Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pope Fiction

With the awesome Pope Benedict XVI stepping down as the Holy Father of the Roman Catholic Church, it got me to thinking who should be the next pope.  But then I got to thinking about the much more frivolous: who from popular fiction would make a great pope?

I figured you would want someone older and wiser so I assembled a list of mentors from some of our best stories.  Here are the results:


Obi-Wan Kenobi

He is wise with a strong gift for preaching to the uninitiated.  See how much Luke learns about the Force in just a few short days!  He also has a self-sacrificing spirit, when he lays down his life in a Christ like way for the heroes aboard the Death Star.

He does not seem to believe that everyone can be redeemed, as evidenced by the fact that he keeps getting Luke to kill his dad.


At 900 years old, he has accumulated a lot of wisdom.  He embraces simplicity and poverty on Dagobah.  He is a man of faith.  When Luke says, "I don't believe it," Yoda responds: "That is why you fail."

He lacks practical insight.  I mean, he sat right across from the frickin' Dark Lord of the Sith and couldn't figure out it was him?  Also, he is a little too Gnostic, denying the importance of the body when he says "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."


He has the elements of a good teacher.  He acts according to his conscience.  He also has the humility to know his vices.  He never took the job as Minister of Magic because he wanted it.  He also willingly laid down his life to save Draco Malfoy.

Some might point to the fact that he is gay, but since he never acts on his desires during the story, it is a non-issue.  No, the real problem is that he forces Snape into helping him commit suicide.  Snape murders Dumbledore on Dumbledore's orders, caring little for Snape's soul.  And his sacrifice only happens after he learns that his death is inevitable.


He is a man driven by faith.  It is all that motivates him, even when he has lost most of the will to believe.  And his faith is contagious.  He helps Neo believe in himself.  He helps Niobi believe in Neo. And he helps the people of Zion to overcome their fears to face the future (right before their prayer service/orgy)

He seems oddly okay with murder.  Innocent humans in the matrix are killed because of their potential to turn into agents.  But Catholic theology is clear that you can kill in self defense, but not of the innocent.


He is an incarnate angel sent by God to fight the forces of evil.  He is wise and giving and he trusts in the goodness of others.  He also is humble enough to see the value of those like Hobbits.

Since he is technically not human I don't know if he could be ordained a priest.  (the same applies to Yoda).


I was thinking about adding Aslan, but seeing as how:
1. He is a cat and
2. He is Jesus

I didn't think he would take the demotion to pope

Why don't you vote in my poll or suggest another candidate?


  1. Love the idea for this post! Looks like you're working with the mentor archetype from Joseph Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces. How about Uncle Argyle from Braveheart? Pro: He's Catholic! And He teaches William to use his mind before he teaches him to use the sword. Con: He's a little rough around the edges for our sensitive culture.

    1. I agree, Argyle is very cool. I love the way he reacts to William's admission that he doesn't understand Latin: "We shall have to remedy that."

      But as you said, he is a bit rough for a Pope. When William says he doesn't want to leave, Argyle says, "You didn't want your daddy to die either, but it happened."

  2. Actually I could see Aslan's feline avatar coming to sit with Bishop Emeritus Ratzinger in gentle and quiet retirement, esp sleeping on his feet to keep them warm.

  3. Come on, we already have Hadrian VII.