What Kind of Craziness Could a Lame-Duck Pope Get Up To?

Dubious and far-fetched ideas.
Feb. 19 2013 12:48 PM

Pax Out!

Edicts of a lame-duck pope.

Pope Benedict XVI attends a meeting with parish priests Feb. 14 in advance of his last days as head of the Catholic Church

Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images

VATICAN CITY, Feb. 28—As Pope Benedict XVI completes his final day as Supreme Shepherd of the Catholic Church, the world still reels over the last week of his papacy. Following the Pontiff’s grand pronouncement last week that it was time to “ire magno vel vade in domum” (“go big or go home”), and that he intended to “test out this whole papal infallibility business,” the Holy Father issued an unprecedented number of papal bulls. A timeline of the seven days that rocked the Catholic world to its core:

Feb. 21. On the practice of homosexuality. Pope Benedict announces ex cathedra that the church has officially renounced its opposition to homosexuality. “As all humans are God’s children,” Benedict said. “It is foolish to condemn some to eternal torment for simply loving those whom God has helped them to love.”

Feb. 22. Flan non est acceptabilis mensa secundia (flan is not an acceptable dessert).

The pope tests the faith of Latin and South American Catholics with the controversial NO FLAN edict, adding a paternalistic “Vos adepto quid vos adepto vobis et non adepto turbaris” (“you get what you get, and you don’t get upset”) with unyielding resolve. Bavarian Cream declared God’s Dessert of Choice.


Feb. 23. Sainthood. Pope Benedict swiftly canonizes a deserving trio of new saints. He calls the traditionally lengthy process “a lot of red tape that I just don’t need to go through,” a “total hassle” and “not really my problem anymore.” The new saints are Dorothy Day, Helder Câmara, and Irena Sendler. Surprising many, Benedict also canonizes Tami Taylor, though she is not Catholic and is in fact a fictional character. Notes the Holy Father, “This is an occasion of joyful gratitude to God for the inestimable gift of grace and determination that Tami Taylor gave to her family, the young people of Dillon, and Friday Night Lights fans the world over. Let her light inspire us all toward her mission of ‘making sure that you don't grow up stupid.’ " The pontiff’s voice cracks with emotion as he concludes, “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t. Lose.”

Feb. 24. Islam eam, non tag terga. Pope Benedict enacts a puzzling edict directed at the Muslim faith: “Islam is IT. No tag-backs.” Asked to clarify in light of his often inflammatory remarks about the religion, the Pope simply giggles, “Non tag terga, non tag terga!

Feb. 25. Pilgrimages. In an attempt to “spice up the old to-Lourdes-and-back routine,” pilgrims are now urged to make spiritual journeys to:

  • Dubai’s indoor waterfall
  • The island where Tupac, Kurt Cobain, Biggie, and Aaliyah live together
  • In-N-Out Burger (Sunset Blvd. & Orange location)

Feb. 26. Choice of successor. By papal edict, Benedict’s successor shall be chosen through a Warriors-inspired Cardinal fun-run through Vatican City. Next pope heavily favored to belong to the “Riffs” gang (Italian Cardinals); long shots are “The Orphans” (Americans) and “The Lizzies” (nuns).

Feb. 27. Snitches adepto suturis (Snitches get stitches). No mention shall be made of completely theoretical reasons a pope might possibly give up the papacy for the first time in centuries, just as no mention shall be made of one’s youthful indiscretions with the Hitler Youth, possibly flawed handling of child abusers, or desire to keep Vatican finances on a need-to-know basis. People who engage in such irresponsible rumor-mongering are hereby declared heretics.

Feb. 28. Maso estos transdonitaj en Esperanto. Mass will be herewith delivered in Esperanto. “Bydd màs yn cael ei gyflwyno yn Gymraeg” (“In the Americas, it will be delivered in Welsh”).


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