On Christmas Day of last year, former Pope Benedict XVI emerged from his humble chambers, saw his shadow, and winter continued. When he re-emerged, he gave a heart-felt plea for a revival of purity, advocating for the interests of the poor from his $63 million cathedral wearing the entirety of Ron Paul's gold reserves in jewelry.
Months later, Pope Benny the Jet, as nobody has referred to him until now, shocked the world by announcing he would retire, as his health was failing and he wanted to spend his remaining years laying around in his pajamas all day and drinking wine with his friends; or in other words, being pope.
The resignation of a pope whose robe didn't have to be torn from his cold, dead, weird-looking old-guy elbows hasn't happened very often and some have reasoned that it is a sign of the decline of the traditional Catholic mind (RIP Nate Dogg). Here is how the Catholic Church can ensure that it makes it through the little hiccup that has been the 21st century.
1. Embrace Sexual Deviance
The Church has a difficult task continuing to pitch a bearded guy in a robe who hangs out with his underachieving buddies all day.I was an altar boy once. I know, I know, you're expecting me to insert some obvious and recycled joke about how I was molested by a priest, but I refuse to do that, because I signed a written agreement that I wouldn't bring it up again when we settled out of court. It's clear now that it would be harder to put those tiny male skeletons back in the closet than it would be to put a cardinal behind bars for creating them. So, how could they assert their return to the Judeo-Christian values of only disenfranchising slightly older females?
Solution: Consolidate the two places you put $1 bills: the offering plate and strippers' asses.
By using strippers in the church instead of offering plates, donations would skyrocket, men would no longer have to lie to their wives about their bank accounts being in the hole, young boys wouldn't understand it because they've never had sex ed, and young girls could see what would happen if they end up going to public school.
2. Recruit Pope Gregory the Brady
What does every failing business marketing team resort to? Big tits or a memorable face (in the case of Subway, both). Because using a female to revitalize the face of the Catholic Church runs the risk of her whoring the whole thing to the ground with her crazy menstrual hysteria and trying to fly planes around the world, the Church needs a celebrity spokesperson to become the face behind the cloth.
Solution: Hire Pope Gregory the Brady (of the Bunch).
There have been a long line of Gregorys that have ridden the papal bull (it's a thing, trust us). It was Greg—in an ode to asceticism—when tempted by a woman, who said, "Something suddenly came up." It was Greg, who in a feat of self-control didn't have sex (on-screen) with his step-sister, even though she was incredibly hot. And it was Greg who reassured Alice that there's more pride in a hard day's work washing dishes in an apron than being one of those talk show lesbos (that sounds so Greg). Yeah, I realize he's a Jew. Which brings me to my next point…
3. Drop Jesus
The Catholic Church has had a particularly rough time reconciling conservatism and the canon of Christ as of late. It's hard to convince the upcoming hoards of pacifist vegans who want to replace capitalism with six strings and their daddy's Chevys with their moms' hybrids that Jesus really turned water into napalm or only cured the sick with a co-pay. They've had an even more difficult task continuing to pitch a bearded guy in a robe who hangs out with his indolent, underachieving buddies all day, because this isn't 1998 and Vietnam vets stopped being funny after…well, this certainly isn't 1998.
Solution: Lose the Messiah hack.
Listen, I realize Jesus isn't the type of guy you want to cross (hey-oh), but his time has passed. Once you've lost the Savior bit, you're left with Judaism, and look how great those folks have done. Man and woman were created, hit a slight speed bump for the rest of recorded history (6,000 years or half the age of Clint Eastwood), and now Spielberg's winning Oscars. Besides, Christians are really just fair weather Jews anyway. It will totally catch on with the kids because The Lumineers are already dressed for the part. Plus, now you could go to the Orthodox orthodontist and after you tell him you halakha what he's done with his office, you can let him know you're haredi to get the retainer…on his nephew's law services.
4. Make Amends with Science
It's no longer socially acceptable to burn the Bill Nyes of the world at the stake for proposing theories that contradict the dogma of the Church. No matter how ridiculous they sometimes seem, the majority of people actually take objective scientific inquiry seriously, even if it is counter-intuitive that using the thing that prevents people from getting pregnant and transmitting disease isn't, indeed, causing pregnancies and spreading said disease.
Solution: As much as it may Herz, the only chance is incorporating scientific and technological advancement into the Church.
We institute sermon podcasts. We give people who pray out loud bluetooths so they fit in with all of the other assholes on the street. We hire Stephen Hawking to tune the organ. We accept that 65 million years ago a celestial object hit the Yucatan peninsula, effectively wiping out the dinosaurs. And yes, it was sent by God to kill the dinosaurs for having sex before marriage.
5. Go Gay
"See? As long as you're not in a robe too, there's no attraction." There was a high-ranking priest who admitted he had sex with a man. It turned out he was just kid-ding (oh wow, even I'm taken aback). Look, there's no other group that has more political clout that isn't a rich, white, straight male than the gays. There is also no other group that has been as at ends with the Church in recent years that's old enough to talk about it. Unfortunately for Catholics, the outcry for equal rights in the workplace and altar for homosexuals has risen higher than the pant legs at a Bill Paxton premiere in San Francisco (do we still think Bill Paxton's sexy? Did we ever?).
Solution: End the public stonewalling (Stonewall riots, get it?).
There's simply no way around it. Let's be honest, although it sounds pretty gay to support gays being allowed into the Boy Scouts, it's still less gay than just being in the Boy Scouts. Then at the Vatican they can finally remove that cardboard cut-out of the Archangel Michael with his hand up that reads, "If his head's beneath this line, it's not gay to ride this boy."