When We are elected Pope…

We have often opined that when We are elected Pope, We shall disappear into the Apostolic Palace for lengths of time so protracted that the world will suggest that We have died.  Our Encyclicals will be brief and our Briefs will be terse.   Our decisions will come rarely, since much of the running of all the other stuff will be handled adroitly by our Vicar For Everything.   Furthermore, the newly renewed Noble Guard – with license beyond that of 007 – will ferret out the problem makers and the revised Swiss Guards – mutually enriched with retired Marines, Rangers, SEALs, SAS, etc., will maintain order on Our perimeter.   But, mainly, We shall not be “out there”.

I now direct the readership to

  • a recent post by Fr. John Hunwicke, at his excellent blog.  HERE.  After a few observations about the present holder of the See of Peter, he considers the prudence of the next Successor of Peter (if not Us then who?).
  • Moreover, Taylor Marshall and his sidekick have in a podcast dreamed a dream of what they would as Pope.  Silly usurpers.  We shall thwart them.  HERE

There is an old adage that the grass is always greener on the other side of the whatever.

The ancient poet Horace – We were told as an undergrad that, as We aged We would appreciate him more and more, and We do – creatively explained this nearly ubiquitous phenomenon in his Satires, when he recounted the exchanges of the farmer and the soldier, the town-mouse and the country-mouse, the cart-horse and the race-horse.  Each pines for a situation which isn’t real … for him.  They learn that their lot is the lot they’ve been allotted.

Of all the possible universes God could have created, He created this one, not another.  He knew each one of us before the creation of the cosmos.  He called us into existence at exactly the place and time of His choosing according to His plan.   This is where he wants Us to be.

These are our times.  These are the problems which we, uniquely, are called to face.

Let Us, each of us, review the duties and responsibilities of our state in life as it is in the here and now, the hic et nunc, and then carry them out with true devotion.  If we do that, God will give us every actually grace that we need, because we are carrying out the role He gave us in the economy of salvation.



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in ¡Hagan lío!, Our Catholic Identity, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The future and our choices and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. arga says:

    “I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
    “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
    –Lord of the Rings, Ch 2, “The Shadow of the Past,” Book One of the Fellowship of the Ring

  2. Hidden One says:

    One of my favourite posts.

  3. Greg Hlatky says:

    Mister, we can use a man like Calvin Coolidge again.

  4. Dad of Six says:

    And may that day happen soon!

  5. JustaSinner says:

    Looking for a Cincinnatus…but that’s just me.

  6. jdt2 says:

    Beautiful post, Father. Thank you.

  7. Mariana2 says:

    I trust we will bring back the flabella, too.

  8. e.e. says:

    A very important reminder, Father. Thank you.

  9. Gab says:

    Sobering comments from you, Father Z. Good to keep them in mind. Thank you.

  10. SKAY says:

    “We have often opined that when We are elected Pope”
    If ONLY I had a magic wand that worked……. ;-)
    Actually I will add a special request in my prayers.

    Thank you for the reminder of what we should be thankful for, Father. I will
    try hard to remember.

  11. Julia_Augusta says:

    My ambitions as future Pope (or Popesse) are terribly unambitious:
    – free Norcia beer for everyone!
    – free Pope Clement XIV mugs for everyone!
    and best of all . . .
    Father Z will be my Camerlengo!

  12. oledocfarmer says:

    Great post….and a reminder that there is hope and that while fully living in the present we can continually remind ourselves that this present Wilderness time won’t last forever. As a very gracious and kind lady once said, “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”

    PS: I think it’s “Taylor Marshall.” Southern names are the best! I have several cousins with a surname for the first, middle, and last names….all in the family tradition.

  13. Bellarmino Vianney says:

    When this generation stands before God, “We” will discover that there were/are a large number of “impostors” (2 Timothy 3:13 – “evil men and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived.”) that have gained entry into God’s Church and are intentionally trying to harm Her.

    The “liberal” false catholic impostors are easy to identify.

    But there are clearly a large number of such persons in the “Traditionalist” wing, too. They are not as easy to identify unless one has “eyes to see”.

    Their tactic is much like the liberal false catholics – infiltrate, divide, and conquer. Pay close attention to those that are directly or indirectly calling for State control of the Catholic Church in the U.S. and elsewhere.

    And, as was written in previous posts, one should identify the “impostors” that are likely working for government entities. For an analogy, see COINTELPRO – this infiltration went on for at least 15 years, and was not easily uncovered.

    Now, would the U.S. government or any other government try to infiltrate the Catholic Church like they did in “COINTELPRO”? Yes. Which “wing” of the Church would they likely try to infiltrate and influence? They already have an established stronghold on the “liberals” (false catholics), so it is likely that somewhere along the lines they attempted to infiltrate the “Traditionalist” wing.

    It is indeed odd that several “conservative” “catholic” “news” entities sporadically publish articles supporting socialism. They gain the title “conservative” by publishing pro-life, pro-family, articles, then publish pro-socialism or pro-State control articles here and there. One has to be “wise as serpents” in today’s world in order to discern Truth from falsehood.

  14. Semper Gumby says:

    Summer at a villa in the Alban Hills outside Rome. Sunlight gleams off white marble and flagstone, in the terraced gardens bees browse lazily. Beneath the shade of stately cypresses and cedars two men in cassocks gaze down at Lake Albano. They watch as seagulls circle above the shimmering water, swooping in now and then for a trout.

    The older man in white cassock begins speaking quietly to the man in black cassock holding notebook and pen. The man writes: Ad Orientem worship, Leonine Prayers, Noble Guard, Latin instruction for seminarians, Prayer for Vocations, Rite of Degradation of a Bishop, pilgrimage to Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help.

