Written by Brett Taylor
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Wednesday, 6 March 2013

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The Vatican made the startling announcement that, for the first time, they would be appointing a Protestant pope.

Onlookers were startled when the new pope suddenly ran out of the Vatican and ripped his papal clothes to shreds. "You don't need no fancy clothes to worship the Lord!" he screamed. "You only need the love of Jesus!" He then purged a bystander of the sin of drunkenness by punching her in the face, and demanded that all Catholics be purged of similar demons of drunkenness by lining up to be punched.

The new pope is Harland Slaverd Elspeth, Junior, former minister of the Bumpkin Hollow First Primitive Missionary Church of God but his new papal name will be Pope Billy Bob XVI. Asked about his plans for the Church, Pope Billy Bob answered, "The Church is faced with many problems that can be ignored. First among these is…Jesus! Sorry, I love Him so much that sometimes I just have to shout his name. Jesus! Sweet Jesus! What were we talking about?" The issue of faith versus works is expected to be a sticking point between the new pope and the leading cardinals.

Many Vatican officials are reportedly upset at the startling development. "He's already talking about replacing wine with grape juice, and of banning priests from drinking. "What am I supposed to do for fun if I can't drink?" asks one priest, Father Ezzio Piccazzo, with a dramatic shrug. "I am already forced to be celibate. Why don't they poke out my eyes while they are at it? Being a priest is no picnic, I promise you this."

Reports indicate that the Church was anxious to convince the world of their ability to change, and this was actually one of the milder ways to do it. Some unscrupulous news sources had already published false rumors of a gay pope or a female Rastafarian pope.

Some of the electing Vatican officials appear to have been unfamiliar with the Church of God. "Sounded nice enough," remarked Paulo Evaristo Arnis. "I just assumed it was one of those modern Catholic churches. Some of think being affiliated with the Church is unhip or whatever, so they keep their services very general, and give themselves vague names." Other priests we spoke too were rather vague on the tenets of the Protestant faith, and had trouble with specifics, and were unaware that the Church of God was an evangelical, some would say extreme, denomination. "I thought they were a nice church, you know, lovey dovey, namby pamby," says Sardinal Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man. "I was thinking of the Unitarians."

Asked about his plans for reform, Pope Billy Bob professed himself too overwhelmed by emotion to elaborate. "You don't need to worry about no reform! I've got all the reform I need right here in my fists, thanks to the power of the Holy Spirit! Trust in the Spirit and…Jesus! Sweet Jesus! I'm sayin' that 'cause I need to go to the bathroom real bad. Excuse me. No further comment right now." With this he ran away urgently.

The Roman faithful stood about on the street, scratching their heads and shrugged with somewhat perplexed expressions.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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