News that Pope Benedict is to quit seems to have taken everyone by surprise — even the Catholic church in England told reporters that they were “looking into reports to establish whether they were true”.
In a statement, the 85 year-old, whose birth name is Joseph Ratzinger, said he was quitting owing to his “advanced age”:
“I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.”
Indeed, the pontiff has been partial to a snooze while conducting his duties – as the footage above from a 2010 service in Malta shows.
A gentle poke from Bishop Guido Marini brought him to his senses.
Notwithstanding protests at Pope Benedict XIV’s conservatism, should he heed the advice of his aides perhaps His Holiness might appear a little more open-minded than many of us thought. Should an intelligent alien race be discovered, Vatican astronomer Guy Consolmagno would not only be welcoming of the new immigrants but would be more than happy to baptise them.
Now, before you begin to worry that this signals the beginning of an Intergalactic Inquisition, boldly converting where no believer has converted before, tying the many tentacles of our heretical space friends to a customised rack, fear not Consolmagno would only christen extra terrestrials if they asked him.
Could the prospect of a baptism from the Holy Father tempt a visit from beyond the solar system?
“Peace be with you… and take me to your leader Pope Benedict!”