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How I Would Change The Catholic Church If I Was Pope

Updated on September 23, 2014
Bring back the old days!
Bring back the old days!
Perfect site for Catholic Bingo Casino
Perfect site for Catholic Bingo Casino
This outfit really needs to go!
This outfit really needs to go!
Vibrant? Energetic? I think not!
Vibrant? Energetic? I think not!
Where the author served as altar boy!
Where the author served as altar boy!

So let’s get my qualifications out of the way right out of the gate. I’m not some disgruntled degenerate with nothing better to do than take a poke at religion. The truth is I’ve been around the Catholic Church most of my life so I do have a few thoughts on the matter that are backed by experience.

I attended Catholic schools for sixteen years….oops, seventeen years if we count kindergarten. Nine years of elementary school, four years of high school and four years of college, all under the tutelage of Catholic educators. The remarkable thing about it is that I am still sane.

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/I-Am-A-Catholic-School-Surivior

Add to that list the fact that I taught in Catholic schools for sixteen of my eighteen years of teaching, I was an altar boy, I can carry on a conversation in Latin and I once considered being a priest. How is that for qualified? I can genuflect with the best of them, say a rosary in just under ten minutes and match you verse for verse from the Bible. True, none of those talents will help me if I’m looking for a job, but they at least establish a background for writing this article.

Having said all that I thought I would toss out a few suggestions on some changes I think the Catholic Church should make if they want to join the 21st Century any time in the near future. I’m just trying to help out; I consider it my civic duty to pass along these suggestions so we don’t completely lose all remaining Catholics to the Baptists or Jehovahs or heaven forbid the United Atheists of America.

GET RID OF THE PENGUIN SUITS

Maybe not the nuns themselves but the old penguin habits are just silly. This is 2012 and if you are looking for young women to join the ranks then you need to stop scaring them off with these crazy looking nun uniforms. I know, modern dress is allowed now, but there are still too many of the old guard walking around looking mean and wearing these outfits right out of “The Flying Nun.”

And if you are going to keep wearing them then I suggest you get Sally Fields to become your spokesperson for the good of the Order. At least that woman has some personality and doesn’t look like she wants to beat children with a yardstick.

THE WHOLE CELIBACY THING ISN’T WORKING

Listen, I considered becoming a priest at one time. I mean come on, free room and board, a car paid for, adoring female parishioners waiting on me hand and foot….who wouldn’t want that kind of sweet deal? There was only one thing holding me back: no sex was a deal-breaker for this boy and I suspect for quite a few would-be priests. If you want to swell the ranks of the priesthood then allow them to get married and have sex like every other forward-thinking religion in the world. This whole “married to Christ” thing is not working for you and I really don’t think Christ would object. If there was ever a rebel in the Catholic Church it was Christ; take a look at the life of that hell-raiser and tell me he couldn’t shake up the establishment from time to time.

ET CUM SPIRITU TUO

Am I the only one who noticed that once the Latin was dropped from the Catholic Mass following Vatican II that the numbers started dropping? The ratings went down the toilet once it was decided to change the Latin to English so that people could understand better what the priest was saying. I say bull to that decision! It is my theory that the average churchgoer didn’t really care what was being said but as long as it was in Latin it was kind of mysterious and magical. Now it’s in boring English and there is nothing mysterious or magical about English. In fact, English is bland and not even in the same neighborhood as mysterious.

JUST ONCE ELECT A YOUNG, VIBRANT POPE

It can’t be my imagination that every single Pope that is chosen looks like death-warmed-over! What say we have just one Pope who looks like he might live into the next year? I’m just guessing here but it would be easier to get excited about and follow a leader who had just a touch of personality! Where do they find these guys anyway?

You know what would really be cool? If they had trading cards for Popes! Like the baseball cards with bubble gum? Topps could make a whole line of Pope trading cards; that way the youth of the world would really get into it….WAIT….we could have Pope video games for Wii and Nintendo! He could come with an array of weapons and he would cast out devils and wipe out sin. Now I’m on to something!

UNDER THE G, 48!

