In a move that surprised the world, Pope Benedict XVI has resigned, effective 1800 hours, Vatican time.
Normally a position held until death, Pope Benedict’s resignation has left most in the Vatican shocked, surprised, and put out. Janitor Antionio Claudio, who has cleaned the Pope’s chambers since his election by the Cardinals, was quoted as saying, “It’s not enough that I have to clean his [redacted] all of these years; now he’s just up and leaving?”
Though the Pope’s comments following the announcement make it clear that he attributes his old age and self-perceived inability to perform the duties of his office, there have been whispers of intra-Vatican politics being at the heart of it.
Simontek NewsCorpStudios reporters were dispatched to the Vatican from our Rome offices. They met an ailing Benedict who, tiring of the media attention heaped upon him, greeted the reporters with strings of obscenities.
Afterwards, the Pope apologized and invited the reporters into his chambers for brandy and wine.
There, the head of the Roman Catholic church opened up:
“It all began when [Italian Cardinal Giovanni] Cheli ate it the other night. It really shook me up, let me tell you. This was a guy who was right there with the best of us and what happens? Boom. Whammo. Dead. Made me think.
“I mean, I’m no spring chicken. I don’t have a lot of time left.
“So I walk into the offices this morning and [Manila-born Cardinal] Luis Antonio’s all chipper and shit, and I walked up to him and told him to wipe the shit-eating grin off his face, because someone died this weekend.”
Benedict reportedly slammed down most of a bottle of wine at this point.
“The bastard had the gall to say I had ‘a case of the Mondays,’ so I punched him in his gut, walked into my office, looked at all the crap on my walls, and said, ‘fuck it.’
“I know our Father above may look down upon me for my decision, but Man was not meant to represent His Divinity all day and night. I mean, if the office of the Papacy had better hours, I might stick around, but this? Come on. Is it too much to ask for a guy to want to go to the bar one or two nights a week?”
Cardinal Antonio could not be reached for comment.
The Conclave is expected to meet soon, and rumors about potential replacements for Benedict XVI – who, after 1800 hours, will be called Ratsinger again and is expected to rush to the bars.
Though conventional wisdom states that the Pope’s replacement will be one of the Cardinals, a few Vatican outsiders say that there may be a surprise in store.
“All I’m saying,” said one anonymous source, “is that Catholics the world over had better brush up on the Church’s medieval doctrines.”
When pressed for comment, the source only offered, “Formosus.”
Pope Formosus is best remembered for being put on trial after his death and tossed into a river. Later, his remains were recovered by the Church after many years, and interred.
Pope Benedict shrugged when questioned about the possibility of a skeleton taking over as Pope. “The Church has done some stupid shit in its time. This Formosus business would, at least, be smarter than not trying to intervene during the Holocaust.”
It is not yet clear who will manage the Pope’s Twitter account after his resignation takes effect.