On March 13 white smoke was spotted over Rome, accompanied by the sweet sound of bells ringing. Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires and a Jesuit, was elected as the new Pope. The world’s 1.1 billion Roman Catholics now have a dynamic, charismatic leader who is expected to infuse the much- maligned Church with a refreshing sense of style.
And the entire Catholic world is bursting with jubilation. The newly christened Pope Francis can capitalize on this sudden wave of good feeling by canonizing the following notable figures. For if the old conventional wisdom associated the Catholic Church with the Crusades, the Inquisition and clergy abuse scandals, the new CW is that it’s hip to be square! Such a bold stroke by the Vatican will signal to the faithful and beyond that a new dawn of understanding and tolerance has broken over Saint Peter’s Basilica.
While many of the below nominees for sainthood are still technically alive, the new Church should discard old prejudices and not disqualify a worthy candidate due to the pesky presence of a pulse. In the same vein, Pope Francis should not be deterred by such a trifling matter as the religious affiliation of these glorified souls.
2013 Nominees for Sainthood (listed in no particular or divinely ordained order)
1) Kim Kardashian: Patron Saint of Grainy Sex Tapes
2) Barack Obama: Patron Saint of Blissful Ignorance
3) Sarah Palin: Patron Saint of Pistol Packin’ Mammas
4) Justin Bieber: Patron Saint of Prepubescent Detox
5) Steve Jobs: Patron Saint of Constant Contact
6) Hugo Chavez: Patron Saint of MSNBC
7) Mick Jagger: Patron Saint of Plastic Soul
8) Barbara Streisand: Patron Saint of So Passé
9) Benjamin Netanyahu: Patron Saint of Pistachio Pistachio
10) Silvio Berlusconi: Patron Saint of Fallen Strippers
So, will Francis, the “Pope of the Streets”, push for the kinds of reforms that many Catholics are clamoring for? Female priests? Married priests? Acceptance of artificial birth control?
Sure: as likely as you are to see Saint Elvis Presley, Patron of Jumpsuits, Sequins and Dexedrine, go marching in to your local McDonald’s.