The job search continues.
Readers may recall the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on 28 February 2013. At the time, with the Church in a scramble due to the unexpected vacancy, I took a chance on what at any other time might have been viewed as an overly optimistic application.
Despite knowing my candidacy was a long shot, when the papal enclave chose Pope Francis over me, I sank into a black depression, again. Still I maintained a sliver of hope that he would soon be exposed as lizard shape-shifter or a communist, and that they would realize their mistake.
It has now been 1 year, 6 months and 3 days since Pope Francis’ election. I concede now that the possibility of the enclave’s reconsideration is now very slight. For my part, I admit that even if the position were now offered to me, I would be far more circumspect and examine the benefit package far more closely than I may have at an earlier time.
I submit now to the public record the letter of introduction and appeal to reason that I made during those happy, hopeful days.
His Eminence Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone
Secretary of State, Camerlengo of Apostolic Chamber
00120 Citta del Vaticano,
It was with great concern and best wishes for his health that I first learned of His Holiness, Pope Benedict’s resignation from the Papacy and of his post as Supreme Leader of the Catholic Church. His mandate spanned an especially trying time for the church and his scholarship and leadership was valued around the world.
I want to assure you that I recognize the importance of respecting centuries-old tradition and practice in the selection prospective candidates for the role. I would however like to humbly put forward my own candidacy in the hope that despite my having come from outside the “inner circle”, you will consider my qualities and agree that I am indeed very Popeable.
Before getting into what I feel are the many positive aspects of my candidacy, I would like to address some that may be perceived negatively. While it is true that by birth I am Jewish, I am not observant. In fact, I have long felt that while many of the Old Testament’s ideas are as fresh and as vital today as they were 4,000 years ago, times do change and I deeply believe that we should remain open to ideas that are merely 1600-1900 years old.
Another possible hurdle might be my marital status. I am well aware that neither the Pope himself nor any of the Cardinals are permitted to marry under the laws of the church. Since I am already married, might it be considered “pre-existing condition” – eligible for an exception? I would add that ours is merely a civil union, and that in the eyes of God, we are still unmarried. That said, if it is a real problem for the other cardinals, I would be willing to consider an annulment. I do ask that I be the one who informs my wife, when the time comes.
As for the teachings of the church, I think we are on the same page on most of the Commandments. I’m very comfortable with 1, 2 and 3; and 5 through 10 are no-brainers. Regarding 4 however; although I’ve rarely missed one, remembering the Sabbath has always been a bit difficult for me. My short-term recall has never been terribly reliable. This, I’m sure, will not be a problem in the future with all the other Cardinals there to remind me. Obviously I would keep it holy.
I am sure that I will be able to contribute meaningfully and substantively to the important debates amongst the other clergy. I have given much thought to the weighty issues of leading a moral life in modern times, and to what man’s place in a world suffused with pain and suffering might be. I also speak a little Japanese.
The following may be of no religious significance, yet I feel I should mention it. Many years ago, looking up at the setting sun in a pasture where I was attending a Grateful Dead concert, I heard two seraphic voices speaking about me in the 3rd person. They were discussing my inability to perceive a self-evident truth. I felt a little sad upon hearing this, but just then, the sky crystallized into a sheet of pure amethyst, and shattered so beautifully that I felt instantly healed and whole. Could that have been a miracle? If so, would that speak well for my candidacy?
In conclusion, I would simply like to point out that though I may be inexperienced in the inner workings of the church, I am in vigorous good health, and have (God willing!) many years ahead of me to learn. I can bring many positive qualities to the position, including but not limited to; social media savvy, an affinity for international travel, as well as a love of hats.
I humbly offer my candidacy with the solemn promise to make every effort to uphold the office of Bishop of Rome to the best of my ability, and wish you all strength and wisdom in your most difficult of decisions.