New pope is a grumpy cat


The new pope has been chosen. Image above from Jonathan Koshi.


    1. In fairness that’s kind of a big assumption from just one photo. He doesn’t frown ALL the time.

    1. The age is a feature, not a bug. They are stuck with whoever they choose, so with modern medicine someone 65 could be around a couple decades or longer. This one they can be fairly sure of replacing in ten years or less

      1. I’ve gotten the impression, listening to about two minutes of BBC radio immediately following the… uh… unveiling, that since Francis here wasn’t particularly shortlisted as a favorite, he’s probably a compromise candidate.  There might have been a couple strong contenders who each couldn’t get a 2/3 supermajority, and rather than run down the clock with politicking, they look at the humble New World geezer of 76 years [EDIT: and with only one lung, though apparently that’s been the case for sixty years, so maybe that’s no consideration) and figure they can live with him for however long he lasts, and he won’t do any damage before it’s time to replace him.  And the multitudes will be jazzed by his outsider South American origins.  Meanwhile, there can be more backstage politicking to figure out who should be next as they kick the electoral can slightly down the road.

        Of course, unless some cardinal present blabs, we’ll probably never know.

        1. Oh man.  I misread “compromise” as “composite” the first time.

          Of course I then had to imagine a couple of cardinals lying face to face in a coal press, trying to assure themselves it’ll work.

        2. Wasn’t Ratty also supposed to have been a ‘placeholder’?  Through how many popeships can they kick the can, before the faithful begin to wonder if the cardinals really trust any one of their own who might want the job?

          1. I fell down the Wikipedia rabbithole checking out what happened to ol’ John Paul I (the “September Pope” who only lasted 33 days before being found sitting upright dead in his bed). Never having seen The Godfather Part III and having been an eight-year-old Methodist at the time, it was news to me. Apparently, JP1 (formerly Cardinal Albino Luciani) was also a compromise Pope, elected on the fourth ballot after the conservatives supported Cardinal Giuseppe Siri and some more liberal cardinals were supporting the relatively moderate Cardinal Giovanni Benelli. And then there’s this:

            After Jean-Marie Villot officially asked Luciani whether he accepted his election, he humbly exclaimed, “May God forgive you for what you have done,” before accepting.

            Wheels within wheels… no wonder so many find this stuff fascinating.

          2. I asked Google if JPII wanted the job, since he too claimed he didn’t want the job, but accepted when elected and was in office for 27 years. 

            The answer I found was that no cardinal will admit to wanting the job publically.  The conclave of cardinals do not chose the next pope, instead God acts through them to select His servant.  Ah.  What we may be hearing, as concerns a ‘placeholder’, is the church using the media to offer the public the new guy’s professional humility. ‘Naw, he doesn’t want the job either, but he’s sees it as his duty to submit to God’s will.  We’ll see how it goes… ‘ 

            It makes the entire conclave sound like there are a bunch of guys in funny hats sitting around a temp agency waiting for a call.

            Meanwhile, my father-in-law, Francis, is delighted with the choice.  He’s been signing his emails ‘St. Francis’ for years.

          3. I guess you could argue they are all “placeholders” until Jesus gets pissed enough to come back and wipe all us heathens off the face of the earth.

          4. I’m sure that somebody, somewhere is organizing a religion around Heath Ledger.

  1. I was playing WoW and someone said “Pope Frank” in general chat – so I more had the following image in my brain

  2. This just in. In a bid to raise money for upcoming lawsuits, New Pope to replace, “give us this day our daily bread” with “Give us this day our daily Coke-A-Cola (r)”

    @CocaCola “Francis I is the real thing. We would like to give the world a Coke upon this announcement. Text PopeCoke to 18448 to get free Coke coupon”

    1. It’s a great idea. But, um, isn’t the Bank of Italy still refusing to process any debit or credit charges that originate at or are processed through the Vatican? The St. Pete gift shop is accepting Cash Only until they clear their name. 

      Something about “concerns over lack of transparency.”I think some troubles with micro-transactions might arise were they to team up with Coke™ for a sponsorship deal.Francis will have plenty of stuff to lighten up about. After he figures out how to conjure the smoke, how to position the mirrors, and how to hide the pea in the right cup.

    2. You’re just saying that because Cardinal Scola didn’t win, so you didn’t get to make the Pope-SiCola joke.

  3. So, I don’t want to be “that guy”, but the reason it’s called “Grumpy cat” is because it’s a cat who looks grumpy- since this is a guy who looks grumpy you really should be saying that he’s a grumpy guy, or even a grumpy pope. The “grumpy cat” thing is just sort of an extra variable that doesn’t really need to be here at all.

