My First Letter to a Pope

Dear Pope Benedict Ex-Vee-Eye (If that is your real name…and I know it’s not…Joseph Ratzinger) (Are you any relation to that Cliff Claven/John Ratzenburger guy on Cheers, by any chance?)



 So, anyway,  I see you popped over to Africa the other day where  67% of all the people in the world infected with HIV/Aids live (and die) — 22 million and counting.

Your sadness and concern for these people is touching as all get out. So is your heartfelt praying for their miserable souls.

But, man oh man, I was completely blown away by that totally innovative and exciting idea you had about eradicating HIV/Aids in that part of the world:

Abstinence and Fidelity!

Jumpin’ catfish, Ben/Joe (May I call you Ben/Joe?). Why didn’t anyone else ever think of that?

And of course, you’re so ecclisiastically right! We should stop giving these crazy people condoms because it only encourages them to have sex. D’uh. A no-brainer, right? I can’t believe we’ve been standing around wringing our hands fretting about this epidemic when the solution is damn easy.

If we take away their condoms they’ll stop having sex and ergo, stop spreading around deadly viruses. Brilliant. I guess they don’t call you Pontiff for nothing, eh?

So, stop screwing around, ya’ll African people!

And all you women and children who’ve been forced into prostitution because of poverty — just cut it out, okay? You wouldn’t even be poor if you lived a more “spiritual and moral” life, right? Isn’t that pretty much your take on the situation, Joe,  or did I misread that “deficit of ethics” thing and that “contraception mentality” thing?

We poor, diseased lesser mortals must be a real pain in the holy arse for you, eh, Ben/Joe? Always dragging you away from your totally awesome pope house.


Making you have to drive around in that stupid, pimped-up phone booth.


Getting your pointy hat all dusty.


Ya. It’s a good thing you and your homies don’t have to live in the Real World, eh?  ‘Cuz it would really suck if you had to stop passing Judgments based on shit that was written a thousand years ago or so by who-knows-who in a language nobody has any real knowledge of anymore. Reality is so much more difficult to call. You’re well out of it.

I can’t wait for your answer to cancer. (Hey, that rhymes.)

Yours in frail humanity,


PS: How much does it rock to be the Thou that everyone aspires to be holier than?

PSS: Who does your laundry? Those holy raiments are whiter and purer than the driven snow.


Whoa — Are those sassy red strides Fratelli Rossetti?


41 responses to “My First Letter to a Pope

  1. Oh don’t even get me started on the Pope and his ignorant, self-righteous ranting! How much suffering and death has him and fellow religious leaders with their heads up their asses caused in the world? There is nothing wrong with having faith and believing in a higher power, but you have to live in the real world and realize that we have the ability to solve some of our own problems or at least reduce them somewhat.
    I read a story about a priest in the Congo who said that praying is not enough, we need real work to make changes. Now THERE is a religious man who has some sense!

  2. I know one or two guys trained as Jesuit logicians who can’t wrap their heads around the Papal line on this one. Try as they might. And oh, Lord, they try…. because it really pisses ’em off to be argued into a corner.

  3. Nice letter, XUP! Can’t wait to see his reply!

    Now, be sure to make some “personal sacrifices” and engage in “correct behavior regarding one’s body!” That’ll cure anything!

  4. Amen sister!!! though I wonder if I should say amen in this case.

    This is just reason 452,565 why I loathe the catholic church.

    These past few weeks (with this and the excommunication in Brazil) are pushing me to think of being apostatized. Even being a lapsed catholic is too close for comfort, I want nothing to do with these people…

  5. Hannah – I know. These guys kill me with their gated Vatican City to keep the riff-raff out, preaching a bunch of totally impractical hooey to people who are lacking even the basics of subsistence. If they got out there and rolled up their sleeves and used some of that incredible wealth they’ve amassed to do something useful… now that would be worthy of the respect they demand.

    Olivia – Yo

    Coyote – I would love to meet a Jesuit logician. They are actually able to argue scriptural logic? Because that would be interesting. In my experience, when you start discussing scripture with a Christian holy type you eventually hit the “because God said so” wall.

    Dguzman – Yes, it’s all simple for those guys, isn’t it? Abstinence. It’s worked so well for legions of priests all over the world for centuries. They’re never tempted. Never stray. Never fuck up the lives of children forever.

