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Dick Kulpa as Pope

Campaign avatar used by Dick Kulpa during his Facebook run for Pope.

As red-robed Cardinals packed into the Sistine Chapel, I tossed my hat into the ring in a last ditch, ill-fated run for “Pope.”

My Papal campaign was conducted solely on Facebook, a billion-follower entity allegedly equal in size to the entire Catholic Church.

My campaign slogan? “Man, I CAN…fix the Vatican” — “Power to the Papal” just did not work. Sadly, and like many of my fellow Catholics on a Sunday morning, that FB entourage was out to brunch.

As the selected Cardinal turned into a Pope, I turned into a bar.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s election caused incredible parallels ‘twixt me and him to emerge, however:

• “Francis” is the name of my very first comic strip character — and my dad’s middle name.
• Very familiar with “Assisi,” I’ve often been called one myself.
• Pope Francis is a “champion of the poor”, and I AM poor — a great fit!

Gazing at a mural someone painted on the chapel’s ceiling, a “vision” came to mind. I thenceforth knew what had to be done.
I fervently beseech Pope Francis — as your number one priority, to purify — CLEAN UP — the entire Catholic Church, and I know a GREAT place to start. At the source. After all, when priests gaze upwards toward Heaven during services in that mother of all Catholic chapels, we can just guess as to what they’re REALLY looking at.

My incredible and epiphanic solution is posted on my cartoon news satire website, IUDEXonline.com!

Dick Kulpa is Publisher of CRACKED Magazine and the former editor of Weekly World News, where he created the famed Bat Boy in 1992.

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