This blog can now confidently confirm what other blogs have only hinted at.
Pope Francis is to retire from office in the autumn to take up a new career as a stand-up comedian (and possibly, following Italian tradition, the leader of a political party).
A conclave will be convened in November and Francis’s successor will be in place by Christmas.
Said Fr Antonio Spadaro, visibly moved as he made the announcement : ‘2017 – ‘the year of the three Popes’, as it is destined to be called – will conclude with a farewell rally in the Stadio Olimpico when, as a final act of Mercy, the out-going Holy Father will marry 20,000 divorced couples, dedicate President Trump to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, pronounce absolution for the whole world, and answer the five dubia.’
‘He will then be flown to an Alpine retreat in the Obersalzburg from which he will direct subsequent operations.’