Bring back Bingo! I loved going to church for the weekly Bingo games with my parents. A little family bonding centered around gambling; if that doesn’t say religion I don’t know what does. In fact nothing says religion like the pursuit of money so this is a must if the Catholic Church wants to become relevant once more on the world stage.

In fact, while on the subject of relevancy, how about a Catholic casino? Bright lights in Vegas, the biggest casino on The Strip, fountains with holy water and a neon cross that stands fifty stories high. I’m telling you we could pack them in for that and the new converts would number in the millions. Wayne Newton (is he still alive?) could sing “Ave Maria” before every new Bingo game.

STAND UP SIT DOWN FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!

For those of you who have never attended a Catholic Mass, allow me to be your guide. The Mass is forty-five minutes of sitting down, standing up, kneeling, sitting down, standing up, kneeling, sitting down….are you with me? If you didn’t walk in with a bad back and arthritic knees you can bet by the end of the ceremony you will have both of those. I don’t know how old people get through a Mass without an attending physician. Do you see the problem? On the one hand you have a Pope so old only octogenarians would like him but on the other hand octogenarians can’t physically make it through an entire Mass. Hence, you are losing the young and losing the old. That only leaves the middle-aged parishioners and they are on vacation in Las Vegas playing the craps tables but wishing they had a good Bingo game they could wager on.

IT’S ALL ABOUT IMAGE, BABY, IMAGE!

The image of the Catholic Church is so bad that even Mr. Rogers would have refused to be a neighbor! The whole sex scandal thing and then the subsequent lies about the sex scandal thing have kind of ruined your credibility with the public. It is seriously time for a face-lift and I suggest a big Madison Avenue firm be brought in to handle public relations.

We need an advertising campaign to shake things up, some catchy jingle and some high-visibility commercials to get the word out there that you really are the good guys despite your propensity for lying and covering up scandal. I know, it’s a big risk but it has to be done. You could cap off the campaign with the Pope appearing at the Super Bowl, center stage on the 50-yard line, singing the National Anthem while drinking a Bud Light. Every beer-guzzling redneck in the United States would get in line and sign on the dotted line to become Catholic. Oh, this could be big, baby, big!

BRAINSTORM WHILE I’M GONE

I have a few hundred more suggestions but they will have to wait for another day. I have this idea for a reality series called “Real Catholic Housewives” and I need to pitch it to Hollywood right away before someone else thinks of the idea. Feel free to jot down your own ideas and place them in my comments and I will make sure that they reach the proper authorities.

Are you a Catholic?

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joe, thanks for stopping by and giving your opinion. I poke fun at most institutions, resilient or not....the Church is certainly big enough. We are in agreement there. :)

    • joejagodensky profile image

      joejagodensky 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I like sarcasm but you're all over the place in your critique. I find it's easy to poke fun at the Catholic Church because of its resilence.

      I'm with you on most of your points but there appears to be underneath a lot more of something brewing. Disenchantment? Disillusionment?

      The Church is big enough for all of us.

      Thanks.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well stated, Brent....let's hope the church listens to your message.

    • profile image

      brent7750 4 years ago

      Open the doors and take church out into the streets. Live the words of the book that has been read many times, now we can begin to write a new book, a book in the time of now, use what we learn from that book and apply it to today.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      As soon as I make a couple deadlines on my paying jobs I will tackle the translations. You are keeping me on my toes this morning.

    • ask-singleDad profile image

      ask-singleDad 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO

      I also like: quisquis nidor is , paciscor is. Btw... I was raised by the religious right. They weren't.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh my, I have to give that some thought...I'll get back to you on the translation.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dad, you are killing me...lol...and I hope none of the religious right have a way of tracking you down. Stay low today and stay away from windows. Thanks for playing the devil's advocate...truer words were never spoken.

