I won’t be among those in the running as the next pope. But I could have been.
After hearing of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI last week, I searched the Internet for the requirements for someone to be elected pope. Interestingly enough, the only qualification is that the pontiff be a Roman Catholic male. That’s it. I fit the bill on both counts. I could have been Pope Anthony I. The Vatican would have never been the same.
Then I found the hitch. A layman can be elected pope but upon his election he would have to be ordained a Cardinal of the church. To be a Cardinal, you have to be a priest. Roman Catholic priests must be unmarried. I have been happily married for 30 years, so that, obviously, takes care of that.
There are other disqualifying factors (to be discussed by me and my confessor, thank you) but I’m working hard to be better.
So a trip to Rome is out. I’ll be watching for the white smoke, like everyone else.