Pope Benedict strode into St Peter’s Square yesterday, fully refreshed after his Lenten sabbatical and announced that he was ready to take the reins of the papacy once more. With a fresh ear piercing, his skull cap set back on his head at a jaunty angle and a giggling nun on each arm, it was clear that the break from the burden of office had taken years off the former pontiff as he vigorously shoved aside pilgrims on his way back to the Vatican.
At an impromptu press conference on the steps of the Holy Basilica, Benedict pushed his new Ray Bans to the back of his head and thanked Pope Francis for ‘stepping in’ whilst he took a break and blamed his ‘piss poor Latin’ for any misunderstanding over the planned length of his Vatican vacation.
‘Young Francis shows a lot of promise, but he needs to drop the humility crap,’ said the former/new Pope authoritatively, ‘and I’ll take that up with him at his annual appraisal interview.’
Benedict continued by announcing he had received a revelation from the Lord: ‘I’ve had my road to Damascus moment and have been told we can learn from other faiths. In actual fact a lot of things have been revealed to me,’ at this point he smiled boyishly at the two, still simpering, nuns, ‘and I’m struggling to see why priests shouldn’t marry. To be honest, the Mormons have a lot of good ideas in this area which I think we can explore.’
The news of Benedict’s return and his vision for the future has caused an almighty row in the Catholic Church. ‘This situation is unprecedented and, to be honest, I must confess we’re not sure what to do’, confided a Vatican spokesman. ‘Usually when a new pope takes over, his predecessor has been found a position upstairs where they are theoretically available in a consultancy capacity, but not able to intervene. For that very reason, there seems very little point in calling upon God to sort this out.’
‘Whether God told Benedict to allow priests to marry or not is irrelevant,’ continued the spokesman, ‘the fact of the matter is that we can’t have a man in office who openly claims to hear voices in his head. The whole world would think we’re nutters.’