The Diocese of Jefferson City

A Case Study of Clergy Sexual Abuse

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Childproof 37: Conclave or Coven — What If Betty White Were Pope?

Page 37
Dear Bishop Gaydos: 

Betty White
The hubbub of the Papal Election has prompted this question:  What if Betty
White were Elected Pope?
Surely the 90-year-old doyenne of the comedy circuit could do just as well as the last seven pontiffs in her lifetime:  Pius XI, Pius XII,
John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI.
We like to think that Pope Betty, who is known affectionaly in Church circles as God’s Pomeranian will accomplish a great deal more than Benedict, whose moniker continues to be God’s Rottweiler.

The following are some thoughts for consideration:
Bea Arthur
1.         Pope Betty will resurrect the entire
cast of the Golden Girls as Reality
Show spinoff on the Eternal Word
Television Network (EWTN).  In
the new series, her character, Rose
Nylund, will expand her St. Olaf
storytelling repertoire; Bea Arthur/
Dorothy Zbornak will be dean
of the College of  Cardinals;
Estelle Getty/Sophia Petrillo
will run the Vatican Bank
(with a separate account for
betting at the dog track and
jai alai); and Rue McClanahan/
Blanche Devereaux will take
charge of the Swiss Guard. 
Archbishop Georg Gänswein
Archbishop Georg Gänswein, the
Swiss-Guard-handsome officewife
of Benedict XVI, will continue as
a frequent guest star.  Gänswein
has been the Pope’s consort since
1996.  He began his priestly life
as a disciple of Archbishop Marcel
Lefebvre, the founder of the
reactionary Society of St. Pius X
(SSPX) and attended the group’s
seminary in
Écône, Switzerland.
Pope John Paul II excommunicated
Lefebvre in 1988.  Lefebvre died
in 1991.  SSPX have had protracted negotiations with the Vatican to resolve doctrinal issues, but its status as a Roman Catholic institution remains in limbo.
Family Album:  Some moments with Benedict XVI and Archbishop Georg Gänswein.
Benedict and Georg will have recurring roles as the nosy neighbors Binky and Schatzie.  In order to maintain the relat onship Bea Arthur will channel her two other famous characters:  Maude Findlay and Vera Charles.  She also copes by referring to the couple as The Ratzingers; and the annoying Schatzie will always be Frau Ratzinger to her.
Nothing a like a little drama with your comedy. 
Oprah Winfrey
2.         Oprah Winfrey will become dean
of the College of Cardinals and
lead the new Congregation for
Reconciliation with the Survivors
of Clergy Sexual Abuse.  Winfrey
will have special authority as the
guarantor of Pope Betty’s legacy.
3.         America Ferrera, Ugly Betty
of U.S. television fame, will lead
the Congregation for Catholic
Education and work in concert
with Winfrey.
4.         Hilary Clinton will accept the post of Secretary of State.  No explanation needed, except that the former First Lady understands the power of forgiveness.
5.         Pope Betty will issue ex cathedra (invoking the Doctrine of Papal Infallibility) her revelation to the faithful that all dogs (and some cats) will go to heaven.
Anderson Cooper
6.        Her first encyclical will be
entitled,  Rose Nylund of St. Olaf,
which will instruct the faithful in
the art of truthful storytelling 
the whole truth and nothing but
the truth.  The encyclical will
include a compendium of 1,000
St. Olaf tall tales.
7.         Pope Betty will draft a Pastoral
Letter entitled, Password, to
teach the faithful how to ask
the right questions when difficulties
upset the
tranquility of life.
8.         Pope Betty will promulgate a new book for the Bible:  The Book of Jokes.  Sample text will include:
Q:   Which stretches farther:  skin or rubber? 
A:    Rubber.  Because we read in Exodus that Moses
        tied his ass to a tree and walked 40 miles.
Q:    Did you know that in addition to Original Sin,
        Eve introduced profanity to the human?
A:    Yes.  Because the author of the Book of Genesis
        tells us that Eve raised a little Cain.
Q:    What happens when you drop a white hat into
        the Red Sea?
A:     It gets wet.
Q:    Did you know that tennis is oldest known sport?
A:    Yes.  Because the Prophet Samuel tells us
        that David served in the court of Saul. 

Elton John
9.    Betty will appoint Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to actually lead the Vatican Bank, aka the Institute for Works of Religion. Financial guru Suzie Orman will caution the faithful about the true value of indulgence.

