Pope Benedict's state visit to Britain has ended almost as soon as it began. Hours after landing at London's Heathrow Airport, the Pontiff was addressing a crowd of Roman Catholics in Trafalgar Square when spontaneous angry protests by gays, victims of child abuse and Protestants turned the event into a riot, forcing His Holiness to retreat behind a wall of Swiss Guard. When it seemed that even the tough security teams couldn't hold back the surging tide of anti-Catholic anger, Pope Benedict grabbed a jet pack, threw it on, lifted off and floated to safety.
It is believed that the jet pack was going to be used by a computer games retailer as a publicity stunt for its new release. Instead of a superhero clad in leather flying over London, it was an elderly man in a white dress.
Anger against the Pope's visit has been mounting in recent weeks, as a result of a number of factors. The news that the Roman Catholic church effectively turned a blind eye to priests committing sexual abuse has resulted in an exodus from the Church. In fact, the only new convert in recent years has been Tony Blair. The Church also disapproves of homosexuality, which means one more cause for Peter Tatchell to protest about. Finally, the Reverend Ian Paisley and his followers have a long history of antagonism with the Roman Catholic Church.
As the Pope glided over the Docklands, apparently headed back to Rome, a child pointed up at the sky and asked his parents, "Is it a bird or a plane" only to receive the rather unique reply, "No, son, it's Pope Benedict". The captain of a French ferry reported in with the words "Mon Dieu, c'est un objet de la proportion Pontiff", meaning "OMG, it's a Pontiff shaped object".