    Jazz – Ix-nay on the amen and the sister, sister. I was raised a good, stern, austere Lutheran. We’ve been calling out those papist bastards since the 15th century. (No offence to all the perfectly lovely practicing RCs I know and love)

  6. All you doubters and haters should beg for forgiveness. Ben is himself proof that what he preaches really really works.
    Do any of you have such a cool house or even such cool shoes? NOOO!
    And all he had to do to get them is give up any aspect of normal life. Except for a few alter boys along the way.
    And then he gets to give the OK to holocaust deniers, excommunicate people trying to save a 9 year old, and tell everyone that sex is no good.
    Come to think of it it probably isn’t real good with scared little boys.

  7. The sad part about them being so out of touch with reality is that millions of people hang on their every word. Glad I’m not one of them.

  8. those shoes?!?!?! holy!!! could those be a sign of…satan?!?!? (please see old Church Lady skits!)

    Unfortunately he’s not the only one with those thoughts. It’s huge down here. Did you know that while Bush was in ‘da house’ if a school taught any sex ed outside of abstinence they would not get (some) funding from the government. I kydd you not!! Ask Sue Johannson!!!

    Every year there is a huge Abstinence rally 10 minutes from me. Still haven’t been to it. Do feel like standing across from it and throwing out condoms though.

    The amount of children that get married out of high school here is unreal! It’s also crazy that their first child comes well before their 9 month anniversary. Then, it’s even crazier that by the time they are in their mid 20’s they are on marriage number 2.

    ooohhhh…don’t get me started!!! 😉

  9. Bandobras – You don’t need sex to have a so-called normal life you know. There are many other less icky pleasures to be had from life: sacramental wine parties, group circle reads, robe shopping, pope-mobile drag racing.

    Jobthingy – Under the circumstances, I’m not sure if you’re being facetious or not. Sex does sometimes end up taking us places we’d rather not be.

    Geewits – You know, if it’s a personal decision and it makes you happy, go for it. Just don’t try to ram it down anyone else’s throat or expect others to fall into your fantasies.

    Helen – Love the church lady skits. And yes, those shoes are rather demonic… How many times do I have to keep telling you to come home?

  10. I’m like Hannah…

    Grrr…don’t even get me started…!

    I used to be quite Catholic, when I was younger. But now I’m a “fallen one”. For the same reasons you listed here, (plus others).

    Ain’t it great, how a bunch of old MEN, who’ve never been with a woman or never raised a family…are giving advice to the rest of the planet on matters regarding marriage and sex.

    Maybe if priests (and the Pope) were allowed to MARRY, the Church wouldn’t be so clueless.


  11. PS.

    Why doesn’t the Vatican take one of those countless baubles it has (15th century paintings, sculptures, etc…), sell it, and maybe feed Africa for a month?

  12. Pearl Bailey summed it up about 30 yrs ago in a Playboy interview. Asked about the catholic’s church teaching on sex and contraception she said, “If you don’t play the game you don’t make the rules”.

  13. I read that Pope-in-Africa news story this morning too and just about choked on my café au lait. WTF?!? Not the best way to start my day …

  14. le sigh. i was recently called out as being a “bad” person because my beliefs are not supported by the catholic church. just like that, i’m bad. end of discussion. love and tolerance my ass.

  15. Friar – The Vatican claims a net worth of only about $1 Billion with a $260 Million annual operating budget. They say they can’t sell off any of their baubles because they’re not the sort of thing one sells on the open market.

    Bandobras – Speaking of not playing the game… Pearl Bailey and Playboy???

    Kitty – I’m sure the pope has.

    Pinklea – Mind-boggling isn’t it? He isn’t even supported on some of this stuff by his own posse. But then god doesn’t speak directly to the underlings the way he does to his holiness.

    Meanie – Maybe they meant “bad” in a Michael Jackson sort of way??. … You Know you’re Smooth, You’re Bad
    Bad, You Know It, Come On..just to tell you once again, Who’s Bad?

  16. i love your tag ‘i’m going to hell’. i should have that one on my grave stone! anyhow, funny post. you should have asked who does his hair. he’s got quite the mohawk going in that last photo. and those shoes, those are quite RED!

  17. Why do I find those shoes quite so disturbing? I don’t know what I expected the Pope to wear under his……frock?…….but it wasn’t those.

  18. It just dawned on me that I’m sure Huggy Bear was wearing those exact shoes in an episode of “Starsky and Hutch”

  19. The old pope was at least friendlier-looking (He reminded my of my grandfather).

    This new guy…he just kinda SCARES me!

  20. There is a phone in the Popemobile?!?!

    Meanwhile, I just have to shake my head and disbelief. Abstinence. Right.

    That trick never works!

