Oh yes. I will be. And then I will take over the world...in a good way, of course...even if it is a cardinal sin for a woman to hope to become one:
moar funny pictures
The first thing to happen will be that all priests undoubtedly guilty of paedophilia will be defrocked and handed to the secular authorities, with no hope of return. Then out with the celibacy and men-only rules. After that, anyone who lacks pastoral ability or displays any sign of serious emotional problems/addictions/personality disorders will be sent to counselling in the first instance, suspended if they make no progress, and there will be rigorous psychological evaluation for entry to a seminary or religious order. If you don't display pastoral gifts, guess what? You're not called.
Next on the agenda - free thinking will be more than welcome - the Church is, after all, only a vehicle to God. If we're all on board this *universal* vehicle, then let's be honest about what we believe, and let's be secure enough to really listen to the people in our carriage. The church would also become truly Catholic - it would reach out to all peoples and all nations - to everyone in need, regardless of race, nationality, religion. No more of this 'take care of our own' mindset. Everyone is our own.
I'd be shipping condoms in bulk to AIDS-ravaged countries...and working with charities from Amnesty International to WaterAid.
Sex and intimacy would be de-stigmatised. There would be a rigorous pre-marriage counselling programme - none of the c**p I've witnessed where a priest doesn't want to do the real thing because, well, 'sex is dirty, and anyway, marriage is really second to my perfect celibate life.' (I'd hand you the bucket, but I'm using it.) Give me a penny for the number of times I've heard, "I give them 5 years, tops," come out of a priest's mouth, and I'd never need to work again. You're supposed to believe it's a SACRAMENT, you lazy smartass. If you did your job properly and cared more about their lives than your office or the money you were getting, they might be in the right place right now: counselling or broken up, rather than all dolled up in your church, a tragedy waiting to happen. Marriage is a sacrament, sex is holy - the church needs to stop claiming that's what it believes and needs to start ACTING like that's what it believes.
Birth control? Yeah, I'd be teaching that. No couple should have to make the choice between having more children than they can love and support and the ultimate physical expression of their love and unity. Premarital sex? Yes, but I'd make sure you learned that you don't have to if you don't want to - come to it in love and whole, don't do it TO BE LOVED and TO BECOME WHOLE.
Above all, we'd be proclaiming love, tolerance, justice and the pursuit of truth from the rooftops. And helping everyone else to scramble on. No us and them. Never again.
We'd be a truly Catholic Church.
After all, there are really only a few basic principles to live by, whatever you believe: Love as much and as hard as you can; be the voice for the voiceless and protect the vulnerable; give generously and without thought of return...
but it really comes down to this: we are all One in God, which makes every ONE of us holy.
It's time we got off our knees and started acting like it.
As pope, my manifesto would be simple (though the above would be a few of many ways to express it):
Let us build a republic of heaven on Earth.