I’ve been a Catholic my entire life (including 12 years of Catholic school) and, I have to admit, that I would be unable to answer the question, “How do you become Pope?”
I mean, I know you have to be a dude. And you have to be Catholic. And a priest. Well, a cardinal, actually. Beyond that, I know there’s a “short list” (I feel really cool when I say “short list”) and I know that there is smoke, but I can’t tell you what else is involved when it comes to vetting (saying that makes me feel cool also) nominees to become the next Pope. I do know that once you get the job, you get a killer ring, a cool hat, and a company car, aka the “Popemobile.”
Anywho, I found this handy dandy video which quickly and succinctly answers the age-old question (OK, roughly 2000-year-old question): How do you become Pope?
I love the part where the Pope in the video states, “In case of a tie the winner shall be decided by rock, paper, scissors.” I also liked the declaration of the hypothetical new Pope who decides he will be known as “Pope Awesome the First.” Admittedly, it doesn’t take much to make me giggle.
Speaking of Pope names, were you aware that the five most popular Pope names are John, Gregory, Benedict, Clement, and Innocent? Me neither.
There is no shortage of predictions these days (no, no, not Oscar predictions — we all know that Lincoln is going to sweep) about which cardinals are on the short list to become the next Pope. One would assume every cardinal knows the answer to the question “How do you become Pope?” since the Vatican is basically their version of The Big Show.
Maybe — just maybe — we shouldn’t assume.
As far as predictions go, Cardinal Peter Turkson, 64, of Ghana, has been considered by many to be the front-runner for the papacy. Cardinal Turkson would be the first black Pope since the Middle Ages. One would think that he has all but killed his chances to become Pope, as he has been talking publicly a whole lot lately…and most of his statements don’t exactly leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy. Cardinal Turkson certainly isn’t the guy who comes to mind when you wonder, just how do you become Pope?
After all, he said the African Church hasn’t been affected by he widespread priest sex-abuse scandal because of Africa’s cultural taboo against homosexuality. He also supported Ugandan legislation (aka the “Kill the Gays” bill) that made homosexuality punishable by death. Ironically, Pope Benedict appointed Cardinal Turkson as the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in 2009.
The Council for…Justice and Peace.
Of course, the Catholic Church is not exactly gay-friendly but it’s definitely pro-life. While its stance on capital punishment is open to debate (and it is debated often), I’m pretty sure that executing people for the simple fact that they are homosexuals has nothing to do with justice and peace. But hey, that’s just me.
This begs the question, exactly how do you become Pope?
Let’s hope the answer has something to do with justice and peace. Let’s just hope.