Last week's News
News article for the week of 9/20/06.
Those Wacky Pontiffs
By, Grey News
A new book to written by assorted theological scholars, Christian and
otherwise, about the blunders and bloopers of popes past and present is
about to hit the shelves amid a flurry of belated protests.
Apparently the Catholic Church missed the friendly heads up given to it
by both the publishers and researchers and has opted for the attention
getting tactic of parading around priests with placards.
Better publicity the writers could not have hoped for.
In any event anticipation for the book is high, as it promises to reveal
details about the lives of popes never before announced to the public.
Surprisingly very few are related to sex, brothels or high stakes poker
against Queen Victoria. These incidents have been covered by historians
before and released by the church in an effort to humanise themselves
and remove accusations of a cover up.
Most stories are at least mildly humorous, such as when Pius XII, upon
first encountering the phenomenon or television ordered that every set
be exorcised of the horrific demons within. In all fairness at the time
he had seen an Italian variety show featuring the best of Roman music,
Sicilian juggling, German singing and English cooking, so his reaction
Equally amusing is reining Pope Benedict XVI reaction to being elected
to the position: “Go on, get out of here.” (In German of course)
Making the protests seem somewhat short-sighted is the number of stories
that put the popes in a good light, such as when Pius VI, an opponent
of the French Revolution, took to raiding French towns and freeing their
nobles, donning a costume of figs (based on the popular belief that the
revolutionaries were deathly afraid of figs) and working in concert with
Pope John Paul II who had briefly travelled back in time, to liberate
imprisoned nobles doomed to face the guillotine.
Though Pius VI was eventually chased out of the Papal States by the French
and his fig costume ceremonially drowned he is possibly the first individual
in history to use the phrase “Fools, I’ll show them all!”
Naturally there are tales regarding the darker screw-ups of popes, these
are most likely the ones the Vatican wishes to block public knowledge
While John Paul II reputation remains sparkling and clean, his namesake
John Paul I once started chasing small children through the streets of
Barcelona accusing them of hoarding weasels in their shoes. This explains
the brief papal order that all children should be barefoot or wearing
sandals at all times.
Equally controversial is the revelation that one or more popes have now
sought to canonise both Tupac and Notorious BIG.
Far from healing the Westside/Eastside feud any such moves are expected
to exacerbate the situation.
Unfortunately this means that Michael Jackson’s bid to become the Patron
Saint of Pop is that much closer.
The book does conclude with one positive note, that Elvis may be canonised
as the Saint of Rock and Roll, providing a more balanced, stable and respectable
face to holy music, and bringing the number of saints found dead in a
bathroom to a nice, even ten.