10 Changes to Look Forward to if a Canadian Is Elected Pope

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When cardinals from around the world convene for the papal conclave in Rome on Tuesday, there’s a real chance that a Canadian could wind up as the next pope when the white smoke clears. After all, many observers peg Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet as a real contender for St. Peter’s seat. If that does happen, how will the new pontiff’s Canuck upbringing affect the way the Vatican operates? In the event that Cardinal Ouellet is elected, we’ve compiled a list of 10 changes he might consider making when he takes office.

1. During the winter, turn St. Peter’s Square into a hockey rink and form a shinny league. The champions win “the Saintly Cup.” Players, however, should avoid body-checking a Cardinal into the boards. Getting sent to the “sin bin” takes on a whole different meaning here.

2. All priests and nuns get brand new, comfy Roots-made religious habits.

3. The Body of Christ for those who receive communion; Timbits for those who don’t.

4. Current and former free-spending Canadian politicians get bumped to the front of the line for confession. (And no, Bev Oda, you can’t expense a plane ticket to Rome.)

5. CBC could broadcast all major Vatican religious services. Ron MacLean hosts in studio, Martin Short as Jiminy Glick asks Cardinals on the red carpet who they’re wearing, Strombo sits down for an hour with His Holiness to promote it and Don Cherry is kept very, very far away.

6. With the pope’s blessing, Markham and Quebec City could finally get the NHL teams they’re lobbying for.

7. Mounties replace Swiss Guard. No more fake bishops wearing sneakers allowed to sneak into Vatican meetings.

8. Religious wine served during mass; Molson Canadian served after mass.

9. Instead of Latin, rules changed so every papal mass must be spoken in both English and Quebecois French.

10. With Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield as the first Canuck to command the International Space Station, the time is right for a Canadian to become the first pope to make a papal visit to the moon! Think about it: the pope’s space suit could be draped in religious garbs, they could fit his hat over his helmet and forget the lunar rover – we’ve got a lunar Pope-mobile! Take that, Neil Armstrong!