Help Wanted: Must Be Infallible

A job description for the next pope.

Position: Bishop of Rome (Pope)

Organization: Holy See

Posted: Feb. 11, 2013

Location: Vatican City, Vatican City

Salary: $0 (competitive benefits)

About the organization: Founded by Jesus Christ, the world's largest (and only legitimate) Christian Church has been bringing its flock the true word of God for 2,000 years. With 23 autonomous churches and nearly 3,000 dioceses, you're never far from one of our convenient locations. Located in the heart of Rome, with dozens of convenient dining options nearby, our headquarters is also the world's smallest sovereign nation.

Job profile: As the 266th pontiff and the successor to St. Peter, you'll be tasked with being God's emissary on Earth, supervising the church's nearly 1 million priests, nuns, and monks, as well as the Vatican's extensive real estate holdings in nearly every country in the world. While the position's temporal authority has been reduced in recent centuries, candidates must be comfortable in the halls of power and able to conduct discussions with world leaders. We're looking for someone adept at navigating a complex bureaucracy and -- in light of certain recent events -- experienced in damage control. Some public speaking required.

Candidate profile:


  • Catholicism
  • Celibacy (exceptions have been made in the past)


  • Experience as cardinal or bishop strongly preferred but not required
  • Extensive knowledge of church doctrine and liturgy, as well as Latin and Italian (English a plus)

Personal attributes:

  • Self-starter
  • Infallible


While this position does not come with a salary, we will provide full living expenses, travel costs including use of the company car, and regalia including mitre, staff, ring, throne, and red Prada shoes. Summer residence provided at Castel Gandolfo. Full-time butler available, though not necessarily trustworthy.

Competitive retirement benefits include title of "Emeritus Pope" and strong possibility of sainthood.

Qualified candidates should send resume, cover letter, and references to the Papal Conclave, 00120 Viadel Pellegrino, Citta del Vaticano. You will be notified by white smoke if selected.

The Vatican is NOT an equal opportunity employer. Sorry, ladies.

Matt Cardy/AFP/Getty Images

National Security

You Don't Know Chuck

Who said it: Sen. Hagel or the Shin Bet?

As he's been considered for secretary of defense, one of the most persistent criticisms leveled at Chuck Hagel has been that he has been too critical of Israel. His critiques of Israel pale in comparison to those made by Avraham Shalom, Yaakov Peri, Carmi Gillon, and Avi Dichter, former heads of the Israeli intelligence service Shin Bet, interviewed in the new documentary The Gatekeepers. Both Hagel and the former directors of the Shin Bet have voiced some tough love on the subject of Israel's relationship with the Palestinians and broader Arab world. We've picked some quotes from each. Can you guess who said it, Chuck Hagel or a former head of the Shin Bet?

1.   "I know about plenty of junctures since 1967 when in my view...we should have reached an agreement and ran away from [Palestine]."

Answer 1: Yaakov Peri, Shin Bet director, 1988-1994

2.       "Each side [the Israelis and the Palestinians] has a legitimate point here."

Answer 2: Chuck Hagel

3.   "You can't make peace using military means."

Answer 3: Avi Dichter, Shin Bet director, 2000-2005

4.   "What we need isn't a cease-fire, leading to a sequential peace process, leading to negotiations on a Palestinian state, leading to negotiations on refugees, Jerusalem, etc. That time has passed. An end game must be brought to the front, now."

Answer 4: Chuck Hagel

5.       "Desperate men do desperate things when you take hope away. And that's where the Palestinians are today."

Answer 5: Chuck Hagel

6.       "When you retire, you become a bit of a leftist."

Answer 6: Yaakov Peri, Shin Bet director, 1988-1995

7.       The IDF is a "brutal occupation force, similar to the Germans in World War II."

Answer 7: Avraham Shalom, Shin Bet director, 1980-1986

8.       "To arbitrarily make decisions as the Netanyahu government has done is not helpful."

Answer 8: Chuck Hagel

9.       "The message is that occupation is bad for the future of Israeli society from all aspects -- humanistic, economic, moral, etc."

Answer 9: Carmi Gillon, Shin Bet director, 1994-1996

10.   "I think you have to make peace with whoever you have to make peace with....Peace is always better than war."

Answer 10: Chuck Hagel

11.   "Peace comes through dealing with people. Peace doesn't come at the end of a bayonet or the end of a gun."

Answer 11: Chuck Hagel

12.       "As soon as [Israel] stopped dealing with the Palestinian state and started dealing with terrorism, terror became more sophisticated....so we forgot about the Palestinian issue."

Answer 12: Avraham Shalom, Shin Bet director, 1980-1986

How'd you do?

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