from April 1, 2004
“The Pope is the Vicar of Christ on Earth. He stands in Christ’s place, on Christ’s behalf, to shepherd Christ’s flock.”
So says the esteemed catholic-pages.com, “the Catholic home for your browser.” Citing Lumen Gentium, which was solemnly promulgated by His Holiness Pope Paul VI on November 21, 1964, this authoritative source goes on to explain:
“[T]he Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered.”
Only a wild-eyed, irresponsible skeptic would demur from these judgments. And, though the Myles Junior Think Tank (MJTT) has often been accused of being wild-eyed, it has never, to our knowledge, been castigated as irresponsible.
Out of a sense of pious duty, then, we are compelled to continue our investigation of the IQs of God and His Son Jesus by turning our attention to the intelligence of whomever God has chosen to be His Son’s Vicar.
The first step in our investigation was to consult Dictionary.com. This authoritative source defined a (Roman Catholic) vicar as “a priest who acts for or represents another, often higher-ranking member of the clergy.”
This definition gave us pause. Not that it was not clear. Indeed, its very clarity was the pause-giver. As the definition of “vicar” clearly states, Pope X (not a name but a variable) acts to represent another, often higher-ranking member of the clergy. This immediately raises two problems for our investigation: (1) the problem of rank and (2) the problem of Christ’s office.
I shall deal with these vexing problems in order.
The definition is ambiguous. A vicar acts for or represents “another, often higher-ranking” member of the clergy. This phrase raises the question: How often? For to say that Pope X represents an equal is one thing; to say that he (or, in this millennium, possibly she) represents one whose rank is higher is another. Now, if the former is true, the problem of discovering the Pope’s IQ would be simple: one would merely attribute an IQ of 107.364 to whoever, at any given moment, happened to be pope. If the latter, the pope would have an IQ lower than 107 and change. (See my previous columns, “God’s IQ” and “Jesus’s IQ.”)
Upon further reflection, we at MJTT concluded that a pope would have a lower IQ. We based this conclusion on (1) the empirical fact that the first pope, Peter I, was a fisherman, and (2) fishermen are known to have a lower intelligence than those who ply other trades. The conclusion, then, was obvious. A simple syllogism leads to the incontrovertible fact that any given pope has a lesser degree of intelligence than his superior.
But on to the second problem, that of Christ’s office. The definition of a vicar contains the phrase, “higher-ranking member of the clergy.” (Italics added) And this phrase raises the question: Is a rabbi a clergyman? For all would agree that Christ, a.k.a Jesus, was a rabbi. But by common consensus, a clergyman is of a wholly different breed than a rabbi.
How, then, can Pope X be “Christ’s Vicar on Earth”?
After several hours of musing over this profound question, we repaired to the Watering Hole of the Hôtel Adiós for our après-ruminations.