    Above the men the tree branches sway slowly in a cooling breeze. The older man nods and they turn back up the path. They approach the ancient walls of Emperor Domitian’s palace, now clean of the graffiti left by vandals a fortnight ago. Up the hill through the trees they glimpse the villa that hid Jewish refugees from the National Socialists.

    The man in the white cassock grips his walking stick’s rosewood handle and satisfyingly taps it into the warm earth. A durable walking stick of blackthorn hardwood, finely polished. Tipped with silver, perfect for staving off Nightfiends. Hand-crafted by the Irish monks of Skellig Michael. The Stat Crux Dum Volvitur Orbis Walking Stick (No. 4309). For sure footing in a world gone Modern.

    – J. Peterman Catalog

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

    [Of course when We are elected, that list will be dealt with even before We appear on the loggia of St. Peter’s. Included shall also be special treatment for Jesuits… and Germany. As for the graffiti, those punks are lucky they didn’t have to deal with the amplified Swiss Guards. But the Noble Guard will find them and an example shall be made.]

  15. Kathleen10 says:

    Semper Gumby, you have a gift.

  16. Semper Gumby says:

    Kathleen10: Thank you, you’re too kind.

    Fr. Z: Habemus Papam! I hereby volunteer to serve as a Knight of the Order of Sampietrini, and as Papal Liaison to Michael D. O’Brien (“More novels Mr. O’Brien! Attend to your duties, Sir”).

  17. Jerome Charles says:

    Pope Francis knows and reflects the heart of Jesus, especially in his compassion and mercy. I am grateful for his ministry.

  18. Semper Gumby says:

    Jerome Charles: That’s quite an assertion.

  19. Jerome Charles says:

    Yes. Asserted with deep respect for him.

    But, I am not alone on this blog in making assertions about Pope Francis and other people/topics, am I? I wonder why you feel the need to comment on this one, and why you are not direct in expressing what you are really thinking. Hm…?

  20. Semper Gumby says:

    Jerome Charles: Note the evidence that contradicts your assertion.

  21. veritas vincit says:

    In some ways, Pope Francis reflects the heart of a pastor in simply human ways that St John Paul II and Benedict XVI do not (although a strong counterargument could be made for St JPII). He certainly exhibits a kind of mercy and compassion. I believe that is what Jerome Charles means when he refers to the “heart of Jesus.”

    However (and it pains me to say this about our Holy Father), his compassion and mercy is in many ways flawed, because it muddles the truth, instead of expressing it clearly. To pick just one example, couples in invalid “marriages” need to know their situation clearly so they can refrain from receiving Our Lord in the Eucharist and ultimately coming to repentance. But the Holy Father’s footnote in Amoris Laetita encourages pastors of souls not to bring such couples to that repentance, and to receive Communion as though they were validly married.

    So I have to agree with Semper Gumby (and of course, Father Z).

  22. MrsAnchor says:

    @Semper Gumby Bravissimo

    For me your comment had the air of an Evelyn Waugh Novel. With such talent, Do you have any Novels written?

  23. Semper Gumby says:

    veritas vincit: Thank you for your reply.

    MrsAnchor: Thank you, you’re way too kind. (I’ve read Brideshead Revisited, Helena is in the queue).

    As for novel writing, it would be nice someday, Deo Volente, to mail a thick manila envelope to Fr. Fessio and Ignatius Press.

    But for now, I’m content to scribble away on three drafts. The first is a novel set in 1938-40. A hard-boiled private eye, a pipe-smoking professor of ancient Rome, a curious British embassy clerk and his intrepid wife, and an eccentric Italian named Antonio go to war against Hitler’s Gestapo, Stalin’s NKVD, and Himmler’s Ahnenerbe.

    The second is a contemporary novel set mainly in the Middle East and North Africa.

    The third is a post-nuclear war novel, influenced by the travails of the monks of Norcia and the 2016 earthquake, the Last of the Mohicans, the explorers Joliet and Fr. Marquette, and classics such as the Odyssey, Beowulf, and the Song of Roland.

    The characters are Catholic, or return to the Church, or discover, one way or another, that the Church lights a path through the wilderness.

  24. Semper G: 1938-40

    Interesting time frame. That interwar period is rich for ideas.

    Have you tried Alan Furst? He has lots of interwar espionage, with a heavy touch of noir, but serious. You might try The Polish Officer. US HERE – UK HERE It’s the third of a set, but a good place to start anyway.

  25. Semper Gumby says:

    Fr. Z: Alan Furst is a talented writer, and The Polish Officer is a better place to start than the first book in the series.

    The catch with Furst is, as the series goes on, the port side of politics and sex scenes appear. Book #7 I think had two such scenes in the first fifteen pages. That’s just silly. Never did finish that book. The port side of politics also appears early in the series, distorting the Spanish Civil War. But, the first few books are good.

    I agree, when writing about the late 1930s “serious and noir” is the order of the day- my “hard-boiled private eye” would not be Tracer Bullet. More like: the type of private eye one would buy a beer, invite to Mass, or punch in the face depending on the circumstances.

  26. RichR says:

    You forgot to remind us of your Installational Mass with the “Imperial March” played as the Processional music …just so everyone is clear who is in charge.

  27. RichR says: Imperial March

    Ah, yes. That was an omission.

  28. RichR says:

    So, as I posted the last post my 16 year old son, who was practicing on the church pipe organ, asked why I was chuckling. He thought it was funny, so he quickly put this together for Father Z:


    Note the “Amen” at the end. His idea.

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