In a bid to render him the first Pontiff to celebrate all seven sacraments at 35,000 feet, the Vatican Tourist Board has doubled the Pope’s scheduled flights in 2018.
Candidates who would like to receive their first communion, be baptised, confirmed, married or ordained to the priesthood (special terms still apply) in mid-air should contact the Vatican Secretariat of State for the appropriate forms.
Preference will be given to candidates whose participation can be made to seem natural. spontaneous and uncontrived. They should expect an enhanced media presence.
There is no need to make formal application for penance, or extreme unction.
Dear Dr Mueller,
Our client, who wishes to remain anonymous, has instructed us to write to you demanding that you desist from articles about him which purport to limit or derogate from his natural and undoubted authority. These repeated arguments, in our view, constitute harassment, and will be prosecuted to the very limits of the law.
Our client is an elderly gentleman, enjoying the twilight of his years. He is open-hearted, generous and merciful. But your conduct leaves him with no alternative.
Unless we receive, by the 3rd of next month, assurances that you will desist from verbal harassment of any kind, whether spoken or written, we will apply for a remedy in the courts.
Edificio República, Tucumán 1, 3° Floor
Buenos Aires C1049AAA
Is it true? Have you done it? They are telling me here that you have given a Papal award to some Dutch abortion activist, who is connected to a group which harvests baby parts. Too gruesome!
I am writing to tell you what a difficult position this places the rest of us in.
Oh, I know what you will say: that upholding the doctrine whilst changing the praxis is an old Anglican trick, and that I shouldn’t get het up about it. But think who you are. You can’t just go around behaving like an Archbishop of Canterbury. Every time you are seen to give way on one thing, it makes it all the harder for the rest of us to hold the line on anything.
I am really disappointed in you,
Your colleague and friend,
In a move which has stunned seasoned Vaticanologists the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of the Saints has begun an unprecedented procedure for the group canonisation of all those Popes, from Pius VII onwards, who have not already been canonised. In accordance with United Nations equality guidelines, this unique process will ensure strict parity among deceased Pontiffs.
Said a spokesperson, at the lively press conference which followed the announcement: ‘Pope Francis believes that all previous Popes deserve to be raised to the altars of the Church, but we explained to him that some Popes – especially of the Renaissance period – might create real problems for the Congregation. Pius VII we deemed to be a special case: he must have been a saint to put up with Napoleon!’
Pope Francis, it was also revealed, is already making arrangements for his own canonisation. According to Cardinal Angelo Amato, in the case of Pope St Francis the Merciful (as he is to be known), the usual five-year moratorium will not apply.
A slideshow is being prepared of the salient events in the life of Pope St Francis, which will be projected onto the facade of St Peter’s Basilica during the canonisation celebrations. The lights will be switched on (d.v.) by Cardinal Walter Kasper.
Other sources have delved into Pope Francis’s record in the Jesuit Order before he was made a bishop, and uncovered confidential reports about him. This blog can exclusively reveal the following school report:
St Francis Xavier School for Boys, Flores
Report, Spring Term, 1949.
Jorge Maria Bergoglio
Jorge has had another term fraught with difficulties with fellow pupils. On several occasions he has had to be cautioned about his use of bad language and restrained during bouts of uncontrollable rage. Though he can seem all sweetness and light when it suits him to do so, other boys go genuinely in fear of him. He is, in consequence, a divisive influence in the school.
Jorge’s lack of psychological balance is a cause of concern to his form teacher, who feels unable to recommend him for any position of responsibility when he moves up to the Middle School next year.
There is no doubt about the boy’s abilities – his Latin, for example continues to improve; but he lacks consistency and concentration. It is hard to know what he really thinks about anything. Jorge has the irritating habit of saying whatever he supposes will please at the time.
As to his ambition to enter the priesthood, Fr Kolvenbach, the school Chaplain, has considerable reservations. He would, according to the chaplain, be better suited to selling insurance or used cars.
The hawk-eyed amongst you will have noticed the halo around the head of Pope Francis in the picture below. This is part of a disturbing trend to lend an aura of sanctity to a living Pope.
It appears that those in charge of Francis’s image have concluded that his words are so often trite and inconsequential. They need a little help from ‘photoshop’.
Some have been puzzled by Pope Francis’s recommendations for New Year Resolutions. But they are easily explicable.
This apparently random list gives us a treasured insight, on the Feast of the Holy Family, into the Holy Father’s own home life. We can hear the voice of Mrs Bergoglio to the little Jorge Maria:
‘Jorge, you are always coming home from school with tales about other boys and their families. Don’t gossip; it just isn’t nice.’
‘You’re not leaving this table until you finish your greens.’
‘You have to understand that your father and I are not made of money. Don’t expect too much of us this Christmas. Be grateful for what you get.’
‘The dearest hope of your father and me is that you meet a nice, modest Catholic girl, and that the pair of you make a go of it.’
‘And don’t go around moping. A boy like you should be full of the joys of spring.’
Thus has the homely wisdom of a simple Argentinian family come down to us as the precepts of the successor of St Peter.