In a quick visit to the U.S. before Holy Week, Pope Benedict XVI decided to play a little joke.
Pope Benedict XVI stopped in several Midwestern cities to voice his support for the Catholic Church's crusade against "reproductive health" and the so-called HHS Mandate. The Church has expressed grave concerns about forcing businesses to provide birth control as part of insurance plans.
During his visit, the Pope met with Elinore Samson, a single mother of three children fathered by different men. Elinore was excited to meet the Pope even though she doesn't identify herself as a Catholic.
"He's a man of power, and that's always exciting," she told the press as she waited for his arrival. She squealed with delight when the Pope arrived donning his golden robes and tall hat.
After a brief discussion about the importance of life, the Pope told her he had something that might help her in the future. He reached into his robes and pulled out a packaged condom.
Elinore at first didn't know what the small package was, but quickly she understood the message the Pope was sending.
"As soon as I realized what it was I thanked him because I couldn't afford any more kids," the single mother said, adding later that she was unaware that condoms and other birth control methods were readily available and occasionally even offered for free.
But just as Elinore reached out for the package, the Pope pulled the condom away and with a slight smile said, "April Fool's."
Although the Pope didn't comment on the joke, a spokesperson later said, "[the Catholic Church] may be firm on a lot of issues, but we definitely like to have fun every now and again. Even Jesus had some fun in the Bible, so why can't we?"
When asked if the Church was at all flexible in its stance on birth control, the spokesperson said, "Of course not. We're pretty sure that condom wouldn't have worked anyway. It was blessed with holy water before the Pope presented it."
The spokesperson went on to say that God's will trumps everything when holy water is involved.
While no one is certain what happened to the condom, several reports of a charity auction featuring the condom were available at press time.