Since the pageant began in 1945, there have been 92 Miss Americas chosen, but only 4 popes elected. The first Miss America, Bess Myerson, was a Jew as was Peter, considered by the Church to be the first Pope. And, of course, Jesus was also a Jew. Another interesting similarity is that throngs of adoring fans follow Miss America for as long as she reigns, just as adoring Catholics do the pope. There are Miss America protesters just as there are pope protestors, but both have learned to handle protesters by disarming them with a smile and a hand wave.

So here is my proposed procedure for electing future popes.

To maintain tradition, we allow the cardinals — to be explicit, I mean the Catholic prelates, not the baseball team — to narrow the pope vote down to ten candidates. Then we bring in a panel of non-cardinal and non-clerical judges for the real business of choosing the next pope.

Since papal attire is just as important and elaborate as Miss America attire, the ten finalist cardinals will parade in front of the judges wearing their traditional outrageous costumes. We absolutely want our next pope to look stylish in his uniform.

Then the ten finalists will display a papal talent. For example, one might perform an exorcism on stage. Another might bring out a bottle of wine and turn it into blood.