First Section * General Affairs
From the Vatican 12 February 2013
Last week, we received your cover letter and résumé expressing your interest in filling the position as Pope. As you can no doubt imagine, many thousands throughout the world have expressed interest in becoming the next Holy Father, and so it has taken us some time to get back back to you.
Unfortunately, the way this position is filled differs from the ways of other jobs. To start with, it is something more of a calling than an ordinary job.
Please allow me to answer with specificity the reasons we will not consider you further at this time as a candidate for Pope, and answer other questions at the same time. By so doing, I hope I can save you from continuing the numerous series of follow-up phone calls to our already overworked administrative personnel. (Honestly, this whole thing has taken us by great surprise. As you probably know, Pope Benedict XVI's resignation is the first since 1415. It is far easier when popes age and die in office, but don't tell anyone I said that; it sounds cold.)
- You are not a practicing Catholic. The fact that you were confirmed in the Episcopal church at age 14 is in your favor, but your atheism knocks you down, though we appreciate your candor. To answer one of your questions, the Catholic Church is not at this time considering becoming a secular institution.
- While I am sure that Pennsylvania is a beautiful state and that there is much affordable, open space there, the overwhelming number of the Church's 1.2 billion members wants Stato della Città del Vaticano (better known to most Americans as Vatican City) to remain in Rome, where it has been since 1929. While its population is only 800 souls, the logistics of having them move to Pennsylvania would require a huge amount of paperwork and, in several cases, language instruction. In fact, one title the Pope is known by is the Bishop of Rome!
- Yes, the rule about not marrying is a "hard and fast" one. And while I personally admire your interest in using the position to meet women, I can't recommend it. You see, not only is the Pope not to wed, he is to remain celibate. I've enclosed a pamphlet that I hope will clarify this and other things for you.
- No, as Pope, you not receive discounts on a Maserati, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo or a Lancia (which I'm surprised you had heard of). The city has a budget and its fleet of vehicles and automobile purchases are included in its transportation expenses.
- Payment for the Pope is substantial but as you are not under consideration, allow me to decline specifics. Your question about a retirement plan is a good one and one we're asking ourselves at the moment.
- The Church gives a great deal of money each year to a wide variety of charities. Do you really think it would look good if we were to maintain your Netflix account by using expensive overnight express deliveries to the United States? It may be time for you to consider the streaming option. We do want a Pope who is up to date on current events, of course, and the next pontiff will have access to a variety of channels on cable and satellite television to do so. Adult channels are blocked.
- Pope is not a position one "works his way up to," and while there are other paid positions, including custodial, at the Vatican for which you are qualified, the necessary visas and language skills would omit you from further consideration.
Upon you and your family the Holy Father cordially invokes joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ. As a pledge of divine graces he imparts to you his Apostolic Blessing.
I am herewith enclosing for you a rosary which His Holiness has blessed. Please give me your word that I will not see this on eBay.
Monsignor Pedro Lopez Quintano