How to Become Pope

Here’s a viral video on the process of how a man becomes the pope.  In the past two days, it has received almost 700,000 views:

After last week’s Q&A on papal resignation, a blogger by the name of C. G. P. Grey wrote me, asking if I’d look over a script he was preparing on the papacy.  If you’re not familiar with his work (and I wasn’t), he has created a series of YouTube videos called “Grey Explains,” that strive to inform people on current events and world affairs in an educational and funny manner. For example, here’s a video he made distinguishing the United Kingdom, Great Britain, and England.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Coat of Arms

Since he’s not a Catholic, Grey explained that he wanted to make sure that he got the details correct, and that he wasn’t being inadvertently offensive to Catholics. So I looked the proposed script over, and sent back some comments. His original draft was already well-researched, so I was mostly just adding nuance. He rewrote part of the script, resulting in the video above.  On his blog, he also provides the script for the video.

Grey also added “footnote” videos with some additional nuance.  At a few points in the main video, you can actually click the bottom right corner, and it’ll open the appropriate “footnote.” The footnote videos further explain that:

All in all, I think he did a fantastic job both grasping Catholic nuance, and explaining it to a largely non-Catholic.  I hope that his attention to detail will serve as a positive example for others (like reporters) covering the Catholic Church.

Of course, anyone actually ambitiously striving for the papacy, like the main character in this video, would probably not make it very far at all.  It’s worth remembering that those who want the papacy don’t get it, and those who get the papacy don’t want it.  If nothing else, Benedict’s resignation has hopefully made at least that much clear.


  1. Not a bad video, especially for a non-Catholic, if a little irreverent. I do wish he would have mentioned the Holy Spirit, He seems always left out of he discussion and plays an essential role in choosing our Pontiff.

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