Dear Papa Frank:
I’ve been watching you. My sources are everywhere, just like yours. That’s why you haven’t received a letter from me until today.
I wanted to see how you’d be handling stuff back there in Roma. I know you have your plate full of previous-Papa leftovers. Patience is a good thing, you know.
You are a bit of a fresh slap in the face, I suspect. However, I think you’re heading down the wrong Papa-path. It’s all about this mass sainthood thing, this silly saintly party you threw in May. Papa, that just wasn’t very bright.
You went ahead and canonized 813 Italians who were murdered by Turkish soldiers back in the 15th century. What’s that all about? Your Papa-world is falling apart, scandals are everywhere, the church is bleeding members and you are now handing out wholesale sainthood. Papa, you need a better advisory personage.
These new sainter-folk were apparently all Italians, Papa. Come on now, what were you thinking? You didn’t even list their names. All of this sounds too close to home. How do you know they were all Italians? Are you sure? Were you just guessing? Where’s the roster? Where’s your proof? Are you playing to the crowd, Papa? Are you working your political base?
The old Papas took their time before slapping sainthood on anyone. They would writhe around, ring their hands and investigate for years, or decades. They would send folks everywhere to check out every little holy story they could put their hands upon. The old Papas would form committees, studies, write papers, re-write them, pray, ask questions, probe and do all kinds of stuff. All of this writhing around just to make sure they got it right. All of this work for just one saint.
Now, look at you Papa! You just slam-bang nearly a thousand of them, just like it was a backpack sale at Walmart. Were you feeling OK when you did it, Papa? Who was whispering in your ear? Was it one of those Italian Card Geezers who said to go ahead? Who was greasing that holy wheel, Papa?
They were all Italian, Papa! So you said, anyway. And you didn’t even tell me their names! This all sounds fishy to me, Papa. And I’m not talking about that old Friday Fish that used to hang over everyone’s head. You know what I mean, don’t you? I do.
You can’t just jump out there and make mass sainthood your own brand, can you? If that’s what’s going on back there in Roma, you should consider other, equally worthy folks for the Big Blessing.
For example, anyone who’s ever spent a Winter in Newfoundland should immediately be granted sainthood. Don’t worry about their names. Don’t fret because they’re not all Italian. Do it because they’ve already been to hell and back. Do it because that’s your thing – mass sainthood.
What about anyone who came back broke from Las Vegas? Don’t they count? Are you holding back because they may not all be Italian? I’ll bet some of them were Italian. You won’t have to list their names. We all understand that what happens in Vegas stays with the Vatican. Just do it, Papa! These folks have also been to hell and back. Just ask them.
How about every great writer who never got published and starved themselves in the process. I know they weren’t all Italian but, come on! They counted for something, didn’t they? Like all those others, they’ve been to hell and back. Can’t you give them a little consideration, Papa?
You can’t just spread this kind of sainthood around like yesterday’s Italian sun-butter. You need to get some standards in place, Papa. You need to broaden your view of the world. We’re all out here waiting for sainthood, you know. We’re not all Italian, you know. Some of us don’t even have connections, juice, pull or push. Some of us have even had lobotomies. Don’t we count, Papa?
You’ve disappointed me, Papa. You can’t just wholesale sainthood and expect to get my vote for your re-election. I know you might just be trying to be a good guy, to set the stage for some other changes in the future. But, Papa, you don’t want to be seen pandering to certain political or social groups, do you?
If you’re going to run around passing out sainthood medals, at least look toward the West. Check out Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and the like. We have lots of voting blocks over here. Lots of special interest groups who have been to hell and back. Lots of folks who wouldn’t mind being St. So-and-So, even if you don’t mention them by name.
Come on now, Papa. Don’t get too excited about your new job. Don’t let power go to your crown. You were off to a good start, maybe. Now, I’m not so sure. There’s lots of real work to get done, tons of things that need to be fixed, much information that needs to be shared.
Please, Papa Frank, try to keep it real. Try something new for a change.
I hope this letter has helped you in some small way. I’m still waiting for that autographed picture of you. When you do send it my way, would you mind putting it in a plain brown envelope?
Yours in fullness and awaiting your blessing,
St. Gregor (patent pending)
Gregor lives here.