FSG Blog
February 18, 2013

Papal Scenarios

In this “Papal Scenarios” post, we imagine the first few days of the Pope Benedict transition.   

Headline from today’s New York Times: “When a Pope Retires, Is He Still Infallible?”


March 1

Dear Diary:

Well, I woke up this morning and everything seemed normal at first. Then they brought me breakfast.

Oatmeal! I mean, I like oatmeal, but I was sure they were going to bring me eggs. Weird.

Napoli plays Juventus tonight. I try to think who will win, but it’s just a fog. So strange.

March 20

Dear Diary:

I lost my right Prada shoe today. I always used to know where they were. Now I can’t remember where I left it. Go figure.

Rain this afternoon. Sister who came to clean up said, “If you don’t like the weather in Rome, Your Holiness, wait ten minutes – you know what they say.”

Hey, Sister – I didn’t used to have to wait ten minutes. I KNEW.

And I DID know what they said. I knew what they ALL said.

Now, not so much.

April 3

Dear Diary:

Butler is robbing me blind, I think.

Of course the old butler was robbing me blind and leaking stuff to prosecutors. But back then I KNEW he was doing it.

It’s the uncertainty that’s killing me.

April 29

One upside: TV and movies much more interesting when you don’t know what’s going to happen.

Sister Teresa keeps bringing me highbrow stuff, though. “Lincoln.” You don’t have to be infallible to know how that one’s going to end.

I’d kill for some Real Housewives.

May 17

Dear Diary:

New pope caught me trying to sit in his chair today.

“You’re not thinking of doing some ex cathedra opinions, now, are you?” I laughed, but I think he knows.

In fact…I KNOW he knows, and that’s about all I know.

Before, I would have KNOWN he knew, and he would have known I knew, but he wouldn’t know what else I knew.

And now HE knows that I don’t know all the other stuff he knows. Driving me batty.

June 4

Dear Diary:

Thought about talking to new Pope about problems of losing infallibility after resignation. Then realized I am only Pope to resign in 600 years.

Also realized new Pope already knows. Freakin’ infallibility. That Joni Mitchell was right. You don’t know what you got till it’s gone.

But before it was gone, I SHOULD have known, right? If I was infallible, I would have known how much this was going to suck. I must have known, but I decided to resign anyway for some super-important reason that now I’ve forgotten.

July 5

Dear Diary:

New Pope passed me in the hallway today. Shook his head.

What’s that about?

I remember when I was Pope and he passed me in the hallway once, and I shook my head at him.

Is that it? Am I going to get a goiter?

August 6

Dear Diary:

Lost game of checkers to Brother Innocent.

I think he might have been doing the chicken dance down the hallway. But I can’t be sure.

And that’s just it. I CAN’T BE SURE.

September 7

Dear Diary:

I finally nailed Mister Bossypants pretty good today.

He came by and said he understood that I was unhappy.

“Forget about it,” I told him.

“I can’t,” he said. “I’m infallible.”

I saw my chance. “If you’re infallible,” I said, “you can do anything, right?”

His nostrils flared and his eyelids batted, and then he spun around and stalked out of the room with all those prissy sycophants that used to follow me around.

I lay back on the bed, sparked up a cigarette and folded my arms behind my head in triumph.

Maybe I’ll watch some tube. Maybe I’ll take a walk in the convent garden. Maybe I’ll read a book.

I just don’t know.

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