The world was stunned when, on a recent Monday morning, Pope Benedict XVI resigned from the papacy. Notice that it was a Monday morning. I’m concerned that Monday mornings are when most pastors are tempted to resign.

Nevertheless, the resignation of the 85-year-old pontiff creates a situation that hasn’t occurred in 600 years. We know exactly when a new pope needs to be elected; and because the situation itself is unprecedented in the modern era, we may as well break some other precedents. Thus, I am announcing my candidacy for pope.

Now it may seem odd to you that I would run for pope. After all, while I have plenty of Catholic relatives, I am myself a life-long Baptist. However, follow my reasoning: The pope is Bishop of Rome, a role which Catholics believe was first filled by the apostle Peter. Because most Baptists are convinced the apostles were really Baptists anyway, it seems a natural fit—a round-about version of apostolic succession. What goes around comes around, as they say.

There are a variety of reasons why I’d like to serve as pope. For one thing, that is an impressive outfit the pope gets to wear. The hat alone is worth the price of admission. I’d also love to get to drive the pope-mobile around Rome. I’ll bet the polizia are under orders never to give the pope-mobile a parking ticket. What traffic cop wants to risk excommunication just for writing a lousy ticket?

Also, think of all the fun things popes get to d They travel around the world, and people cheer for them whenever they arrive. They get to meet kings and presidents, and they get free annual passes to the Vatican Museum. What’s not to like about this job?

I suppose I need to come up with a campaign, though, otherwise those cardinals will get together and elect some old Italian guy, which has been done before. Maybe I’ll win them over by sharing ways that I would bring new innovations into Catholic life. (Of course, I’ll probably hold my idea about making Martin Luther a saint for a few years—can’t give them the whole load at once.) So if I am elected pope, it will mean:

• Getting rid of those Gregorian chants and introducing some Chris Tomlin tunes to the liturgy.
• New pads on all the kneeling benches!
• Midnight mass moves to 9:00 p.m. so everyone can get home at a decent hour.
• No more celibacy for clergy; now they can get married! (A few hundred thousand priests just joined my campaign.)
• Free passes through purgatory. (Hey, indulge me.)

Best of all, can you say, “dinner on the grounds”?

Share This On:

About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

Related Posts