Pope Francis has hinted that he’s not in the job for the rest of his life which has sparked all sorts of speculation, not least of which is on who will replace him
There are some jobs you shouldn’t ever want to give up. Which of them you wish you had most, be it test pilot, captain of a national sports team, or quality tester in an Amsterdam coffee shop run by a 24 year old nymphomaniac stripper who likes you driving her Lamborghini really fast, is a matter of personal taste, but in essence there are a small minority of people who get to do a dream job that any one of us would love to have ourselves.
Obviously we can’t all be captain of the team, and frankly some of us wouldn’t wish to be, but then that’s okay because for all of us that don’t dream about leading out their national side in a World Cup final, or what have you, there are plenty that do. You name a top job and however unpalatable it might be to you, there’s someone out there that fantasizes about having it, savoring the very thought of the fame, the glory, the money, the power.
The Pope But Briefly
• Francis hints at quitting soon
• Websites open book on replacement
• Richard Dawkins 666-1 to be next pope
Typically we’re told that these positions are by no means as good as they’re cracked up to be. Movie stars that earn millions moan about what hard work pratting about in front of a camera can be, captains of industry cite the stress or long hours despite their massive bonuses and politicians make out they are the most put upon humble servants of the public then cling on to positions of power like a limpet mine attached to the hull of a ship.
However whilst politicians cravenly do whatever is necessary to retain their grasp on power, however morally reprehensible or ethically devoid, there are some jobs you get and get to keep for life, it’s one of the things about them that’s so cool. The obvious one is Pope but whilst it’s generally been accepted popes get elected and die in office that hasn’t how it’s worked out of late and even now, thanks to UK gambling laws, I can wager on who will be the next lucky pontiff.
Frankie Says He’ll Quit
The fact that popes no longer have to die to be replaced allows us all to wager on the papal election without qualm, but surely Pope Frankie has only just arrived, he’s barely been in the robe for two years and already we’re thinking of who comes next? Why? What’s wrong with him? Is he ill? Has he a dark past? Does he dress like a nun and go serial killing on the weekends? I mean I thought this guy was okay, you know, for a pope, so why are we talking about his replacement?
“I have the feeling that my pontificate will be brief.” Said Pope Francis recently in an interview for Mexican television “Four or five years; I do not know, even two or three…..” Which is a stunning admission by a man in the shoes of the fisherman. It’s tantamount to quitting, albeit with quite a bit of notice, and the lord alone knows what behind-the-scenes machinations that little bombshell set off in Vatican HQ.
Just the fact he feels he has the option to walk away from being Bishop of Rome is a lamentable result of the election of the former Hitler Youth member Pope Benedict whose dark ringed eyes made him look like a grumpy vampire. After all the revelations of child abuse etc within the church you just knew he wasn’t going to be gambling news coverage could be improved by, you know, actually doing something about it, he looked precisely the sort of pope you wouldn’t want to leave your kids with.
Francis, on the other hand, bounded onto the scene like a breath of fresh air, his man-of-the-people routine going down awfully well with the public and allowing him to say all sorts of things that seemed to indicate the church was willing to modernise, compromise and generally not be quite so mindlessly dogmatic anymore. Divorcees could marry in church, paupers could be buried in the Vatican and homosexuality was no big deal. After Benny, Frankie was fabulous.
Death – God’s Way Of Firing You As Pope
So why, two years into a job you can have for the rest of your life at the very pinnacle of your profession, has Pope Francis as much as told everyone he’s a temp? Just how bad can being pope possibly be? Okay, sure, your time is not your own, you’ve more security than a paranoid druglord, and you’re custodian of an age old institution that isn’t yours to just play with however much Anthony Quinn might have made it look like you could, but is that enough to make you quit?
Surely the pope, as part of the Apostolic Succession, was chosen by god. God picked him from amongst the ranks of the eligible and elevated him through the papal conclave to the highest seat in the church, right? I mean, that’s how they claim it works. So what could possibly have made someone chosen by god suddenly decide that just because the lord himself made it happen doesn’t mean it has to be forever? Wasn’t the death bit of one’s papacy gods way of telling you to stop? His choice, not yours.
Of course Benedict blew that one out of the water by “retiring” after 8 years in 2013, although frankly you can bet your cassock to a choir boy that wasn’t of his own choosing, and apparently, given he’s still alive, god is in no rush to enjoy his company either, so one wonders just how ghastly he really was. Frankie has said the decision to step down had been “courageous” and I suppose going against the will of god is pretty brave, but why is he following the example of Satan’s panda? What has he found out?
Right now, at sites akin to Bet365, any amongst you that like to bet on sport in the UK can find Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle at 6-1, Archbishop Angelo Scola and Cardinals Ouellet and Turkson all on 8-1, Cardinal Omalley is at 10-1 and (because even gambling websites have a sense of humor) you can get 666-1 on Richard Dawkins being the next pope, and 1000-1 on Bono, and if it’s only a temp job you can give up anytime you can no longer be bothered there doesn’t seem much reason they shouldn’t be pope in the first place, although I might not be backing them.