When I was a first-grader in Catholic school, we got a primer on the Pope. John Paul II was installed when I was three years old, so I don’t remember the process, but as a six-year-old, I did think it was really cool that white smoke would billow when God chose a new Pope: it seemed like magic, and magic was cool. I also remember thinking that maybe I wouldn’t have to go to church between popes.
I never tested that theory, because the next Pope didn’t come along for another 25 years, by which point:
- I understood white smoke was a chemical reaction based on people casting votes.
- I was no longer a practicing Catholic.
I have to congratulate my cousin Adrienne on being the second family member to have a Pope elected on her birthday. The first was my sister Kris, back in 2005, and I predicted it well in advance, much to her surprise. You’ve been POPED.
In response, I’d like to point out:
- A same-sex marriage in the church in 1061
- A hypothesis about the intent of a now-unused rite
- A number of conveniently ignored things in those old books
Eventually attitudes will change, and at the very least, it doesn’t appear that Petrus Romanus has appeared.
If they don’t change, well, it won’t matter in a half-billion years when everything crisps up anyway.