Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Non habemus papam...papa quieti...We don't have a pope...the pope quit

Unless you can’t fog glass, you probably know the pope will resign at the end of February.  Among other things he said in his resignation speech, “Attamen in mundo nostri temporis rapidis mutationibus subiecto et quaestionibus magni ponderis pro vita fidei perturbato ad navem Sancti Petri gubernandam et ad annuntiandum Evangelium etiam vigor quidam corporis et animae necessarius est, qui ultimis mensibus in me modo tali minuitur, ut incapacitatem  meam ad ministerium mihi commissum bene  administrandum agnoscere debeam.

If you’re like me, you read that and probably responded “No kidding!” 

What?  You say you didn’t understand the pope’s statement?  Is Latin not consubstantial with your language skills? 

Well, for those whose Latin skills are rusty, the pope’s Latin statement means, “However, in today's world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the barque of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.”

And, in case you thought “the barque of Saint Peter” referred to his favorite brand of root beer, please note that a “barque” is a sailing ship with three or more masts. 

In a language not spoken in the vernacular for over a thousand years, comparing the Church to an 18th century form of transportation, the pope said he’s not up to the task of leading the church in a rapidly changing society.  And to that, I respond, “No kidding!”   

The statement, read in its entirety in Latin says so much.  We’re living in a world where people communicate in cryptic slang via social media outlets, sending messages almost at the speed of light.  The modern translation of his three paragraph Latin statement can be rendered down to a text or tweet, “Bros, coupla thangs… trifecta on some saints + am old, tired + outta touch so am OOH (out of here),  LYLAB (love you like a brother) … BXVI.”

Don't misunderstand me.  I think more people should study Latin due to its academic significance.  But Jesus was all about walking with the people versus talking over their heads.  You can't connect with people if you don't speak their language.

Also, don't misunderstand me in that I greatly value the wisdom of the elderly.  I don't care if the pope continues until he dies or resigns but I respect his decision to go.  And, unlike most pundits, I wasn't at all surprised by his resignation due to his scandal wracked papacy and a possible pending indictment in the International Criminal Court due to his role in the pedophile mess.    

O.K. the pope is going so the next question is “Who are the ‘papabili’?” the people who are considered pope candidates.  Well if someone will strike up a rousing rendition of “Spanish Flea”, we can review the prospective candidates: (I do recommend you listen to "Spanish Flea" while reading the candidates; I believe it enhances the experience with a little ambiance.)

Bachelor number 1 is a 71 year old conservative Caucasian Italian Cardinal with ties to the Communion and Liberation uber-conservative group, with a soft spot for immigration.  Welcome, Cardinal Angelo Scola.

Bachelor number 2 is a 70 year old conservative Caucasian Italian Cardinal who believes denying same-sex unions will help strengthen heterosexual ones.  Welcome Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco.

Bachelor number 3 is a 69 year old Caucasian Cardinal of Italian descent (seeing a pattern here?), with Latin American ties and is a whale of an administrator without any pastoral experience.  Welcome Cardinal Leonardo Sandri.

Bachelor number 4 is a 68 year old conservative Caucasian Austrian of noble birth, speaks lots of languages, and has a couple hundred openly disobedient priests running around in his country who think the church is out of touch.  Welcome, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn OP.

Bachelor number 5 is a 68 year old conservative Caucasian Canadian Cardinal, speaks six languages, has a soft spot for Latin America but not for women impregnated by rape.  Welcome Cardinal Marc Ouellet.

Bachelor number 6 is a 63 year old conservative Caucasian American Cardinal, calls himself “the American pope”, loves photo ops, politics, yelling “religious liberty” indignantly and topics related to women’s pelvic regions.  Welcome Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

Bachelor number 7 is a 70 year old moderate Caucasian Italian Cardinal, who not only knows about but uses social media and wants the church to be relevant in the modern world.  Welcome Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi.  (Ask St. Jude to pray for you, because you sound like a long shot amid this sea of conservatives, ultra-conservatives and uber-conservatives.)

Bachelor number 8 is a 64 year old somewhat moderate African Ghanaian Cardinal, is a Methodist convert with lots of pastoral experience who loves a good joke but not the use of condoms to stop the spread of AIDS.  Welcome Cardinal Peter Turkson.

Bachelor number 9 is a 63 year old moderate Brazilian Cardinal of German descent with pastoral and academic experience who leads the world’s largest Catholic diocese.  Welcome Cardinal Odilo Scherer.

Unfortunately, in this version of “The Dating Game” nobody gets to ask interview questions - not even hokey ones.  Rather than have any input from the laity, these bachelors and their brother bachelors, will sit in their matching red hats and dresses, and vote for each other until two-thirds of them agree on which bachelor gets to be the next pope.  Then that guy trades in his red hat and dress for white ones accompanied by red shoes designed by his personal cobbler.

