Pope Benedict XVI has announced his resignation (effective February 28), making him the first pope to resign the post since 1415. That means for the first time in 598 years, there will be a living ex-pope. Naturally, questions abound. Questions such as: Does he get to keep the hats? And, How do we address an ex-Pope? Is the title of “Pope” like the title of “President” in that you retain it even after you’re out of office? Perhaps the proper salutation is His Ex-Holiness? No, that sounds like he did something to fall out of god’s good graces.
Those questions will be settled in due course, but for now I would like to save the College of Cardinals — the body charged with electing the pope — a whole lot of trouble by handing it the ideal pontifical candidate on a silver platter straight from the tabernacle of ingenious ideas known as my mind.
Allow me to present Father Reginald Foster, seen here speaking with Bill Maher in the comedian’s 2008 documentary, Religulous:
Although Foster is 73 years old, he would still be five years younger than Joseph Ratzinger was when he was elected pope in 2005 and took the name Benedict XVI. Foster is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and would be the first non-European pope elected. Most important of all, he'd become the most hilarious pope of all-time, surpassing Stephen VI, who presided over something called the Cadaver Synod, in which he had the remains of his predecessor exhumed and put on trial. I kid you not.
Foster became a Latinist for Pope Paul VI in the late 1960s and is an internationally recognized authority of the Latin language. In 2008, he began to suffer from serious health issues before recovering and returning to Milwaukee in 2009. He would also be the first non-cardinal elected pope since Pope Urban VI in 1389. No matter — this man needs to be pope.
Disclaimer: I'm not a Catholic. I'm not even a Christian. Hell, I don't even believe in god. But what I do believe is that Reginald Foster should be the next pope, and take the name Pope Reggie I. (Although, I suspect the "I" will be redundant because I don't see future pontiffs assuming that name.)
If anyone has an email address or phone number for the College of Cardinals in the Vatican, please send me a message via PolicyMic. Contact info for this body is elusive, but it's got to be out there somewhere. Any other suggestions are welcome in the comments section. Let's get this campaign off the ground.