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Monday, 23 January 2012

image for Costa Concordia will need exorcism Pope warns salvage company
Greek Orthodox devil dodgers have offered to unhex the ship 'for a quarter of the Vatican price'

Rome - Unhexing the stricken pleasure cruiser requires meticulous Bell, Book & Candle stuff the Pope has warned ahead of new attempts to refloat the boat.

Its Friday the 13th sinking on the Russian Orthodox calendar's New Year's Eve means devilish forces may have been at work - something that salvage authorities need to go figure.

Stage One of the official Malleus Maleficarum exorcism formula - or 'Der Hexenhammer' to give its proper Benedictine name - necessitates the deposit of $1 million into a numbered Pay-Papal account by noon local time this Tuesday.

No Euros accepted - on religious grounds.

Next, all cruise company senior executives must attend confession along with the captain, accept their penance and cough up accordingly; the 6ftx3ft 'poor box' at Santa Maria Maggiore is a convenient 'dead letter' facility.

Once the ship has been towed to dry dock every component of its failed superstructure must be abluted with Holy Water from the Pope's personal reserve; $5-a-gallon remains the benchmark price.

Workers on the boat's refurbishment should also contribute to the ship's Penance Fund, typically enrolling firstborn sons to the Vatican seminary or pledging their 'seed' to local bishops' after-school clubs.

Technical stuff like incense burning, waxen effigies and ritual slaughter of Catacomb cockerels can then follow in a specially convened Council of the Dead rite.

"The Pope is nuts," a Greek Orthodox source commented this lunchtime, "we could do the entire unhexing for a quarter of the price."

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