Thursday, April 21, 2005

Where There's Smoke...

There's a pope on fire.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected as the 265th ( I think) pope Tuesday, and will rule, iron-fisted like, assuming the holy name Benedict XVI.

As cardinal, the 78-year-old German has a reputation for being a hard ass where doctrine and preservation of that old time religion are concerned. His immovable position on such hot issues as whether or not clergy can marry, gay marriage, and the ordination of women, has driven a wedge between codgers of his ilk and progressive, forward-thinking, catholics.
But don't fear, my rosary-entangled, holy water-splattered friends, he's old, and what some religious experts are deeming an interim pope.

Or as I like to say, a rebound pope.

He'll get the flock through the immediate grief, distracting them from missing Pope John Paul II. He entertain them, telling jokes, wining and dining the faithful--in a eucharistic sense, eventually attempting to cauterize any attachment to his predecessor by trash-talking and malicious posthumous gossip. He'll try to convince the masses that he's the real deal, that he's what they've been wanting all along.

Sure, he's not John Paul, but he's all you've got, for now. He's a warm body in a cold, empty cathedral. He's there for you. And he won't let you forget it.

Pretty soon, he'll start making you feel bad about yourself. He'll remind you of how unworthy you are, that if it weren't for him, you'd be alone in this world. He'll try to isolate you from your family and friends, and he'll want to know what you've been doing all week. And you'll tell him. You'll confess everything to him because you want his approval, his blessing, absolution only he can provide.

You'll think about leaving. But he sees the way you look at Unitarians, and Buddhists. He knows how you covet freedom--freedom from guilt, freedom from superstitious ritual, freedom from the delusory need for intercession. He is a jealous god, oops, I mean man. So he holds you a little tighter, and it makes you feel wanted and loved, at first.

"Let me remind you what Hell is like, child," he rasps into your ear. Your choice, at this point, is between eternal damnation, and indefinite earthly bondage. Bondage is ok for now. You've lived with it this long, you can hang in there a little longer.

Finally, he dies. The coast is clear, you can leave without fearing retaliation. An Episcopalian church provides safe, transitional shelter while you get your thoughts together. And after years of healing, deprogramming, you are at last ready to sell your story to the Lifetime Channel.

For a devilishly satisfying pictorial rendering of the new pope(not to mention Rock's own brand of papal-bitch-slapping), check out http://askrock.blogspot.com


Blogger AskRock said...

I enjoyed the piece, but what a great title.

Wow, what a great title!


6:11 AM  
Anonymous katarama said...

again, you rock. that's all their is to say!!

12:07 PM  

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