leader of the Catholic Church on February 28th.  
The last time this happened was in 1415, before Columbus was born.
    So it’s been a while.

    To find out why this is so unprecedented, we need to travel back almost 600 years to a time before discovery of the New World or personal hygiene.  It was during what’s known as “The Great Schism,” a period when people couldn’t decide who the Pope should be (and you thought “Less Filling, Tastes Great” was a stumper).  That was the last time the Vicar of Rome decided to abdicate.
"What the...!?  He's French!?
Well, Jesus Chr...oops."
The circumstances behind Gregory XII chucking the whole shebang are pretty confusing and have a lot to do with that smarty-pants in France (hey, that rhymes), who also said he was Pope.  I tried researching what exactly happened, but it went something like, “Okay, you quit being pope and then I’ll quit being pope.  Then, we’ll get another pope.  You go first.”

    Wouldn’t you know it, it wasn’t quite that easy.  A lot of folks got all bent out of shape and ran about in a devout frenzy.  Unless they jumped ugly with someone who had the plague.

    Then they had a lot bigger problems than a pope who died in relative obscurity.

    As baffling as that is, though, it sure beats what happened to Pope
"And, if you don't like it, you can just quit.
No problem."
Celestine V in 1294.  That hapless former monk resigned the papacy, thinking he’d return to a peaceful life in retirement.


    Unfortunately for him, his successor, Boniface VII, had him imprisoned.  No doubt wondering whether he’d made the right decision, Celestine died in the joint several months later.

The Divine Comedy
The concept of humor
pretty much escaped folks 

in the Middle Ages
To make matters worse, Dante (yeah, World Lit fans, that Dante) was so ticked off that he consigned Celestine to the inferno of Hell in the Divine Comedy.  At least that’s what people thought.  Evidently, Celestine was the Nixon of his time.

    So, you see, Benedict XVI had it pretty easy by comparison.  If nothing else, he didn't die.

Pope Alexander VI.
Had several mistresses.
Fathered multiple children.
The concept of clerical celibacy was likewise
an unknown concept in the Middle Ages. 
    Luckily, since Benedict gave God two weeks notice, there was plenty of time to select a successor.  A convocation of cardinals was immediately convened to pick his successor, so as to avoid any delay.  

  Unfortunately, they were the wrong type of cardinals and, since nobody thought to lay newspaper down, they made a helluva mess in the Sistine Chapel.  Plus, they flung seeds everywhere.

  Eventually, the real type of Cardinals (the ones with those cool red beanies) descended upon Vatican City to pick the new Pontiff.

NOTE:  The term "Pontiff" derives from an ancient Latin word having something to do with bridges.  Apparently, a high Roman muckety-muck was designated Pontifex Maximus...or something like that.  Even Julius Caesar was one of these dudes before he suffered some wicked paper cuts.  I could be wrong, though.  Feel free to look it up.  Sorry, I can't wait.

  The task before them was sobering and immense.  Plenty of suitable candidates presented themselves.  One of the front-runners was Cardinal Turkson from Ghana.  If chosen,  he would be the first African Pope.  So, that would be kinda cool.

  Other possible successors included a couple of Italians (surprise), a Canadian, and an Argentinean (SPOILER ALERT-he was advised to change his airline ticket from Buenos Aires-Rome to a one-way).  During the process, the world watched with baited breath (only slightly alleviated by Tic-Tacs).  Nobody really knew, though, despite all the wagers being placed 

NOTE:  betting on Papal elections is illegal in the United States.  Well, aren’t we all high and mighty?
"What do you mean Joe Pesci can't be effin' Pope!!??"
    One thing was sure, though.  There was no frikkin' way they'd pick an American.  You’d have a better chance of seeing Bishop Snooki serve Holy Communion at a Springsteen concert.

Also played Mohammed in a movie.
    Thankfully, after little more than a week, they chose the Argentinean (didn't you pay attention to the Spoiler Alert above?) to wear the shoes of the fisherman (the “fisherman” being Saint Peter.  Partial credit for Anthony Quinn.  Who starred in the movie The Shoes of the Fisherman).

    He took the name Francis (the first Pope to do so, thus eliminating the need to place a 'I' after his name.  Because that would be silly.  And not a tad pretentious).  He chose to honor Saint Francis of Assisi, reknowned friend of nature and enemy of bathing.  If nothing else, he reasoned that Francis is a helluva lot easier to write on Hey, Look At Me, I'm the Holy Father! cards than Jorge Mario Bergoglio.  
"Joe Pesci, my ass.
Senator Corleone, Governor Corleone, 

His Holiness Corleone..."
And-BONUS!-his father is Italian, so it's kind of a "two-fer" for the Vatican (i.e., they get to keep the Papacy "in the family").

"No, no, for real.
They'll give you $25 million
to catch for C.C. Sabathia."
    But, considering that Pope Francis is something like 76 and has one lung, maybe they should have considered going for the youth demographic?  After all, as old and decrepit as they are, it's like the Holy See is the New York Yankees of the religious world.

    Frankly, I would have preferred they chose someone who wasn't on a first-name basis with the Wright Bothers or thought electricity was "just a fad."  Wouldn’t it be great if the next Pontiff had the energy necessary to effectively lead the world's 1.6 billion Catholics (give or take a million)?  Without needing a nap after getting dressed?  

