Retired Pope Benedict Pledges To Donate Soul For Ecclesiastic Research

VATICAN CITY—In a charitable act he hoped would protect future pontiffs from suffering the same spiritual fate that he had endured, retired Pope Benedict XVI pledged his soul to the Vatican Friday for purposes of ecclesiastic research following his death.

Read the rest at The Onion.


    1. It contrasts with “donating your body to science”, a not uncommon practice in the US. But we believe every soul belongs to God, who knows each more thoroughly than any of us ever could. After death, the soul is not carried around, examined or buried the way a physical body is, or subject to ecclesial examination like a scientific examination. IOW, it makes fun of those who do not know the difference between body and soul, or want to treat the soul as if it were a body.

      There is another undercurrent that may tickle some people, because it raises images of Popes whose bodies were exhumed and put on trial. That Pope Benedict would volunteer to be subjected to such over ambitious prosecutors plays into his reputation in some places as an overly ardent prosecutor. And pokes fun at those who are too enlightened to revert to such medieval tactics.

      Or it could refer to the examination of the causes of saints, saying in effect that he is offering his soul to be examined so he can be canonized. That contrasts with his generally unassuming persona.

      Or… it never works to explain humor. I would probably have to work for The Onion if I wanted to go further.

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