Pope Emeritus Relieved to Give up Teaching Sunday School, Focus on Research

VATICAN CITY — Thursday, February 28th marked a monumental day for the Roman Catholic Church, as Pope Benedict XVI switched his red loafers for burgundy and became the first Pope to cede the papacy since the Middle Ages. Prior to his official retirement, the College of Cardinals voted to award Benedict with honorary title of Pope Emeritus, to which Benedict responded, “It’s the least they could do, but I’ll take it. The whole time I was Pope, those tightwads in the CoC wouldn’t give me funding for a project that I wanted to do on Mary Magdalene. Now that I’ve got tenure, I’m devoting my research to her and Queen Esther.”

“Besides that though,” Benedict continued in a private interview with The Flipside, “it’s just such a relief not to worry about teaching Sunday School anymore. I gotta tell you, Bishops are the worst. They skip Mass, and then have the nerve to email me on the Sabbath asking if I’m going to upload the standard deviation for their Leviticus exams on ChristBoard. And after all that, half of them give me bad PopeTECs.”

Some have criticized the decision to award the former Pope with the Emeritus honor, arguing that it is unlikely Benedict will ever publish; the Vatican’s main journal hasn’t published a new article since Revelations (DOI: Bible).

Nevertheless, many administrators and faculty members support the honor. “You should have seen the way he handled teaching Basic Morality 101 on our satellite campus in Mexico last spring,” said TA Felipe Calderón. “That must have been the most disruptive group of students the Church has seen since the Reformation. He’s earned this.”

Friends of Benedict—or Ratty Joe if you swing by his office with a six-pack of Holy Water—say the Pope Emeritus celebrated his first night in retirement “kickin’ back with some Cardinals,” before jet-setting off to ritzy resort Castel Gandolfo to blow off some of his bonus. His “sabbatical” will last until renovations are done on his new pad, since he’s no longer required to be faculty-in-residence at the Vatican dorms.

Administrators addressed younger Bishops who were disappointed they’d never gotten to take Mass with the Pope prior to his retirement, saying he’ll likely give a sermon series every few years. “Yeah,” responded first-year Priest Bobby Fadden, “but I bet you’ll need to be an Archbishop to have a good enough registration time on PONTIUSPILATE to get in.”

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