    1. Back in my day (get off my lawn), “Cat” could mean the same thing as “guy” or “dude” or whatever, man.

  4. Has he picked his name yet? I’m in favor of the rare choice “Conon”.

    And since he’s be the second Conon, i’d also suggest abandoning the old numerical system in favor of the sub title “Popebarian”.

    1. Francis. Not a bad pick as such things go, that saint was known for being an early pioneer of environmentalism among other things.

      1.  Actually, I think he named himself after Francis Xavier (founder of the Jesuits) not Assisi… of course Xavier could have been named after Assisi.

        1. Oh, I guess that would make sense. I still like the nature-lovin’ hippie Francis though.

        2. That would make sense. I was trying to get my head around the idea of a Jesuit who modelled himself after Francis of Assisi. My head doesn’t hurt so much now.

  5. Really now, if they can get pictures of him that look even a fraction as, shall we say, Imperial as the last guy, it will be something.

  6. So, now do I get my wacky sit-com of two popes trying to live in the same vatican? Since the two were apparently “rivals” when Benedict was elected a few years ago? 

    1. Yeah, but it’s not like anyone expected a Pope who was pro-gay rights/marriage, pro-choice, anti-celibacy. Not that this excuses it, but it’s not unexpected. None of them support those views. I think there is some who felt he did little during the dictatorship period, though.

      1. they in fact supported the dictatorship. and that was my next argument. thanks!

        *nothing to do here jetpacking off*

  7. He does look grumpy. I think it’s time for him to retire. (sorry for the quick shop)

  8. If I was a Jesuit and hadn’t had sex for…well..ever, my frown would be so powerful, I’d be able to explode peoples heads.

  9. It’s gonna be hard to top Simon Bar Sinister (emeritus).  The new Pope’s got some vague Woody Allen going on, but not particularly memorable.

  10. Good Grief, Charlie Brown, the virulence of the prejudice against the Catholic Church on this forum has really, finally got to me.  I’m an atheist.  I do not excuse the crimes of those who have abused their power under the guise of the Church.  But too many people here seem to take joy in their attacks on the Church.  It no longer seems to be about assisting the wronged so much as it does about mass belligerence.  Can’t be dealing with this.

    1.  Well … it’s about assisting the to-be-wronged as well.  It’s all very time travelly (which, btw, popes do all the time).  The same institution that facilitated / hid / disguised / tricked etc ad infinitum (yes really) is still standing proud and being reported as having 1.3bn members.

      There comes a lustful moment when the hunters scent blood of a wounded prey.  Very primeval, but the lust becomes intoxicating and joyous, the closer the death comes.  Not that I’d know.  I just can’t wait for them to shutter the doors and announce mea culpa.

    2. God forbid that we should be pissed off about a vast organized crime syndicate that facilitates child abuse, lobbies against rights for women and gays and kills millions in Africa by telling uneducated people that they’ll spend eternity on fire if they use condoms.

      When the Pope hangs from a gibbet at his window for the sport of his own crows, I will have peace with him and the Vatican.

    3. I take it you’re Catholic? If so, why are you supporting such an evil organization? I don’t get it.

    4. I’m missing something here… you think the poor widdle Catowik Chuwch can’t stand a few legitimate criticisms? 

      If it makes you feel any better, I’m sure they still have a bunch of the old Inquisition tools hanging around if people start saying Really, Really, Mean and Uncalled-for Things.

      I wonder if you were abused when you were a child. I was. By agnostics. It was fun. It was a snap to get over that. The organization you’re protecting has persecuted victims of childhood sexual abuse. It has protected and continues to protect people who rape children. Rape children. Rape. Children. Then threaten them with hellfire if they try to protect themselves. 

      Maybe your moral compass is all banged up. Here’s a lodestone with which to recalibrate it. Raping children. Then threatening them with vicious tortures if they try to protect themselves. That is evil.

      The rapists work for an immensely powerful organization that controls hearts, minds, and money. That organization supports the rapists against their victims. It spends loads of money trying to prove that raped children are lying scum. That is evil. How’s your compass working now?

      Who are you feeling sorry for? And where the hell is your conscience located in your body?

    5. Having Catholic family members, and living in the south where being a Catholic is not “really christian, but papist”, I think you’re kind of off here. People who are pissed off are pissed off about specific wrongs. See Antinous’ comment in this thread for example… You can’t really expect everyone to be just like “well, whatever” to the child abuse issue. It pisses people off because this is an organization charged with the spiritual well being of it’s followers and when some priests abused their positions, the church did not protect it’s people, but the perpetrators.

