It is official. I have been rejected as the next Pope!

Angelo Sodano
Dean of the College of Cardinals
Via del Pellegrino
Citta del Vaticano
Vatican City State, 00120
Europe
March 14, 2013

Sidney Dean Hagen
6419 Highway 81 North
Piedmont, South Carolina, 26973

Dear Sid,

Thank you for your recent application for the Office of the Bishop of Rome. While it is not our usual practice to respond to every applicant for this vacant position, we understand that you have a history of being persistent with such an unusual request, and we would like to avoid any future unpleasantness. We have a two thousand year run of bad luck with popes occasionally dying a bit too quickly.  Our most recent bet on a slow horse was with John Paul I, or as we refer to him as John Paul I A whose 34 day reign placed him as the eleventh longest reigning short term Pope.  Many of us believe that our current choice Pope Frances,affectionately known to his detractors as Pope One Lung has one foot in the grave and one foot on a banana peel.  We believe that it is highly likely that we will be smoking ballots at some time in the near future. We felt it necessary to enumerate the reasons for your rejection so we don’t have to cross this bridge again in the future.

You are not Catholic.

While we are trying to present the image of a kinder, gentler Holy Roman Catholic Church, we feel like this problem is a bit over the top. Given your complete ignorance of what it is actually like to be Catholic, we feel you might have a tendency to be a bit flippant about our history and traditions. Fr. Giuseppe Francisco has been monitoring your social media posts, and has found references, to “Holy water being frozen into Popesicles” and the papal slippers having TGIF written on them meaning “Toes go in first.” Quite frankly we feel you lack the seriousness requisite the office. No one appreciated the comment stating, “That nun is such a sinner smoke flies off her rosary after confession.” By kinder and gentler Catholic Church we were referring to the fact that we really haven’t pursued the Spanish Inquisition since 1834. Beyond that point and maybe an acoustic guitar performance at a church Bingo game we really aren’t all that interested in pursuing reform.

The Holy Office of Historical Archives has been combing historical records looking for a precedent for a non-Roman Catholic pope. Other than the possible exception of St. Peter, God rest his soul, we really can’t find any justification for a Protestant pope. Consider in the vernacular of your language that the idiom, “Is the Pope Catholic?” is used as a metaphor for an axiomatic positive statement; you must understand what making an exception for you in this timeless truth would mean in disrupting cultural mores. If the Pope wasn’t Catholic then people would start wondering if “Wild bears (relieve themselves) in the woods.” Soon all absolutes would probably erode from society resulting in mass chaos and moral decay. We really can’t afford the bad press right now.

You are currently married with children.

In the past we have been a bit lenient on our current policy of celibacy for some worthy exceptions as St. Peter and Leo X, it has been a while (1585) since we have been willing to make an exception to this rule. Regarding your proposition to take a vow of celibacy, your wife assures us that you are, “Lying through your teeth.” She went on to say, “He doesn’t have a snowballs chance in (The domain of the damned) of his keeping that promise for a week, much less the rest of his life.” We are just not ready to deal with jealous nuns at this point in our history.

You have a questionable educational background.

We can appreciate that in spite of your current employment as an HVAC contractor you have had rather extensive theological training. Quite frankly a BA and an MA from Bob Jones University does not sit well with the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Our Church and your School have never been all that tight in the past. Bob Jones Jr. was a bit unflattering in his portrayal of the Office of the Papacy. Given his less than positive eulogy of Paul VI and his generous peppering of terms like “Antichrist, Throne of Satan etc.” we feel like you might have picked up a bit of his negativity. We still have our ears ringing with Ian Paisley’s, “Don’t pray for the Pope! The Pope is an Apostate!” We understand that three people in the front row of the Amphitorium were blinded with spray from Ian’s plosives as he made that vindictive statement. We just can’t have you running off at the mouth like that.

You have a problem with butt cleavage.

The church tried to address that issue with alterations to His Excellency’s Robes during the reign of Gregory VI. Gregory’s similar issue led to the papal title “Patriarch of the West.” It is a little known fact that this was in reference to his West end while he was praying to the East. While his robes covered him well pronouncing blessings to the masses on the balcony, the offense of his “West end” while he knelt for prayer ultimately led to his deposal at The Council of Sutri on December 20, 1046. Most witnesses described this event with terms like “The Horror.” We are afraid that memes of a similar indiscretion with you will make it on the pages of social medial, and we will become the laughingstock of multinational religious organizations. The current theological debate in the College of Cardinals is whether this constitutes a mortal or venial sin. Either way we aren’t comfortable with the ramifications of such a public relations disaster.

At this time we could address minor issues like your plans to “trick out” the Popemobile, but we are starting to see a trend here. We understand that you can’t handle your liquor as well. Most recently, after finishing the chalice of communion wine your mix of the words of “Taffy pulling contest at St. Peters” resulted in a great misunderstanding at that congregation. I care not to enumerate any other examples of your unfitness for this office. At that point the discussion would degenerate into a discussion of flatulence. The thought of the Papal robes fluttering in the breeze just gives me cold shakes at night.

In the future we ask that you do not contact us regarding any future employment. We have your address on file and will contact you if, God forbid, we ever change our mind.

Sincerely,

Angelo Sodano

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