10.   Pope Betty will appoint Anderson Cooper to lead the Congregation
for the Evangelization of the
People. Her Holiness believes in
his good looks and the fact that
he seems to have really listened
to his Mother – Gloria Vanderbilt –
and learned significant life lessons
at her knee.  
11.      Elton John will lead the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life; and with his husband, David Furnish, contribute to the both the Congregation for the Clergy and the Pontifical Council for the Family.The couple are the parents of two children and know something of the hardships in each of these areas. 
Joan Rivers
12.      Joan Rivers will lead the
Congregation for Bishops.  The
Joan Rangers Fashion Police will
rein in the wardrobe excesses of
Raymond Cardinal Burke and the
lacey surplice crowd.  Her Red
Carpet review will enhance
the Vatican’s accessorizing
13.      Pope Betty will ask the
Congregation of Divine Worship
revise Liturgical rubrics to
accommodate the needs of
contemporary society.  Creative
input will include:
n   Taylor Swift will attract the teen market and her, 
     tune, Why Ya Gotta Be So Mean?, will become 
     a standard.
n   Adele will lead the young adult campaign with
     Set Fire to Rain.    
n   Barbara Streisand, Liza Minnelli, Tony Bennett,
     Michael Feinstein, and Bette Midler will reach
     out to the adult market.
n   William Christy and Les Arts Florissants will assume
     control of traditional musical repertoire such the
     Lully Te Deum.
n   Franco Zefferelli will be appointed Vatican
     Dramaturge to re-imagine the presentation and 
     theatricality of the Holy Mass.
n   The Kings College Choir will replace the
     screechy Vatican Choir English Choir Music
     such as the Miserere Mei Deus.

Martha Stewart
14      Martha Stewart and Tom Gunn
will manage a new Liturgical Arts
campaign.Hubert de Givenchy,

Carolina Herrera, and Giorgio
Armani will supervise the creative
talent, which will include Calvin
Klein, Thierry Mugler, Bob
Mackie, Paloma Picasso, Jil
Sander, Ermenegildo Zegna,
Emanuel Ungaro, Christian
Louboutin, Roberto Cavalli,
Miuccia Prada, Vivienne
Westwood, Jhane Barnes,
Kenneth Cole, Tom Ford,
James Galanos, and Narciso
Rodriguez. Imagine the
Daughters of Charity in a
Bob Mackie design or
the Madams of the Sacred
Heart in Givenchy, or the
Carmelites in Jhane Barnes. 
15.      Pope Betty will sign a concordate with Queen Elizabeth II (known in some circles as Bettty Windsor) to merge the Church of England with the Roman Catholic Church.  The British monarch will be addressed as the Matriarch (or Patriarch, based on gender) of the Sarum Rite; and the Queen will retain the international copyright to the King James version of the Bible so that royalties from book sales will continue to fill her rainy day fund for architectural restoraton projects and good works.

Chic Simplicity:  Hubert de Givenchy would allow women religious to gather
together in formal attire for special occasions (left to right) Ursulines,
Dominicans, and Sisters of Mercy.
Sophisticated:  Givenchy (left to right), McQueen and Dior may have something to offer
the Sisters of the Holy Cross (left to right), Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul,
and the Franciscan Handmaids of Mary.

Vogue Habits:  Chanel (left to right), Carolina Herrera, and Alexander McQueen are
just a sampling of designs that would serve well the Sisters of Loretto, Capuchins,
and Franciscans alike.

Chapeau DeLuxe:  A Rachel Trevor-Morgan or Philip Treacy (center) hat might be the
order of the day if women religious decide to restyle their wardrobes and take a page
from their pasts as with the Sisters of Charity-Seton Hill (left to right), Madams of the
Sacred Heart, and Marian nuns will have a bountiful choice from which to choose.

Prayerful Couture:  Alexander McQueen (left to right), Jil Sander, and Carolina
Herrera could offer these designs to the Benedictines, Pink Sisters, and the
School Sisters of Notre Dame.
Papal Cadidates
As for the 2013 Conclave, we’re heding our bets.  The nationality of the next Supreme Pontiff may be one of the following:

First Choice:  Italian  Will maintain the status quo and keep the lid on the Vatican bank scandel.

Second Choice:  Spanish Sympathetic to the Italian Curia, but questionable politics considering the role of that hierarchy in the Spanish Civil War and its affiliation with the Fascist regime of Fransico Franco (1936-1975).

Third Choice:  French Only if all else fails.  The Curia could select a French cardinal just to keep the papacy in European hands and yet create the image of international sympathy.

Next Time:  The New Disinformation Campaign of Francis Cardinal George to Bury Sex Abuse Scandal in the United States.


  1. Ave Betty, piani de grazia!

  2. Sometimes laughter is the best medicine. Thanks for keeping us up to date.

  3. Love it, Mike. Can you get it published somewhere? Joe.

  4. The Vatican could use a replacement shepherd, too. I have always wanted to be invited to become the Shepherdess to tend to the flock of sheep that are responsible for the wool used in the Pope's pallium.