      But really, mcuh of it seems to be in the vein of light-hearted jests. If an extremely rich and powerful hierarchal organization can’t take the internet mocking it, then it has bigger problems than we thought.

    6. Is it surprising that people speak out against an organisation that’s responsible for so much wrong-doing throughout history? What’s the problem with that exactly?

      Atheist my foot.

      Should we instead be showing great respect for this silly man in a clown suit? If so, please tell me why.

  11. Grumpy Pope is too old. The Catholic church needs a younger pontiff right the wrongs of the past, prevent them from happening again in the future, and keep the church relevant and in touch with life in the 21st century.

    1. You know who should have been elected pope? A lesbian with tattoos and a nose ring. But, apparently, none of their lesbian Cardinals had tattoos and nose rings…

      1. Well, for what it’s worth, all the chattering classes have informed me that someone doesn’t actually need to be a cardinal to be elected pope.  I guess you have to be a bishop to be elevated to cardinal, but any Catholic male in halfway-decent standing could technically be elected pope.

        It’s sorta like the DGA with the possessory credit.  The Writers Guild has always kinda resented the fact that when a movie has a possessory credit (like John Carpenter’s The Thing, or “A Film by Whatshername,” that kind of thing), it’s nearly always the director, rather than the writer, who scores such a credit.  The WGA would like to reserve such credits for writers only, but the DGA says the current system is fine, and not particularly unfair, since anyone who works on the production, right down to the craft service guy, could make a case to the studio that he or she deserves the possessory credit, and it’s not the DGA’s fault if the studio always hands it to the director.

        I wonder when the last time a non-cardinal ever got to be pope. (Googles)  Ah… Urban VI, in 1379.  And that seems to have been a bit of a fiasco.

        Personally, I wonder how long it’ll take before we have a female pope.  I don’t expect to see a mamacy (if that’s the word) in my lifetime, but I imagine it’s probably just a matter of time.

        Maybe they’ll call a Third (or Fourth) Vatican Council in a desperate push to enter the third millennium.

    1. What odds will you give me on the eventual resting frequency of New Popes per Annum in 5 years?

      1.  The NPp.a. metric is under consideration, although we prefer NPpy to avoid anachronistic terminology.  We have seen fluctuations in the duration of PE2PE (pope entry to pope exit), and had, for the benefit of our punters, excluded wagers on NPpy until a month ago.  The previous pope’s resignation was utterly unexpected and represents a new paradigm, which opens the game to a wider audience, and we’re very excited about this.

        So I’m glad you asked.  We’re opening the floodgates, and giving odds on everything from trainee priests all the way to pontiffs, from resignation through to arrest, whatever you like, as most activities we can model have been executed with regularity and a predictable certainty – we’ve got some nice curves, let me tell you!

        In short, if you’re going for a 5yr NPpy (=0.2), we’re offering 5-1.  May not sound much, but y’know, we’re finding our feet in this new world.

        Let me just take this opportunity to add that we’re expanding the franchise to all major world religions and cults, so anything you want to put on the table, we’ll certainly consider.

          1. Quantification needs refining, but bodhicitta per second (mindBOPS) is a favourite of ours and we’d like to do everything we can to facilitate an expansion in this franchise

          1.  We run it, with one eye to the future we have cross-linked risk insurance on a set of firms including Monsanto as we believe fundamentally that beast creation is a human output rather than celestial.

            Given the broad definition of ‘beastly’ we’d like to invite you to specify your field – given the context, priest-abusers seem relevant, and we’re offering 9-1 on 3 new identifications per week in the continental USA.

            We’re excited about the prospects of developing markets though, where legal mechanisms and cultural norms have hitherto impeded any kind of accurate harvesting of information, but with the beast market showing healthy growth in developed nations and the concomittent growth in information availability and speed of transmission, we’re optimistic that a strong curve can be generated for these new markets, and as such, they represent a healthy future profit source for us.

            Special offer – 2-1 on robot dogs harming a human with autonomous ‘intent’ within the period 1 Jan 2013 – 31 Dec 2013.  Minimum placement US$1,000.

          2. Shaddap & take my dough, bookie.  I have it on good authority that the current Administration is uniquely responsible for the creation of Beasts, Antichrists, and assorted Unholy Nemeses on the order of four figures per business day, so I wanna get in on the ground floor of that action.

    1. Ha!

      (Uneasy Pontiff 2013):

      “And I was almost to the door, when the biggest one
      Said, “You tip your mitre to this lady, son,”
      And when I did all that hair fell out from underneath.”

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