Now that the Pope has had a day to rest up from the religious rigors and pomp and ceremony of Easter Sunday, I figure he’s using the time to compile his “to-do” list for the coming five to 10 years, which is the average survival time for most heads of the Catholic Church.
What do you suppose is at the top of his list? It would be nice to think that this “Pope of the People” would dumb down the usual pontifical agenda to meet the needs of average folks like you and me, but if he’ follows along in the great messianic tradition of saving the world from itself, he probably will list Peace in the Mideast as Target Numero Uno. Just how a guy who can’t speak Farsi, Arabic, Yiddish or Hebrew expects to mend fences in the 110-degree desert is beyond me. I bet he can’t even ride a camel, much less tolerate hummus.
So, in case the Pope is actually open-minded and doing due diligence when it comes to collecting data for his five-year plan on how to save Planet Earth, I have composed a short list of what we poor suffering Christians, Jews and Muslims would prefer the Commander-in-Peace to concentrate on. Let’s call it the Layman’s Guide to World Renovation:
1. Pope will publish an encyclical setting a limit on the length of all lines–in banks, supermarkets, car washes, etc– to no more than the number of people who at any one time are texting their spouse while getting a rectal exam.
2. Pope will tour the United States and Canada, avoiding large venues like the Houston AstroDome and instead chatting with small groups at intimate places that encourage philosophical and theological discussions like Starbuck’s, Chipotle and Subway.
3. Pope will write an advice column published in major newspapers. On the style of “Dear Abby,” the question-answer format will address such problems as “How can I go to confession when I have Alzheimer’s and can’t remember what I did four minutes ago?”
4. Pope will buy an AK-47 rifle, wait 10 days to get approval, and offer to shoot on sight any priest or other religious officer who messes around with children.
5. Pope will go on a Carnival Cruise and make special blessings in the engine room and kitchens so vacationers don’t waste their hard-earned dollars and trifle with their health by sailing off to the Caribbean on a leaky vessel with salmonella rampant in the cocktail lounges.
6. Pope will meet with the Captains of Industry, Heads of State and Assorted Genius Wackos and promise them free passes to heaven if they play nice and remember what they learned in kindergarten and at Cirque Soleil.
7. Pope will appear on “American Idol” and sing a choice of the “Ave Maria,” the aria from Rigoletto or the old Jay and the Americans standard “Cara Mia Mine.”
8. Pope will take his vacations in popular resort spots, such as Epcot in Orlando, to show blue-collar and middle-class workers that he’s just a regular guy with problems like everyone else and a taste for exorbitantly-priced Sicilian pizza.
9. Pope will dispose of the “gay” problem through an implied blessing he silently offers after seeing “La Cage Aux Folles” and “Milk.”
10. Pope will compose the quintessential “Idiot’s Guide to the Catechism” and go on a worldwide book signing tour.
Now isn’t this a lot more down to earth and time-intensive than praying for Jesus to come back to Earth and deliver the Rapture? Ok, but it’s a lot more fun, right?