    • ask-singleDad profile image

      ask-singleDad 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO

      Some Latin for you, I hope it makes sense. Latin is like my 304th language. "puto quis est verus quod iustus , non iustus quis vos audite"

    • ask-singleDad profile image

      ask-singleDad 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO

      Ok, fine, I will be the devil's advocate. HOW DARE YOU!!! I cannot sit here and listen to you berate a religious organization that does so much good around the world. You disgust me. Let me point out a few things you have not listed in your diatribe against this church that teaches us the ways of the Lord! 1)The Catholic Church has murdered, maimed and condoned the rape of thousands!! 2) The Catholic Church keeps people repressed, scared, over-populated and under-fed, so they only have one hope in their lives, salvation through the church!! 3)They demand you swear yourself to "one Catholic religion", instead of God, which is in direct violation of the bible's directives! 4) You must call them "Father" which is in direct...... waitaminute..... uhhh.... I'll be right back

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Old Albion, I have been waiting for some attacks as well but only one who was unhappy about it. I think there are quite a few recovering Catholics out there. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 5 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Thought provoking this one billy. Outspoken and courageous. I shall be watching the comments. Well done.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jaye, we are of course in complete agreement, and you can get up on your soapbox anytime you want. Thank you for visiting and taking the time to express your very intelligent views. :)

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 5 years ago from Deep South, USA

      As a lapsed Catholic, I got some chuckles from your humorous article, but also read the comments and think Sunshine and I may be on the same page. My own recommendations, should I choose to share them, would be practical, not funny.

      Of course, I believe in equal opportunity criticism, so could pass along similar recommendations for every other religious denomination. Religion (not spirituality) is all man-made (you'll notice I didn't type "woman-made") and, therefore, subject to dry rot. (Sorry, I couldn't resist getting up on my soapbox for that statement.)

      Now, I'm holding out for fpherj48's book. The title chapters look too good to resist.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      always, that is just too practical and will never work. Can't waste good money on those who need it. How silly of you. :) Thank you so much for loyally following.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Perspycaacious, that is a great line about descending order; so sorry I didn't think of it...and I couldn't agree with you more about the pedophiles.Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      plaid pages, I'm glad you found some humor in my ramblings. It is a touchy subject to some; my mother is rolling over in her grave right now...of that I have no doubt. Thank you for visiting.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, it seems to me I had a few novenas to Jude said for me as well...so much for the power of prayer, huh?

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This is hilarious..LOL..I am not Catholic. I don't belong to any organized religion. I do believe in God. My feelings, Instead of building multimillion dollar churches, feed the poor around the world...

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Only one suggestion for consideration: make all priests be the same height so there is never the chance of there being a descending order.

      And the comment that the percent of pedophile priests being the same as in lay circles is such a cop out!! Lay or lie, priests are sworn servants of God and the Holy Catholic Church must hold them to their vows, or defrock them, Christ himself said that a man cannot serve two masters, and pedophiles are serving the wrong one and deserving of that millstone around the neck and duty with the real fishes. That's something no verbal gymnastics can deny. The Church's shame is well deserved for tolerating such sin and miscreants.

    • plaid pages profile image

      plaid pages 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      First, let me say that you have my vote for Pope.

      Hilarious, burst-out-loud, writing.

      I'm keeping this one in my Funny Files...

      Voted UP! Funny and interesting too.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Hmmmm...speaking of "Dads"....I just remembered...My Dad always told me he said Novenas for me...to St Jude. I thought that was pretty "cool," as you say,(ask-single Dad)......until I found out Jude is the Patron Saint of the IMPOSSIBLE. Damn! I suppose it was my fault Mom & Dad screwed up their stupid rythym method. "Congratulations!! It's a Baby PitBull!!"

      Billy, I'm sorry. Will send case of DEPENDS, asap.

    • ask-singleDad profile image

      ask-singleDad 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO

      I think, if she can continue in that manner, it will be a best seller.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dad, she is indeed!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, I damn near peed my pants...good God you are funny, girl! I can hardly wait to read it when it hits the bestseller list!

    • ask-singleDad profile image

      ask-singleDad 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO

      fpherj48 is so very cool.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      billy...I hate to disappoint you, but there will be only one "funny" chapter in my tome....because you are special I'll allow you the priviledge of a little advance notice....just a few chapter titles: I."Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire." II. "Hypnotize & Memorize, get'em while they're Young." III. "The Pope & the Vatican: Tony Soprano & the Mob, in Drag." IV. "For Your Penance, my son, Drop Your Drawers." V."No Meat on Friday! Hey, My Family owns the Fish Markets."....VI. "Extra Collections this Sunday. Father O'Malley's Trading UP.".......