    Hmm...I wonder if Justin Bieber is Catholic?
"Good morning, Your Holiness."
"No, good morning to you, Your Holiness."
"No, no, you are now His Holiness."
"I must disagree, you are truly His Ho...oh, eff this.  What do you say we just go grab a beer?"
"Sounds good.  Can we take your bitchin' ride back there?"
"Most definitely.  But, I get to wear the red shoes, comprende?"

NOTE:  I’d like to thank Google, Wikipedia, and my Western Civ teachers for the making of this essay.  You think I knew this stuff all on my own?
NOTE #2:  I seriously hope that Benedict is still around when this posts.  Because, if he's not, this will seem a lot more disrespectful than it already is.  Amen.


  1. I found it quite hilarious that an awful lot of money was bet during the papal elections. It just seems like one of the most blaspehmous things you can do, and I wonder how many cardinals had bets down.

  2. One lung? You can't say they discriminate against those needing to take a nap at least.

  3. Well, I now feel educated. Seeing that I tend to avoid the news, I was only vaguely aware of there being a new pope. Now I know he's a one lung pope. You learn something new everyday.

    1. The College of Cardinals figured a One Lung Pope was much better than a One Trick Pony.

  4. They should have taught this shit in high school just the way it has been explained here! I probably would have listened and passed history.
    Did you see the schnoz on Pope Alex VI? Several mistress'? Well it wasn't because he had a gorgeous face, that's for sure!

    1. I had wanted to be a history teacher. But, a navy career torpedoed (pardon the pun) that idea. But, doing it like this is probably better because I CAN say "effin'."
      And thank goodness for Pope Alex that TMZ wasn't around in the Middle Ages.

  5. I read your other article. Good for you!
    I'll still never get the pope thing. We'll take a vote to see who God talks to.

    1. Well, I think he'll talk to anyone. But, the Pope has his picture on God's speed dial and is listed as an "Emergency Contact."

    2. Did someone call God?

      Sorry I'm a tad late to the party... your question??

      *cracking myself up over here in God's country... Oh, Canada!!

  6. I love the sacrilegious nature of this post, and I promise to pray for you, for all the good it will do.

    1. Just come visit me when I'm spending some time in Purgatory. I think you'll be able to catch me as you get on the "Up" escalator.

  7. It was so nice of the B pope to give God a two week notice. But I'm wondering why God couldn't pick a younger dude. Why do popes all have to have one foot and three toes in the grave? Amen.

    1. I guess it may be so, when they have to deliver a message to heaven, they have a shorter time to wait.

  8. There ARE no younger Cardinals. It takes a long time to move up in the Church. As a Catholic though, I'm glad they chose him. He's very compassionate and altruistic. I hope he turns the Church around. It's in need of good overhaul. And btw, except for the natives, most Argentinians are of Italian descent.

    1. So THEY pushed the Indians around, too? Whew, takes a lot of pressure off us.

    2. And aren't there a lot of Germans in Argentina, too? At least that's what they said on 'X-Men: First Class.'

  9. You realize that there was a candidate who was dismissed because, at 50, he was considered "too young"...

    1. Well, sure. They wanted someone who considered the Apostles his BFFs.

  10. Replies
    1. I think "Lids" is opening up a franchise in Vatican City.

  11. I really like the red shoes. Snazzy.

    1. And what's super sweet is that, if he clicks them together three times, he can go back to Buenos Aires for a visit.

  12. First thing I would do as Pope is to flavor those communion wafers. Beef jerky would be a great start!

  13. What detailed and fascinating info on some papal history. I thought it was interesting to note that the Arizona and the St. Louis Cardinals got to vote for the new pope. Great stuff!

    1. Yeah, they were able give those know-it-all Des Moines Presbyterians a big "Up yours."

  14. Sure a pope that is no dope, when his bell is rung, he can simply cough up a lung. Save one in need and report sooner rather than later to that heavenly feed. What came out, at least I didn't compare him to trout.

    1. The good Lord gave you two,
      so one will do.

  15. "Friend of nature and enemy of bathing" This is just one of many great lines! Of course it will be hard to get the image of "Bishop Snooki" out of my head. Glad that Philly Blurbs gave you permission to post this. No wonder they doubled your salary. I'm sure you're reaching a greater fan base than ever, and we're all very lucky to have you.


  16. We should have an arts and crafts day... Where we bedazzle our own pope hats!!

    And pimp canes.



  17. I see you missed the memo - P is for Pope Pearson! Yes, yes, in my fiefdom the chicks would be elevated to Pope status... rather than, you know scullery maids.

    In light of you missing the memo I'll let you kiss the ring, say a couple of holy rosary things and take me for a beer - why should those two have all the fun. :P :P (note the use of "P" in my tongue lashing)


  18. Bishop Snooki would do all the altar boys, missionary style. She's the true Ho.

    Thanks for another fun, educational post, Al.


  19. Yeah why are popes always so old they have one foot in the grave........just don't get that

  20. It definitely wasn't a wise idea to resign in those times, kind of funny that the Pope had (has?) the power to imprison people, especially ex holinesses. I find it so bizarre that there's two popes right now, would be crazy if this pope resigned and there because three popes, would be so incredibly bizarre.