His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has conceded that there have been unforeseen delays regarding an outstanding commitment made nearly 2000 years ago. In an official communiqué, the Vatican acknowledged: ‘although it was promised that the Meek shall inherit the Earth, there have appear to have been some delays fulfilling this aspiration, and we would ask the Meek to bear with us as we look into the possible causes for this apparent hold-up.’
The admission follows the authentication of an anonymous letter, purporting to be from ‘the Meek’, which had been left on the steps of St Peter’s Basilica and addressed simply to, ‘The Pope’. Similar letters, on equally cheap stationery, were also ‘delivered’ to each of the heads of the world’s major Christian churches. The text of the letter reads:
We’re terribly sorry to bring it up again, but it has been an awfully long time since we last discussed the subject – actually about 2000 years by our estimate. Anyway, there’s really no hurry, and please don’t put yourselves out on our account, but if you could just see your way to at least giving us an indication on when this whole ‘inheriting the earth’ business is likely to happen, then we’d be eternally grateful. As I say, we don’t like to bother you, only it would be useful to know when we should start measuring up for curtains, choosing carpets and all that sort of thing.
Again, apologies for troubling you.
However, not all of world’s religious leaders have been as convinced by the letters authenticity. When asked to comment on the Vatican’s stance, The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, said: ‘Personally I think this is a hoax. The mere fact that they’ve had the gall to contact us in the first place suggests that they can’t be who they purport to be – namely the meek. In fact I’d go so far as to say, if you’ll excuse the pun, I’m not too sure that I care for their beatitude!’
The Vatican added that part of the delay might have occurred following a seperate enquiry made by a rich man about his chances of entering the kingdom of heaven. A comparative study involving a camel and a needle had still to return any conclusive data, despite a good deal of stress and damage to Vatican staff and property.