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Jan Phillips

  • If I were pope / I'd proclaim the end of my infallibility / and banish the word sin from the doctrines of faith / I'd ask half the bishops and cardinals / to replace themselves with a thoughtful woman / and complete their ministries in a prison or homeless shelter / If I were pope / I'd pay the mystics to write poetry all day / and have their words read at the Sunday Masses / I'd pay the prophets to upload their message / in five minute videos / for youtube viewers around the world / I'd hire a thousand displaced workers / to construct a new Sistine Chapel and cover it with mirrors / instead of male images / If I were pope / I'd announce a contest / for 10 new sacraments that celebrate / peace-making, justice, and interfaith creations. / I'd send envoys to the villages / to talk about birth control / and distribute condoms wherever they are needed. / I'd establish a tuition-free college in every country / to train young students how to think / non-violently and act ethically. / If I were pope I'd convert closed churches / to housing for the needy / and meeting places for the marginal and walking wounded / I'd buy farms in rural places / and dedicate each one to organic farming and cooperative, sustainable, community-based agriculture. / I'd convert every old Motherhouse and seminary / into a training center for spiritual activists, cultural creators / and community collaborators. / I'd auction off my skullcap, my mozetta cape and my darling red shoes / to the highest bidder and send the money to Haiti / for the construction of schools and health care centers. / I'd sell my Fisherman's Ring on ebay / and donate the proceeds to the Gulf shrimpers. / I'd trade my red and gold embroidered fascia / (the stole with the fringes) for a villa in Tuscany / and give free spa retreats to women who've served the church / for five years or more. / If I were pope, I'd throw a party at the Vatican / and invite everyone who's left the church because they didn't feel welcomed. / (The overflow crowd would be treated to weekends / at Italian vineyards.) / If I were pope, I'd announce my retirement,/ and as my last act in office, at the final party, / I'd ordain to the priesthood any woman who was ready, / marry any gay couple who wanted my blessing, / and marry any priest, male or female. / Then I'd get in my jammies, / say a prayer of gratitude, / and crawl into bed for a much needed nap.

    • Jan Phillips,
    • "If I were Pope," No Ordinary Time: The Rise of Spiritual Intelligence and Evolutionary Creativity ()
  • ... the act of creating is a healing gesture, as sacred as prayer, as essential to the spirit as food to the body.

    • Jan Phillips,
    • in Tona Pearce Myers, ed., The Soul of Creativity: Insights Into the Creative Process ()

Jan Phillips, U.S. writer, artist