Pope Benedict XVI resigns: The best pope memes so far

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   Feb. 11, 2013 at 10:15 AM  |  Updated Feb. 11, 2013 at 2:40 PM   |   Comments

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Feb. 11 (UPI) -- The Catholic Church, and the pope in particular, is always ripe for jokes, but the Internet really outdid itself Monday morning as Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation, the first to do so in more than 700 years.

Within minutes, social networks were chock full of papal humor--some good, plenty bad, with plenty of groan-worthy puns.

Here's a selection of some of the standouts.

"Brace yourselves"
A good Game of Thrones meme never goes amiss.

The Internet was loving the opportunity to play on the pontiff's name.

Pope Palpatine
Back when Pope Benedict was first inaugurated in 2005, gleeful jokers took note that he bore a resemblance to Ian McDiarmid, the actor who portrayed the evil Emperor Palpatine in the Star Wars films. That meme reappeared with the pope's resignation.

Pope Benedict Cumberbatch
The other famous Benedict, actor Benedict Cumberbatch, was a popular choice too.

Quitter pope
The last pope to resign the papacy willingly was way back in 1415, when Pope Gregory XII abdicated so that the Great Schism in the Church could be mended. Benedict's decision to call it quits was ripe for humor.

Lent, the 40-day period before when many Christians make some kind of personal sacrifice to prepare themselves for Easter, begins Wednesday. The jokes that followed were almost too easy.

Current events
From the dysfunctional U.S. Congress to performance-enhancing drugs and Lance Armstrong, the pope's resignation fit right in with current absurdities.

Can't go wrong with a good punny turn of phrase or a jest on the nature of the Church.

Follow @gabbilevy and @UPI on Twitter.
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