(photo – The Birmingham News)
Vatican City (@humbledpie.wordpress) – Reports of unrest within the Catholic Church’s College of Cardinals over the current leadership’s direction have resulted in the calling of a secret conclave. In a move rarely seen in the 2000 year history of the papacy, though not without historical precedent, the College of Cardinals has reversed their decision on current leader, Pope Francis. Last evening’s conclave was brought to a close early this morning as a cloud of crimson smoke signaled the replacement of the Argentinean Friar with the unanimously elected American collegiate football coach, Nick Saban.
The church is no stranger to controversy. Recently, it has been increasingly under fire for previous actions and in constant defense of what many view as archaic doctrine influenced political positions while both attendance and contributions are in decline and its detractors on the rise. According to sources within the Vatican, church leaders from around the globe are calling for new leadership to help reposition and maneuver the church through these difficult economic, political and spiritual times. Apparently, in a rather savvy business move, the CoC were willing to buck centuries of internal promotion and for the first time considered external candidates for their new CEP, chief executive pontiff.
“We are in dire need of leadership that is able to mount an aggressive defensive strategy, reinforcing our current positions, and has a history of successfully venturing into hostile territory with offensive schemes capable of putting up the numbers required to fill the pews on Saturday night,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York. He continued, “After a thorough and exhaustive search, fellow church leaders and I have come to the conclusion that the person most qualified to conceive and implement a victorious game plan for the 21st century Catholic Church is Coach Saban.”
“We feel very blessed to have him in the Vatican. It was difficult to convince him to grant us an audience in the first place. He evidently already had a pretty good job and we look forward to including his many followers in the Catholic Church of tomorrow. Frankly, we are all excited about the talents Coach brings to the church’s sidelines as Christ’s Vicar on earth. This all takes me back to the heady days of Pope Urban II and defending the Holy Lands against Saracen subjugation.”
When asked about the obvious implications of a non-celibate ascension on the future inclusion of married men and even women in the priesthood, Cardinal Dolan responded, “Well…American football is a male dominated sport.”
During a brief news conference after the conclave, Coach Saban handled the select group of reporters much like his previous encounters with the American sports media. His answers were short on content and long on implied context. “We’re not going to talk about what we’re going to accomplish, we’re going to talk about how we’re going to do it.” “The scoreboard has nothing to do with the process. Each possession you look across at the opponent and commit yourself to dominate that person. It’s about individuals dominating the individuals they’re playing against. If you can do this…if you can focus on the one possession and wipe out the distractions…then you will be satisfied with the result.” When asked about the influence Jesus had on his career, Coach replied, “Jesus didn’t talk about winning championships, he talked about being a champion.” Coach Saban did say that he had not chosen his official church name, but that he unofficially hoped that his 1.2 billion member team would call him ‘Pope Coach.’