Habemus Pom-Poms

Here's my pope thought of the day, but I want you to think about something first.

Gerald Ford is the only person to be President of the United States without having been elected. True, there are a few Vice-Presidents who became Commander-in-Chief after the death of the previous President, but all those Vice Presidents but Ford were at least elected to be Vice next in line. Ford was appointed Vice President when Spiro Agnew resigned and then became President when Richard Nixon resigned. So the public never really chose Ford; he sorta slipped in there. Now I ask you: would you still want the job knowing that no one really wanted you there? I guess you would; you'd still get to ride around in limos and helicopters, and bands play intro music whenever you enter a room. And I hear the living arrangements are pretty sweet. All in all, I can see why you wouldn't mind. I just think it would be like the kid picked last for kickball getting to pitch and bat top of the line-up- a total sham.

In my opinion, this is what it's like with new Pope Benedict XVI. At the age of seventy-eight, he's the oldest elected pope since the 1700's. The word out on the street is that the cardinals knew anyone who would have to fill the shoes of John Paul II would have his work cut out for him, so they deliberately picked an older guy to be a "filler pope" for a few years; he'll be able to distance the next pope from JP2's popularity. Of course, this isn't how the Vatican is spinning things, but read between the lines. This is really what's going on. And it's a smart idea. I wouldn't be surprised to see Benedict pick some younger cardinal [in Catholic church years: a guy in his fifties] to be his right hand man to groom him to be next pontiff. It's all part of a plan. I'm sure of it.

But how do you feel if you're Benedict?* You're now in one of the most powerful positions in the world and the reason behind it is, "we picked you because you'll die soon." I don't know if I'd want that job under those conditions. But once again, I guess the perks outweigh the lame-duck status. Think about it: nice robes, lots of things to bless, Pope-mobile.

And he still gets to wear those hats.

*I do find it weird that for the past few weeks we've been calling this guy Ratzinger and now we're supposed to call him Benedict and everyone's going along with it. It took Prince years to get people to address him as that symbol and he finally gave up and went back to his old name. Anyway, I actually like Ratzinger better. He already has a logo! He could have a vicious rat put on all his robes. It would rock. What kind of logo can you make for Benedict?