I only start worrying…

…if the new pope takes the name “Joan II”.

Okay, if Mahony is elected and takes the name Judas I, I also worry.

Update: Will the new Pope take the name “Jude”?

Vatican insiders denied the possibility, saying, “Nah Nah Nah Nahnananaaah.”

Others speculate that, in a bid for a commanding share of the soft drink market, the college of cardinals is contemplating elevating Cardinal Sicola to Pope Sicola: the Choice of a New Generation.

Some are wondering what the former pope will be called.  Many are urging he take the name “Ex-Benedict”.

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  • Those are definitely reasons for concern. Here’s another:
    What if the new pope takes the name Jude I? Then we would have to deal with people arguing that Hey Jude should count as liturgial music.
    Okay, that was a terrible joke. *hangs head in shame*

    • *liturgical* – not liturgial

  • Dan C

    I recall after the last election there was a certain glee on the right. With blogs named “The Cafeteria is Closed.” Openly embracing the smaller purer Church concept. Despite the New Evangelization, I think that has been taken to heart by all Catholics- a desire to purify the Church of The Wretched Other.

    The conclusion: it doesn’t matter who takes the helm. We are the problem.

    • Bill

      well we are much of the problem Dan, all members of the Church Militant since we are sinners and are predisposed to sin due to concupiscence

      we are all also much of the solution as we have sacramental grace from the Sacraments

  • Will

    Some time ago, Cardinal Sicola was mentioned, with comedians raising the possibility of Pope Sicola.

    • Grey Pilgrim

      Every papal election refreshes the world?

      • If a bumper sticker isn’t made of this soon, I’ll be very disappointed.

  • Mark R

    Pope Sicola.
    Pepsi Cola: If you switch the letters around it spells “episcopal”.

    • Rosemarie


      So would Pope Sicola be the choice of a new generation?

  • I’m still reeling that Giacomo Cardinal Biffi of Bologna, an outspoken opponent of vegetarianism, wasn’t named pope last time around.

    • Timbot2000

      On this date in history the Earl of Sandwich, the Baron of Bologna, and Colonel Mustard got together and invented a popular food item. What was it?
      Uh, the baloney sandwich!
      Wrong! Brak!
      Uhmmmm … b’loney sandwich!
      Wrong! Blip!
      (squeak squeak)
      Give us a clue!
      Colonel Mustard … in the pantry … with the cold cuts! Ha ha hahahahahaha!
      Brak, be quiet!
      (whispering) Okay.
      Come on, Space Ghost, give us a clue!
      All right. O-kay. Let’s see… Potato chips and ranch dip!
      Potato chips and ranch dip?
      Correct! Two hundred years ago today, the Earl of Sandwich, the Baron de Bologna, and Colonel Mustard introduced potato chips and ranch dip at the feast of St. Dino in Thatsamoray, Italy.
      Not the baloney sandwich. Go figure.
      Boy, it was right there in front of ’em alla time. They just didn’t know what they had.

      • Hi my name is Brak!

      • Beccolina

        Oh, that takes me back. Good days.

  • Rosemarie


    He should take the name Lando II. Not only would it be cool, but it may even bring legions of Star Wars fanboys into the Church. They’re surely ripe for conversion after the devastating news of Disney taking over SW.

    Just kidding. Mostly. 🙂

    • Beccolina

      All that nerd power focused on learning the minutiae of the Catholic Church? Not necessarily a bad thing.

  • Gordon

    Mark, if you have nothing useful or educational to say, perhaps you should save the juvenile humour and pray for the Pope and for our Church. The Pope showed grace and abiding love in his actions, perhaps that would be something worth emulating.

    • Rosemarie


      I’m sure Mark does pray for the Pope and Church. The humor is, I think, just a human way of dealing with the shock of this news – and it really did come as a shock. No pope has resigned since the 15th century and we all love Pope Benedict so much, it does make your head spin. Humor is a way some people tend to deal with that kind of news.

    • Balin

      Gordon, thanks for raising this issue. We should never laugh in the face of adversity. We should never ever laugh when surprised, shocked, fearful or scared. In all these instances humour should be frowned upon. Thanks for reminding me that we should not retain our good humour in times like these. Something also needs to be done about all those people out there whistling past graveyards. But maybe we could forgive such human behaviour. After all, a smile is only an upside down frown.

  • TheEpic95

    I need humor. I need REAL HUMOR, and QUICK!

    • How about this:
      Today Show interviewer (today): Can you vote for yourself as Pope?
      Cardinal Dolan: Crazy people don’t belong in a conclave.

      Well, I laughed!

  • Suburbanbanshee

    The Irish: making bad jokes in times of trouble since before your ancestors were literate!

    • Suburbanbanshee

      (And we know this because early Irish monks were always scratching little fun notes and poems in the margins of their books….)

      • Rosemarie


        My family is mostly of Italian descent, but one of my uncles married an Irish woman. At my grandmother’s wake, one of my aunt’s brothers sat down next to us and started cracking jokes. I knew about this practice, so I wasn’t offended. In fact, it was kind of nice, being able to laugh in the face of death like that. O death, where is thy victory?

        Hey, if one can laugh during a wake, why not laugh despite today’s news? It’s not nearly as sad as a death. Look at the bright side, we get a new pope without his predecessor dying. Usually we go through a few weeks of grief before hearing the joyful “Habemus Papam.” Now it may happen while Ratzinger (?) is still alive. I know it’s a change but God is still in control.

  • Honestly, I don’t think it’s sad news at all. What is depressing is to see bigshots of various kinds who cling to their offices and muck up their legacies rather than admit that they are undergoing a terminal decline; thank God the pope has the courage to face the facts of his own mortality and talk about them in a direct, manly fashion.

  • Mike Walsh

    People wonder if he will influence the next election, since he cannot vote in it. Fact is, he has influenced it, pre-emptively, as it were, by his choices of cardinals. As to the big betting pool, I would not put any money on a name, but I think there’s a very good chance it will be somebody from the “Church of the Global South” as Philip Jenkins calls it.

  • Don’t worry about Pope Joan II.

    Insteasd, imagine the following Popessa … Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the USA.

    She knows how to wield the powers of her office, and has discovered how to add powers that no one before her knew existed. Canon law does not get in her way! With her, there would be “development of doctrine,” on steroids. She could purge the Church thoroughly, even if the purge would be the inverse of the St. Pius X crackdown on Modernism.

    Why not step boldly into the depths of the unfathomable future, and do something totally unprecedented … like a lady Pope?

    If not Petrus Romanus, why not Katharine I?