Confusion reigned in Rome today amid reports that next month's opening of the Gladiatorial Games at the Coliseum was under threat. Snuff movie mogul Theopolis Theodopholis was distraught when interviewed at his Pisa mansion. "It's not that we can't get the place in order, nor the shortage of gladiators," he said, "and we've been starving the lions in their cages for months now. It's just so bloody hard to find a true Christian, these days."
The Bishop of Nuneaton was quick to endorse Mr Theodopholis's comments. Speaking from his two-up two-down pulpit in St Oslwad's church, Nuneaton, he said: "We church leaders have bemoaned for some time now that the standard of Christianity has fallen. Only yesterday I saw two lepers being shunned and a man possessed by demons left to run wildly whilst so-called Christians passed them by. And when I cast away a man's walking sticks and told him to rise up and walk again he did nothing but fall on his face. Frankly, the lack of faith in modern Christians disgusts me."
Meanwhile, the Pope remained tight-lipped amid claims that a recent recruitment drive by the Catholic Church had failed. The Pontiff himself had sanctioned events unprecedented in the history of Catholicism - the allowed use of contraception every third Friday in the month; sin-free Saturdays and half-priced confessional.
"Eees-a bugger, and-a no meestake," said Vatican spokesman Cardinal Ricci. "We bring-a in a-da stripping nuns widda the huge strap ons and-a everytheeng, but-a-da Christians they-a still don't wanna know."
All of which still leaves Mr Theodopholis at his wits end. "If you know of a Christian living nearby you," he said, "and you feel he or she should be thrown to the lions, then please contact me urgently at the Coliseum."