(reprinted from the 2006 edition of the MySpace version of "Almost the Truth")
Did you hear about what's happening with the Pope? You know...the Pope. Pope Benedict the 16th?
I--uh--I don't know what to make of this. On one hand, I'm intrigued, but on the other...well, frankly, I'm disgusted. Here, let me tell you what I'm talking about.
The big headline in the St. Paul Pioneer Press said "Benedict surprises in first year." Okay...great...fine. During his first year as pope, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger did some things that were unexpected. That's wonderful. Kind of a break-out-of-the-mold kind of thing. Glad to hear it.
But listen to what those surprises were. The sub-title of the article, "Benedict surprises in first year," says this: "New pope less visible, more hands-on."
I read that and I thought, "Whoa--the new pope is less visible? Less visible? How does that work? Is he slowly fading away, like Marty McFly in Back to the Future? Is he gradually becoming transparent? How freaky is that?"
Or is it that he just every once in a while disappears? He's sitting there blessing people or making pronouncements or getting his hat polished--you know, going about his normal pope-stuff--and then suddenly, poof, he's not there anymore? Or rather, he's there, but you can't see him. He's not visible.
And apparently, this is happening more and more, because the paper says, "New pope less visible." (Sounds like a commercial: Friends, are you tired of the old pope? Same old face. Same funny hat. Everywhere you turn, there he is! Well, have we got something for you! It's a brand new pope! But wait, there's more! Yes, he's a new pope, BUT--he's less visible. More carbs. Less trans fat. New pope. Less visible. Get yours today.)
Now, you see, by itself, this whole invisibility thing would be pretty impressive. I mean, if he weren't already pope, that would be reason enough to vote him in right there! It's not everybody that has that claim to fame: "Hi there! Wanna see me disappear? Now you see me, now you don't!"
But the problem is...what he's using this special ability for. Look, it says it right in the headline: "New pope less visible, more hands-on." Great! He's got this special ability to be invisible, and what does he do? Puts his hands on people. For cryin' out loud, hasn't the Catholic church been scourged enough for this kind of thing? You'd think the pope would have learned something from all those scandals, but NOOoooo...the minute he can do it without getting caught, (because you can't see him) he gets, quote/unquote, hands on. That's disgusting.