  21. Don’t get me started on the Pope and ckufed up mess that is the Catholic church.

    What made me so incensed about the situation in Brazil was that they didn’t excommunicate the pedophile rapist of a step-father.

    Now this…. gaaaaaaaah!!!

    I was in Catholic school in Gd 13, had a long hard debate with the religion prof about “boastful displays” or some such thing.. basically how can the pope pretend to be poor when clearly he isn’t. (The teacher to his credit took me seriously and gave me an A, but I think he knew then that I was a lost cause.)

  22. @Panther

    HAHAHAH! What are you implying? That you’ve had some disagreements with a church before? 😉

  23. I really don’t understand how anyone can take that whole establishment seriously anymore. Everything they come out with is so laughably prehistoric. It’s just a shame that it still influences so many people.

  24. @Panther

    Heh heh…and I’m sure you must have just been baking cookies or something…right?


  25. Hmmn. I’m assuming His Pope-ship doesn’t wear that red hat at the same time he wears those red shoes because isn’t Matchy-Matchy one of the seven deadly sins?

    “POPE” – it’s just one letter away from both “DOPE” and “POOP.” Coincidence? I DOUBT IT. (Maybe we can sit together in hell?) (Do you even get to sit down in hell?)

  26. I totally agree. Where in the world do they get these out dated ideas instead of helping the world. I was so disappointed when they elected yet another old, out of date, boring pope. What were they thinking? I guess we know, huh?

  27. Raino –Ya, I figure I’ll be in good company down below if this is what the upstairs folks are like

    Loth – They match his jaunty red hat in the first photo and I’ll bet you anything he’s wearing a frilly red thong as well. (Huggy Bear!! Of course! That explains the hat, too)

    Friar – I know – the old guy was so cute and dumpling-cheeked. This guy looks like a ratzinger.

    Missy –I’m sure he’s got all the comforts of home/Vatican in that thing.

    Nat – “Incensed”…. “Catholic church”… good one! Anyway, it’s very difficult to argue religion. They’ve got that know-it-all book they haul out to settle every argument and if it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever they can still say, “ah, but it’s the word of GOD…perhaps we’re not meant to understand it completely”

    UP – Have you noticed the similarities in the pope’s name (XVI) and mine (XUP)??? Errrr- the united church? I hope you’ll be blogging about that one. Or have you already?

    Em – They’re still out there recruiting like mad and, unfortunately when times are tough – economically or, in the case of Africa – facing an epidemic…people want comfort/some higher power to take over responsibilities and the church swoops in.

    Lesley – We can do whatever we want in hell, that’s the beauty of it. The other place you have to spend all your time laundering your holier than thou whites, playing the harp and sucking up to gender-neutral angels.

    Darrell- Right! Go to town. And speaking of cults, we should talk about that Green Earth restaurant some time…

    Linda – This guy seems even more out of the loop than the last guy. The last guy at least seemed a bit human and compassionate. This guy is a by-the-book, old world autocrat.

  28. LMAO XUP!
    I just posted a rant about his papalness on my new blog… hadn’t been to the XUP board for a few days, so didn’t realise I was pope-licating!
    Your’s is funnier. Mine is angrier!

  29. Trashee- I was wondering what’s been going on with you since you moved the blog. Nice to hear from you. I’ll go have a look at your angry pope rant. It’s really just too ridiculous to be really angry about. “Condoms cause AIDS”- what a character…he should really be in stand-up

  30. Yeah -, I’ve been obsessing over the style of my new set up and not the content. I’m kinda like that. But now that I’m pretty happy with the look, I can get back to the content. And back to puttin’ those who need place puttin’ back into their places.

  31. wow.. ouch. clearly some of the catholic teachings are outdated, and while your letter was hilarious, i can’t help but feel offended by all of these comments! Ratface, maybe just a bit too far. I agree with you, and think that abstinence is the fool’s birth control and wont do squat to end aids, but it’s still deeply rooted in Catholic teachings, that believe it or not, are still commonly followed and believed in across the world. Now obviously it was out of line to think that abstinence would end HIV/AIDS (by the way, do you have a link on his precise words/speech? I’d love to hear it.. since i stumbled upon this), and institutionalized religion ain’t so great, but i think a certain amount of respect should be had, at least from many of the people commenting here (ahem ratface! ahem..). clearly the pope isn’t solving the aids crisis, but way to pass judgment guys. really working towards serious eradication here with the child abuse and hat jokes. Nice.

    but anyways, your letter was pretty funny, so kudos!

  32. Tirunesh – Gee whiz!

    Ratface – You tell me

    Laura – I respect your right to feel offended and disrespected over whatever you wish