Written by queen mudder
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Topics: Pope, Smoking

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

image for Rome smoking ban extends to dead popes
Zyklon B fumes were seen above St Peter's heralding the election of Pius XII

Rome - (Ass Mess): The latest health-kick no-smoking craze which has swept across from the UK to Italy has clearly upset the Vatican which has been told: No More Lighting Up When a Pope Dies.

The new legislation means the end of the foul black fumes which emanate from the roof of the Vatican whenever a pope departs for his final appointment outside the Pearly Gates.

Likewise the end of the traditional smoke signals heralding the selection of a replacement pope, which have always used color codes to denote the kind of pontiff chosen by the College of Cardinals:

Most times it's a white caucasian pope so the smoke is white. When Carol Wojtyla was elected from behind the Iron Curtain the fumes from the rooftops were clearly red.

A gay pope could traditionally have pink wafts of smoke to announce his election and an ecologically-friendly pontiff might, to hazard a guess, ask for green fumes.

Mostly specialist wood dyes are used in the fires that produce the Vatican smoke.

But in 1939 when Hitler's Pope Pius XII was chosen Italians were puzzled at the choice of fumigant used to signal the Third Reich's anointed one.

It subsequently proved to be Zyklon B, the foul-smelling dark gas eventually used in the ovens of Auschwitz.

"That was clearly just a test run," historic sources said today.

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