As the black smoke emerged from the Sistine Chapel on Tuesday, I was frozen in horror.
We failed. Failed to come to an agreement on who would lead the Church in crisis into a more progressive ideology. The first day of deliberations yielded nothing. NOTHING!
A fruitless first day.
Sunday, I’ll don dark sunglasses and a brightly colored scarf that attracts more attention than it dispels. Scott and I will drive down to the nearest mega church. Bigger crowds are better, after all. It will be easier for us to blend in. As we find our way to our seats, Scott will hiss in my ear, “Don’t genuflect!” but for a moment, my left hand will linger on the seat as my right knee longs to bend. I’ll wear something with a high collar for sure, so I can tuck my crucifix in where it cannot be seen. Perhaps someone will recognize me despite my best efforts. Perhaps someone will call out, “Hey, you there! Aren’t you one of those CATHOLICS? Didn’t I see you following around Pope Benedict XVI?”
Without hesitation, I’ll shout back, “NO! I’M TELLING YOU I NEVER KNEW THE GUY!”
After that, I’ll certainly run off to the ladies room, weeping and sobbing, “Oh, Benedict, oh Papa! Why did you leave us in disgrace and schism?!”
Or not. Probably not. However, based on reports from the media, this is pretty much the scene playing out across the globe. Allow me to reassure you; no one expects a new pope on the first two days. The first vote especially. Good grief, some of the stories I read yesterday made it sound like the black smoke was the absolute end of the papacy. If we had a 2/3 majority on day 1, we’d know it was either a miracle or a hostile takeover.
The same people who brought you Cafeteria Catechesis would certainly love to introduce Microwave Popery. Instant Pope! Just add holy water! Fortunately, the Catholic Church is still Catholic and continues to work at her own pace. Hopefully, we’ll have results within a week. It may take longer. We will have a new pope in exactly the amount of time it takes to elect a new pope. Real Catholics are waiting with bated breath, but we’re not wringing our hands by any means.
Don’t listen to the sensationalism. They’re just trying to get viewers. This morning’s offerings are hailing failure after 2 rounds of voting–there have been 3. Until the rest of the media gets their papal facts straight, I’ll keep on getting my news where people at least know what they’re talking about.