The conclave to elect a pope begins with the statement, “extra omnes” (“Everybody out!”).  With over 76% of Catholics already abandoning the church, have the conservatives, ultra-conservatives and uber-conservatives adopted this as their motto?  Will it matter who is elected the next pope?

The pope admits he's out of touch with today's world and can't keep pace.  Are any of the Cardinals in touch with it and will the ones who aren't elect one who is?


  1. Not sure what aspect's seriousness is being questioned. Yes, these are seriously the Cardinals whose names are being bandied about as pope candidates. However, there are times that someone is elected pope who was not considered a serious candidate heading into the conclave.

    Yes, in a light-hearted manner, I tried to summarize some of the vetting information available on these candidates.

    No, they are not going on the Dating Game.

    Yes, "Spanish Flea" was the theme music played for the introduction of bachelors on the old dating game.

    Yes, I am serious that the conclave begins with the words, "extra omnes" (everyone out!).

    Yes, I am serious that about 76% of Catholics no longer are involved with the church.

    Yes, I am serious that the Cardinals will wear their red outfits and whoever is elected pope will don white garb. And yes, the current pope has red shoes made by Prada.

    Yes, that is an excerpt of the Latin text from the pope's announcement and yes, he made his announcement in Latin.

    Yes, that is the translation of his statement.

    Yes, a "barque" is a 3 masted ship.

    The sample tweet was an attempt at light-hearted humor showing how many in society today are used to receiving information and I used it to draw the marked contrast between a pope speaking in Latin to a world that listens to tweets, texts and other such forms of communication.

  2. this is so full of win!

    [Translation: This is good]


  3. Thanks, you made me smile big today. Of course, I smiled yesterday too, when I heard the news.

  4. Recently I've been linking your engaging articles on the Monday menu of www.v2catholic.com

    Above article will be linked earlier - on menu of Thursday Feb 14

    God bless!

  5. Thanks John, I added a link to your site on my blog.

  6. Here's one for your popsicle stick: What did the pope give up for Lent?

    On a more serious note, I like the question you posed about whether it would matter who next is elected pope with over 76% of Catholics not involved in the Church.

    On the one hand, are any of our choices going to be effective leaders who would bring sheep back to the fold?

    On the other hand, are any of our choices going to scatter more sheep faster than BXIV?

    On the other hand, does it matter who is leading the Church if most of the sheep (76%) are no longer with their shepherd?

    On the other hand, how many of the non-scattered sheep (the other 24%) actually pay attention to what the pope says or let him influence their conscience? (I for one don't give him so much authority over me.)

    On the other hand, does a worldwide institution need a governing structure with one clear leader?

    On the other hand, does a worldwide institution need a governing structure with an effective leader at the helm?

    On the other hand, does a worldwide institution need a leader who understands and represents the interests of the population served?

    On the last hand (I must be an octopus), does it matter to any of the ewes that absolutely none of the contestants for their leader is female?


  7. Nice post! I sent you a quote a couple of days ago from 2 catholic men from Africa who desire an African pope. I sent it to you in dismay that the media chose the comments of those two men to represent the African Catholics. The media's role in moving public opinion away from anything other than the conservative Caucasian male is strong -- not that the choices from the African continent are any more appealing than the European choices, but it would be nice if the media actually gave the public the chance to evaluate them rather than portraying them as a joke.

  8. Ah, sorry, haven't checked my email in a few days. Will do that. Thanks for sending the information.

  9. As an excommunicated apostate, I have to say that I'm glad people still involved in the church are dissatisfied with how it's being run as well.

    Very funny stuff.

  10. Sinceramente achei o texto de uma imbecilidade sem conta! A igreja ou a Barca de Pedro, vem atravessando o mar revolto desse mundo podre, ha mais de dois mil anos, e continua a singrar esse mar, vendo todos os seus adversários ruirem e serem devorados pelo olvido. Ela porém, continua sea viagem rumo ao porto seguro, pois seu timomeiro é o Senhor dos Exercitos, o KYPIOS, cujo Reino não terá fim!

  11. Bruno, thank you for your thoughts. In my best ability to translate from Portuguese to English, here is what you said,

    "Honestly I found the text of the record no imbecility! The church and the Barque of Peter, come across the stormy sea of this rotten world, for over two thousand years, and continues to sail this sea, seeing all your opponents crumble and be devoured by oblivion. She however still journeys towards the safe harbor because its helmsman is the Lord of hosts, the KYPIOS (I'm assuming you are using the Greek spelling of the Latin word Kyrios which means, "Lord"), whose kingdom shall have no end!"

    Please offer correction if I misinterpreted your comment. Thanks.