The Vatican has revealed that the Pope’s shock resignation on Monday came after a long night of soul-searching following England’s victory over Ireland in Dublin at the weekend.
Sources close to the Pontiff reveal that Pope Benedict gave up watching the game after O’Gara’s penalty miss in the 70th minute, mumbled “well that’s it then”, and sloped off to his private quarters with a bottle of gin for company.
Cardinals agreed that they had never seen the Bishop of Rome so downcast, and spent that night in fervent prayer for the return of his sprightly Teutonic mirth.
Then on Monday came the dramatic announcement that His Holiness had had enough, and despite some suggestions that a bacon sarnie, a couple of Alka Seltzer and a brisk walk around the garden would set him back on the path to contentment, the 85 year old insisted that he no longer had the strength for what appeared from Sunday’s match to be very dark days ahead.
The Catholic church has long preached the doctrine that every time England win a game an Angel starts struggling for breath, coughs up a bit of black tar, then suddenly explodes leaving a steaming puddle of rotten ooze. Benedict had wasted no time following the surprise English win over New Zealand in warning the faithful where this kind of thing might lead; Grand slams, English dominated Lions tours, and (cross-yourself) a world cup on home turf.
“A storm is coming”, said the Pope, probably in Latin to reach the widest possible audience, “and frankly I’m off to some remote monastery where they don’t have Scrum V or Gwlad soiler threads and you can’t hear the Angels scream. The very thought that I might have to hear the post-grand slam thoughts of Austin Healy is the single most terrifying prospect of my life. And that’s coming from someone who met Hitler.”