Today the Cardinals go into enclave and vote on a new Pope. They literally lock themselves in a room with no communication devices except a chimney. Yes, the way they let the world know a decision has been made is by burning the ballots and letting the smoke rise out of the chimney into the air over the Vatican, using chemicals to control the colour. White smoke = new pope.
While the world speculates on who will be elected, I ponder who I would vote for if asked. I do, after all, have experience in sequestered voting, having managed the Polaris Music Prize Grand Jury for a number of years. And I was baptized Catholic and taught partly by nuns before becoming Born Again Heathen so I know a few things about the Church. (Mostly fun things to do with the communion Host if you don’t want to swallow it.) But my religion has always been music. And so if I was allowed into the secret chamber to place a ballot, I’d be inclined to write in a musician candidate. Why not? The only official criteria for Pope is “Catholic” and “male.” There’s no law that says a rocker can’t also be the Pope.
And so I present my Top 5 Papal Candidates.
5. MARILYN MANSON
Cred: Attended Christian elementary school
Potential Pope Name: “God of Fuck”; “Antichrist Superstar”
Pros: Looks good in skirt
Cons: Card-carrying member, Church of Satan
4. TOBIAS FORGE of GHOST
Cred: May be an actual Cardinal. Or a Bishop. Or just a Swedish metal dude in a cool costume.
Potential Pope Name: “Papa Emeritus” “Mary Goore”
Pros: Multilingual; good at keeping secrets
Cons: Um, that whole Swedish pagan thing.
3. DAVE GAHAN of DEPECHE MODE
Cred: Proponent of resurrection — died and came back to life after overdose
Potential Pope Name: “Personal Jesus”
Pros: Someone to hear your prayers, someone who cares
Cons: Divorced (twice)
Potential Pope Name: “Bono Vox”
Pros: Already acts like he has the job
Cons: An Irish Pope? Hahahhahahahaha.
1. CAROL POPE of ROUGH TRADE
Potential Pope Name: Ms. Pope the 1st
Pros: For God’s sake look at her name—she was literally born for this job! Also, 60s is considered prime age for starting your career in the papal arts.
Cons: Her band’s biggest hit is about same-sex crush on hot teenager, probably not the theme song the Church is looking for. Oh, and there’s that whole woman thing. Well, maybe next century….