Top Ten Ways to Keep a Retired Pontiff Busy

By Piper Bayard and Kristen Lamb

As a general rule, popes don’t change jobs except by dying. On the rare occasion that they do retire, they tend to be trouble makers, either wanting their old jobs back or exercising their Back Seat Pope’s License. Benedict XVI is the first pontiff to retire in around 600 years, and with this move, the Vatican now has an unusual conundrum on its hands. What to do with a retired pope?

Pope Benedict XVIimage by Tadeusz Gomy, public domain

Pope Benedict XVI
image by Tadeusz Gomy, public domain

When I ran for US president (see Okay. I’ll Do It. I’ll Run for President), my space saving vice president, Kristen Lamb, and I set out to make our world a more efficient and humorous place. So when we heard that our fellow world leader was about to have too much time on his hands, we brainstormed a few things he can do to keep himself busy and out of the cardinals’ zuccehettos.

Top Ten Ways to Keep a Retired Pontiff Busy

  1. Co-star in a movie as Steve Carell’s best friend, The 90 Year Old Virgin.
  2. Translate Latin into Twitter-speak for remote exorcisms.
  3. Be a Walmart Greeter who can save souls and provide carts that don’t squeak.
  4. Team up with George Foreman to make a new line of sandwich grills.
  5. Be a Spokesperson for Clorox on how to keep your whites the whitest.
  6. Cast devils out of the Jersey Shore crew and the Real Housewives.
  7. Babysit Bill Clinton.
  8. Judge contestants on Dancing with the Saints.
  9. Host the new game shows, Your Soul’s In Jeopardy and Are You Smarter than a Pontiff?
  10. Test drive the new bulletproof Hoverround.



We make these suggestions with the purest of hearts. If anyone finds them offensive, at least be glad we had the good taste to stop at President and not run for Pope.

What are your clean and respectful suggestions for how the Pope can stay busy in retirement?

30 comments on “Top Ten Ways to Keep a Retired Pontiff Busy

  1. Isn’t it obvious? He should start a blog. 😉

  2. All great suggestions – – – but let’s see how his exit interview goes and what his final appraisal rating is before we send him out into the workplace. If all else fails maybe a bell-ringer for the Salvation Army.

  3. Julie Glover says:

    I thought Mercedes would be trying to hire him on as a spokesperson. Aren’t they the ones who make the “popemobile”?

  4. mairedubhtx says:

    A Pope blog would be a good idea. Or he could get a Facebook page. He seems to be into social media. Maybe he’s like to be friends with the world’s Catholics and I’m sure they’s like to be friends with him. He could update his status daily and let everyone know what he was up to, post his pictures from the cloister. etc.

  5. Start a Twitter account. No wait. He did that. He clearly needs an app. Maybe “how to retire gracefully… or full of grace”?

  6. tomwisk says:

    Some suggestions: Hear confessions of pedophile priests. Explain to women why the church doesn’t think they’re equal or qualified to be priests. Write a clear, concise paper under a two thousand words on why the catholic church is living in the seventeenth century. And explain WTF he was thinking about when he joined the Hitler Youth.

  7. K.B. Owen says:

    LOL, Piper! Great suggestions. I have one: since the Pope is quite the shoe fashionista (check out this article: – wow, 15,001 pairs of shoes!), have him become a spokesperson for PayLess or DSW Shoe Warehouse. He’ll be more popular with the ladies than he’s ever been…oh, wait, he’s still celibate. Can’t retire from that.

  8. Catherine Johnson says:

    Oh they are brilliant! Isn’t it funny how delicate some are about the pope. Not everyone liked my horse meat poem about him 🙂

  9. I can see this becoming a musical on Broadway…..great list.

  10. I think he should become a writer – he could pen some thriller/best seller about a mystery papal conspiracy in Rome involving, oh, I don’t know, a CERN antimatter bomb, an Illuminati plot and a papal aspirant who’s an action hero, all resolved by an expert in iconography (who also plunges 10,000 feet into the Tiber, supported only by a piece of helicopter windshield).

    He could publish it in instalments, on his blog… 🙂

    • Piper Bayard says:

      Wow! What a great idea for a story. 🙂 And I love that notion of publishing on his blog. Perhaps he could even publish it 140 characters at a time in a Twitter format. 🙂

  11. Loved the “Your soul’s in jeopardy” line. 🙂

    • Piper Bayard says:

      In that game show, all of the answers relate to religious doctrine and the contestants have to come up with the questions. However, if they question too much, they are accused of a lack of faith and the floor opens underneath them and drops them into a crematorium furnace. 🙂

  12. Co-star in a coming-of-age film for the most Catholic countries – “Latin American Graffiti”

  13. Nigel Dogberry says:

    Um……He could get a slingshot and zing rats around the Vatican. Ratzinger. hee hee hee.

  14. Susan Spann says:

    He could become a mountain climber – Pope on a Rope!

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