I have decided that I will not give my name in consideration, and if elected will not serve, as the next Pope. (If you're wondering, I had settled on Extremely Guilty I as my pappellation. It just sounded right.) I am at peace with this decision, and in order to extend this gift of peace to others, thought I would explain briefly my reasons.
1. By long-standing tradition, no one officially runs for Pope. Popes are elected, but the events prior to the vote of the conclave of cardinals do not permit any electioneering. No cardinal may officially put his mitre in the ring or boost another cardinal's candidacy.
Well, there goes my primary advantage! Other candidates may be more knowledgeable of the policy issues or the inner workings of the Vatican, but my status, running as an outsider, could have given be tremendous leverage. I figured, it works so well in US Presidential elections, why not? I had already booked negative campaign ads.
2. Despite the fact that no one officially runs for Pope, the fact is that by the time the cardinals begin to convene to chat about the future of the Church, there are already known candidates. I was a bit behind on getting my name mentioned in those chats, so I have a huge name-recognition deficit. Frankly, I wasn't expecting Benny to step down. I blame my operatives on the ground in Rome. They're fired.
3. Despite the history of the Papacy, apparently nowadays the business about celibacy and bachelorhood is taken somewhat seriously.
4. Oh, and that whole faith thing, too. Damn these newfangled modern ideas creeping into orthodoxy! I ask these so-called cardinals, whither the Church?