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dad, I will indeed; I haven't worked up the courage yet to speak out about governments but it is coming for sure.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, there ain't no turning back indeed. I will anxiously await your tome as I can always use a good laugh. Thank you my dear!

    • ask-singleDad profile image

      ask-singleDad 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO

      bb, you are very welcome. As always, I will speak the truth as best as I know it. I am glad I helped start your day off with a smile. You did mine with your hub, which I think is awesome btw... Religion, like politics, should be something we all "mess with", because when the "leaders" no longer lead in a responsible manner, it is up to US to create change for the better. Now that I have said that, bring on the government sanctioned death squads and resurrect the inquisition!!!! lol. havagoodday-kt

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      billy...As a staunch "recovering Catholic," for the past 40 years, THIS is a subject for which my comment, could easily become a tome, ( in a plain, brown wrapper)

      Until I write that, I will simply say, "Veni, vidi, vici." and there ain't no turnin back, pardner.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, thank you for reading and commenting. I am actually surprised by the reaction to this hub; I expected more people to be upset by it because religion is one of those subjects you just don't mess with...but I paid my dues so I'll mess if I want and we will just let the chips fall where they will.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      kingmaxler, you are very welcome. I expected quite a bit of flack over this one because, after all, you just don't mess with religion! Oh well...if people don't find it funny nobody is forcing them to read it. I appreciate your very loyal following.

    • kingmaxler profile image

      kingmaxler 5 years ago from Olympia, Washington USA

      I was also raised in the more southern Protestant type religious vein of monotheism and I enjoyed your article immensely. I do not believe is messing with the beliefs of others, but I do think that humor is a great way to help people question the ridiculous nature of the status quo. And besides, laughter is healing. Thank you billybuc for so much healing laughter.

    • Eric Newland profile image

      Eric Newland 5 years ago from Dayton, Ohio

      Some funny and true stuff in this hub, but ironically, I'm the opposite of most Catholics. I was raised Protestant and converted as an adult.

      There are a lot of things I disagree with and would change (some of them mentioned here even) but I can't let them be dealbreakers. There are things I'd disagree with in just about any church and, I'm sure, plenty of things I'll be wrong about when I die. But what I'm more jaded with is the Protestant standby of "meh, I don't agree with this thing here, I'ma go break off and start my own church."

      Anyway, nothing wrong with a lil religious humor. Voted up and sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh my, Dad, that was just great! I may laugh all morning over that line...and so true! Thank you for making my morning and for following along.

    • ask-singleDad profile image

      ask-singleDad 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO

      Educate people and teach them not to be insecure and most current religious organizations would disappear.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathleen, I greatly appreciate you reading and commenting. I can only imagine what it is like with the Southern Baptists....I have pretty much had my fill of organized religion for this lifetime.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cyndi, it is amazing to me how many people are like you and I. Now go get the dishes done; I certainly don't want to be the source of any more guilt for you. Thank you as always for making me smile and helping me learn the system. You are appreciated beyond words.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I've got a similar list for growing up Southern Baptist! I enjoyed your take on a religion I've observed from afar all my life with intense curiosity. Great read. Up and awesome.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      I'm with Sunshine: been there, a'int going back! I only had to endure 8 years of Catholic indoctrination, but I tell ya, I have been infused with enough guilt to last a lifetime. I feel guilty just sitting here making comments and not doing the dishes! :) (I really do.) I think the Catholic Church could use some lessons in...modernity. It was formed not too long before the middle ages and even then people kept branching off, like the Eastern Orthodox Church. People have been saying for a LONG time that it needs to adapt to how societies change. Of course, many argue that the people need to conform to the needs of the church. If that's the case, then it might continue to lose people in droves. I am, for one, a recovering Catholic. One day (sooner, I hope, rather than later) I will be able to say "I'm recovered." Hehe.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad you approve winbo, and as always thank you for visiting my little writing studio. :)

