VATICAN CITY ( – Once again, the answer to the age-old rhetorical question, “Is the Pope Catholic?” is yes. Once again, the cardinals in Rome have looked inward for a pontiff, effectively cutting themselves off from the world’s 5.8 billion non-Catholics.

Pope Leo XIV would work as it's a traditional pope name that sounds Jewish.

It defies logic.
The Roman Catholic Church is in trouble, its power fading and its authority tarnished by years of scandal. It needs not only to solidify its base, but to expand. The only way to do this is to appeal to non-Catholics. And in reaction, they elect… another Roman Catholic? Yes, the Church opened up fractionally by putting Pope Francis, a South American, in charge. But he’s a South American Catholic.

No, if the Church truly wants to regain influence, it needs to look outside. That means it needs a non-Catholic at the top. That’s why we believe the next pope should be Jewish.

A Jewish pope would send a powerful signal to the world that the Catholic Church is truly open to change, to different viewpoints. It would also help heal a millennia-old rift. From anger over the death of Jesus, (a Jew, btw), through the aiding and abetting of Nazism, Christians have had a fractious relationship with Jews. Putting a Jew in the papacy – the most powerful Christian position in the world — would signal that the rift should be healed.

And no, we don’t ascribe to the notion that, by definition, a pope has to be Catholic. For more than 200 years, the American president, “by definition,” had to be a white male. But now he’s not. Now that minorities are in the ascendancy, the American people elected a black president. They didn’t just choose someone from outside a traditional presidential region. They chose someone historically outside the institution itself. Whether or not you agree with President Obama’s policies, you cannot argue that his installation didn’t represent real change. And the Vatican, more than most institutions, needs real change.

Granted, one could argue that an Islamic pope would be even better, since Islam is larger than Judaism. In an ideal world, that would be possible. But we are aware that the Catholic Church moves slowly. A Jewish pope is the obvious next step because right now, Jews and Catholics are better matched. They simply have more in common. Fear of Muslims, for example. Also guilt.

While a Jewish pope would likely be more liberal on issues such as contraception and gay marriage, we’re not suggesting he attempt to undermine Catholicism. For unity’s sake, the Jewish pope should initially keep to the old traditions. You’d still have catechism. You’d still have the rosary. You’d still have the college of cardinals, although, would it be so bad if more of them were doctors and lawyers?

Confession, on the other hand, could be improved. In fact, most of you current Catholics wouldn’t have to go anymore. Instead, under the new Judeo-Catholic tradition, your mothers would go for you, since they’re so much better at pointing out your sins and faults. Oh, and all mothers would become saints, because of the way they suffer.

But these are minor things. The important issue is to reinvigorate Catholicism, which can only be done by electing a non-Catholic pope; a Jewish pope. (Leo XIV? It’s traditional, but Leo sounds Jewish.) In this way, the differences between Christians and Jews can be minimized, and the “universal” love that popes claim to represent can be legitimately expressed. And hopefully, someday, the answer to “Is the Pope Catholic?” won’t be so obvious.

“Hey, is the Pope Catholic?”
“No. He’s Jewish.”

‘Oh. That explains the communion bagels.”

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