The Red Cards have slapped us with a new Papa! Gregor can breathe again, finally. But Gregor is uncertain about what it all means. He hopes the future will bring fresh and wonderful opportunities.
Does anyone know what’s happening? Where’s Dan Brown when you need him? Where is all of this going? Who made that very cool Sistine Seagull thing happen? Who’s in charge?
Gregor has so many questions.
The party back in Vatican Square was great. Gregor was happy to watch it all on TV. He would have been happier if the Red Cards had sent him a personal invitation, but that didn’t happen. Gregor wonders if he offended someone along the way. He hopes it isn’t so. Anyway, Gregor did mail his absentee ballot in a timely manner, so at least his voice was heard.
It was, wasn’t it?
Gregor still has questions and doubts. He hopes Papa will listen.
How old are you really, Your Geezerness? This is an important issue. CNN says one thing, the Vatican PR machine says another. Gregor can’t tell how old you are without a good close-up. That fancy dress can hide many things, right? So, Papa, please tell Gregor your true age. He will keep it secret, promise. He hopes your Papa-ness can relate to all those young people who support you and the Red Cards. Gregor would hate to think you’re starting off with something less than full disclosure. That just wouldn’t work for Gregor.
Also, when you write back, please tell Gregor your real name. He’s confused by all those titles and second references. If your real name is John, or Joe, or Alphonse, please tell Gregor in your next letter. First names are good. Gregor is hiding nothing from you, Papa.
Are you ready for change? Gregor is ready for change. All of Gregor’s friends are ready for change. It’s a safe bet that most of your 1+ billion supporters are ready for something new. Why not give it a try? Do it early, do it often, make it count. That’s Gregor’s best advice. No more secrets, Papa. OK?
Gregor is still waiting for the Great Vatican Lottery to begin. He mentioned it in his letter to the last Papa. Maybe you haven’t seen it yet? Are you behind on your correspondence? Maybe some of those many assistants you have hanging around back there can help you catch up with unanswered letters. It’s important to stop hoarding, Papa. It’s good to share, you know? It’s also good to be a real communicator. Gregor always answers his mail.
Gregor hopes you will do some pruning back there. It looks like you are severely over-staffed at the Vatican. CNN showed it all and, now, it’s hard to deny. You have a ton of helper monkeys running around the Vatican. Is there so much to do back there? Couldn’t you spare some of those guys for more important work, like visiting the sick, ministering to the poor, that kind of thing? You’re looking a little top-heavy, Papa.
Did you need to get specially fitted for all those new dresses? Couldn’t you have recycled the dresses used by the last Papa? Maybe just a little alteration or two? After all, the last Papa wasn’t too hard on his clothes, was he? It wasn’t like he was out there pruning olive trees or working in the garden. Gregor thinks it would be good for the new Papa to institute an austerity program, just like all those 1+ billion followers have done. Remember your vows of chastity, poverty and obedience? Gregor remembers.
Gregor hopes you consider his earlier suggestion that you go green with the pope-mobile. He wants to introduce you to his good friend, Jack. Jack has offered to pull your pope-mobile for one year, free of charge, when you institute the Great Vatican Lottery. Papa, it would be a fine idea to take Jack up on the offer. Not only is it green, it would send a message to the world about your commitment to change. Jack is young and strong, so he won’t wear out too quickly. He can be your first foray into the wonders of biomass conservation. You know what they say about swamp gas, eh? Well, make that gas work for you.
Finally, Papa, please don’t forget Dan Brown. The last Papa apparently ignored him. Gregor mentioned this to your predecessor but received no reply. Remember that Dan has given you an enormous amount of free publicity over the years. He’s done a much better job than your usual PR folks, and it’s cost you nothing. Gregor understands that you may not want to make him a saint. But you should at least give him the props he has certainly earned. Open your heart, Papa. Be generous and you, too, will be rewarded.
Gregor hopes you do well, Papa. He will be keeping his eye on you, though. Gregor wants change. He hopes you’re the right guy for the job.
Please don’t forget to send an autographed picture, will you? Gregor would like one that shows you without that fancy dress. Gregor wants to know what you look like when you’re just tooling around the Vatican, out of sight of your public. You know what Gregor looks like, so why not reciprocate?
Gregor lives here.