    • winbo profile image

      winbo 5 years ago

      nice one billy.. I'm sharing

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      thank you Tammy..I agree, the incense is horrible. As always I appreciate your support...you have been as loyal as they come my friend.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Another fabulous hub Billybuc. As a lapsed Catholic, I found this hub to ring with truth. I would like to request the Catholic church use some more friendly inscence.. that stuff is terrible for the sinuses. Great hub!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, thank you sir! I'll contact some of my connections and see if I can't score some of those idols for you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Daughter, again I thank you; I look forward to reading some of your hubs tomorrow.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 5 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Billy, if you could talk them into giving us the gold idols then I might consider it?

      great Job :)

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image

      Melissa Flagg 5 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      This was really good, (I was born and raised Catholic, and I'm now pagan), you really nailed the old ways of the church! Voted up and funny, thanks for SHARING.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jacy, what can I say about you that I haven't already said? Thank you my dear!

    • albertsj profile image

      jacy albertson 5 years ago from Lake Mary, Fl

      I second what Aurelio said. : D

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alocsin, always good to have you visit my friend. I totally agree with you; add some color and they look quite fashionable. Thanks for dropping by!

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I think those fabulous papal robes should replace the penguin suits. Voting this Up and Funny.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      itakins, thank you for your comments and opinions.

    • itakins profile image

      itakins 5 years ago from Irl

      I would be the first to say Jesus had a sense of humour-I do not see humour as taboo at all in religion! I don't think however that making fun of The Mass is at all funny !I don't think making fun of the Rosary is funny either!I don't think it's in the spirit of Christianity to poke fun at the elderly-I'm quite sure Jesus wouldn't have done this -even if they are popes.

      There are many funny things we can all relate to about Catholicism -I was educated by nuns !but please not The Mass !!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      itakins, thank you for your reply. I always find it amazing how religion is a taboo when it comes to humor. I'm thinking Jesus must have laughed once or twice during his lifetime; surely he found humor in humanity. If it will make you happy I'll add practicing Catholic to the poll.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jacy; I think your idea has some merit; maybe I'll work in collaboration with you for both tv pilots.

    • itakins profile image

      itakins 5 years ago from Irl

      Mmm ! I agree with some of what you say -but I honestly believe it was the introduction of the jingles and casual behaviour that influenced the fall-out.As for free cars etc -priests do actually work very hard for the pittance they receive!

      Whatever your beliefs now ,I think jibes at The Mass are uncalled for.

      I notice no facility for practicing Catholic on your list-and not just on Sundays!

      Pope JP11 was 58 when appointed and served us for about 25 years.

      I do think the whole hierarchical structure is iffy-and needs to be sorted out .I also think it's worth remembering that the % of priests who are paedophiles is not actually greater than that of laymen !

    • albertsj profile image

      jacy albertson 5 years ago from Lake Mary, Fl

      Bravo! I love the manner in which you wrote this! This says it all....except my idea is a for "The Real Jewish Housewives". ; )

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda! I love your support which has always been there for me and I'm glad you found it humorous.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dana, I'm not sure I would go back but I had loads of fun writing about the reasons why I would never return. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh Marcy, I have oodles of thoughts on contraception and abortion and on and on, but they will have to wait for another hub. So much to write about and so little time. Thank you for the visit and comment.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I couldn't vote on any of the available options. My vote would be for "been there, done that" ain't going back! I have my opinions also, but I don't want them to tarnish your entertaining article. Voted UP and funny!!

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      This is fantastic. I too am a product of 17 years of Catholic education. AND was partly raised by my Italian Catholic grandmother. Let me tell you, the Italians know how to do it right. If you can be "super Catholic" they have got it down. I now consider myself as "non-practicing" or simply "raised Catholic". Perhaps if some of your changes go through they can win me back.

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

      I think you made some great points here - and I can tell they're not always tongue-in-cheek. Any thoughts on contraception? I used to manage indigent care clinics, and we had so many women desperate to not get pregnant with their umpteenth child, but so torn over the teachings. It was sad to see.