Dear members of the New Pope Selection Committee,
I would like to officially throw my proverbial miter into the ring for consideration as the next Commander and Chief of the Catholic World. Now before you immediately rule out my candidacy due to my presumed misfortune of possessing an extra X chromosome in a world obsessed with only the Y chromosome, allow me to make my case. In time, I am certain that you will find I am without a doubt, the only option for this position.
I began my journey into Catholicism back in 1972 under the solid Irish Catholic moniker of Margaret Katherine. – Sidenote: The outside world has long felt more comfortable with one of Irish descent leading the charge. We’re known as a trustworthy and happy lot and people just like us better than the Germans. Make a note of it.- I was a devoted Catholic up through the fourth grade when a run-in with Sister Nora and some chewing gum caused me to question the basis of a religion that would allow such tyranny to be inflicted upon small children by hostile women clad in black. Thanks to the tireless work of Sister Nora’s nemesis, Sister Marguerite, I reentered the fold of all things Catholic by the end of forth grade and remained there up and through high school. Having undergone this time of questioning is imperative so that the leader of all Catholics can better relate to the youth of the world.
During my years in university and graduate school, I again found myself at odds with Pope J. P. II simply due to his strict demand that I attend mass each week on a morn directly adjacent to the eve set aside for mass consumption of mind altering beverages. It’s not that my connection to God had waivered, quite the contrary; I prayed for his mercy many a Saturday night following the afore mentioned mass consumption; however the stringent laws of the church were not compatible with my young adult life style and youth won out. This time in my life illustrates without question that I understand that not all prayer and devotion need take place in a formal place of Catholic worship.
By the time I entered my formative adult years, I had again rejoined the world of Catholicism. It was a bit rocky at first finding a parish that was good fit. I was nearly driven away forever when I stumbled upon a very progressive parish that included geriatrics performing interpretative dance with ribbons during the reading of the gospel and full body embraces during the sharing of peace. But when I attended a Good Friday service at St. Bridget’s that included a priest splayed face down on the floor, ultimately recreating a scene from my all time favorite work of literary genius, The Thorn Birds, I knew I was home. I think it is imperative that the leader of the world’s Catholic population have a good handle on all aspects of the faith, including temptation and who better holds that knowledge than one who first read and watched the Thorn Birds in the fourth grade.
While living overseas I remained relatively connected to a small parish in Turkey through another expat friend, until the unfortunate slaying of one of the priests by a group of militants. Shortly after that, we both lapsed and chose not to speak of anything Catholic in the presence of anyone but our husbands ever again. As a mother, I wasn’t prepared to give my life for the Catholic church and since the advent of the Pope-mobile, I see that will not be an issue when I make appearances. What’s more important to note here is that periods of lapse make the heart stronger.
My son, while listed on his Turkish birth certificate as a Muslim was also baptized as a Catholic and will begin catechism classes in the fall so you see, Committee, I will single-handedly serve as a bridge to the Muslim world and quite possibly may be capable of fostering that long illusive World Peace you've search for for so long.
On a practical side, I’ve spent nearly 20 years working in the world of theatre and nothing is more theatrical than a Catholic religious service, each filled with singing, choreography (sit, stand, kneel) fantastic scenery (with the exception of those few unfortunate churches that were built in the late 70’s and lack any sense of visual style or grace) and fabulous costumes. My highly refined taste and experience with hydraulics and theatrical rigging will help rocket Holy Day masses into the stratosphere.
While my above mentioned credentials clearly make me a stunning candidate for the position of Guru of Catholicism, it is simply my gender that is my true asset for this position. As a woman, wife, mother and daughter, I have a level of brilliance that has been missing from the Vatican since its inception. I have an intuition to keep children safe, a sense of vengeance to viciously prosecute any human guilty of harming a child, a deep need for equality regardless of sexual preference, a heart for forgiveness and the uncanny ability to budget. Let’s be honest boys, Benny and his German ways didn’t work out so well and things over there haven’t been working well for a long, long time. At the risk of sounding crass, it is time for this sausage party to end. You are all in desperate need of estrogen. Oh, and on that note, we will be having words on this whole birth control stance the minute I take office. Men who take a vow of celibacy do not get to monitor the sex lives of others. Consider yourselves warned.
I realize that time is tight. We’re on the verge of Holy Week and it is imperative that the new leader be in place by Palm Sunday at the latest. I am prepared to move immediately, though I will be requesting a relocation package complete with a team of packers and child care services. I’ve been brushing up on my Latin in preparation for my Holy Week duties. I have a pair of stunning red shoes, though the average Catholic’s budget does not allow for Prada but at least I have something to get me started and I look forward to the figure-flattering wardrobe that comes with this position.
Further qualifications include: exquisite taste, fluency in a second language, attended a Catholic University, served as an Altar Server during the early 1980’s when the church had a bout of liberalism, read the Thorn Birds 7 times prior to 1985, active member of the online- St. Jude Society.
References Available Upon Request
I will be awaiting my white smoke.