I’m Running For Pope

I'm Running For Pope

As I’m sure you have all heard by now, Pope Benedict XVI has surprised the world by announcing he’ll be resigning as Pope effective February 28, 2013; the first pope in six centuries to quit before God could fire him, so to speak. Vatican officials are scrambling to have a new pope in place by Easter, and that’s why I’d like to say to them: gentlemen, look no further!

Yes, friends, I’d like to announce in this moderately official capacity that I am running for pope, and I humbly request your support during what I’m sure will be an arduous campaign process. To some, my decision to run might seem like it’s coming out of the blue, but rest assured I’ve wanted to be pope since I was a child. In 1995, when I was only seven years old, I remember watching the televised visit of Pope John Paul II to New York City and being awe struck at the grandiosity of the whole event, longing desperately to be at the center of it all. And how could I not? There before me was a man getting driven around in an awesome car (the Popemobile, how cool!!) while wearing a full-length dress, a crown and wielding a presumably magical golden scepter, not terribly unlike the one Jafar had in Aladdin that I coveted so desperately. “If that isn’t the perfect job,” I thought to myself, “I don’t know what is.”

My dreams of becoming pope were almost set aside when, years later, I attended a gay pride celebration and realized that drag queens seemed to have the exact same job perks — the exuberant parade, the dress, the wand/crown combo — and that the opportunities to become one were far greater. But now that the chance to become pope has suddenly presented itself, I know I can’t pass it up. After all, being a drag queen at gay pride is a once-a-year thing, whereas I could be pope for the rest of my life (because unlike some people, I’m not a fuckin’ quitter).

Clearly I’m very passionate about taking on the papacy, but you should know I’m also wildly qualified for the job. Now, I feel I must admit I was never baptized, but my mom was, so technically I’m a Catholic and therefore eligible to run (if the ‘mom rule’ is good enough for the Jews, then it should be good enough for us). Upon investigating my past, I’m sure some of you will find my lack of pious upbringing unsettling, but I’d like to assure you that I’m trying to be more and more devout every day. For example, I may not have been inside a church in a while, but I *have* been a religious patron of a bar on Church Street, where I drink more wine (a.k.a. the blood of Christ) than you can possibly imagine. Sometimes I even order the garlic bread sticks, which I like to think of as the body of Christ with added pizzazz. If this wasn’t already enough, I have also on occasion opened up my home to fellow bar congregants for continued worship after ‘mass’ has ended. We don’t partake in traditional prayer per se, but someone is on their knees and someone is saying, “Oh God, yes!” so I don’t think you can argue I’m not doing a great job.

Now that my dedication and qualification could only be called into question by logical skeptics (who have always been enemies of the church anyway, so who cares about them) I’m sure you’re eager to hear what kinds of acts I’ll be implementing once elected. If I’ve learned anything from studying successful campaigns, it’s that a platform based on promises of change do very well, and what a coincidence because there is so much I’d like to change about the Catholic Church that I don’t even know where to begin! I think my first order of business will be to retract any and all statements made by the previous pope concerning the Harry Potter franchise. For teaching millions of children the joy of reading, J.K. Rowling is for sure getting a one-way ticket to heaven under my papacy, all that stuff about wizard stories being heresy be damned! After that’s taken care of, I think I’ll start selling off most of the Vatican’s unnecessary luxuries (except my fancy scepter, I need that) and putting the money toward caring for the injured and feeding the hungry, which I hear we care about but haven’t witnessed a whole lot of. I guess while I’m at it, I’d also like to clear up some common misconceptions about practicing the faith, like this idea that “love thy neighbor” and “do unto others” doesn’t apply to people of other religions, or races, or sexual orientations. Nope, under my reign, we’re going to start treating everyone like God’s children, which is to say, human beings who deserve respect. How would that be for some change, huh?

Oh, and we need to quit it with the child molesting too, obviously.

So, if this sounds good to you, I’d love your help getting me into the Vatican. You can pray for me, but preferably you’ll do something more proactive and take to Twitter and Facebook and let everyone know that I deserve to be in charge of the world’s one billion Catholics. If we all just work together, I know I’ll be wearing that embroidered hat in no time! TC Mark

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