Pope Benedict XVI has suffered a fall during a session practicing Nazi salutes today in northern Italy. The Vatican said he had accidentally slipped while trying to simultaneously give the salute with his right arm and goosestep across the room in the Orsto Esselio Hotel's bar in Aosta.
As he is just the same as any other patient, he nobly insisted on being treated like any other patient, but the nature of the accident is bound to reignite controversy over the leader of the Roman Catholic church being a trained killer, who shot down British aeroplanes during World War Two.
'Well', his aide Monsignor Bambino Abusa said, 'it was Jesus's example of turning the other cheek and opposing violence that inspired His Holiness to join the Hitler Youth, and then try and kill as many British airmen as possible. Didn't Jesus say 'Ask yourself not what you can do for world peace, love and fraternity, but what can you do to keep the Third Reich's gold safely locked away in Vatican bank accounts'? Or something like that.'
'Anyway, the Pope has had difficulty for a long time with saluting the crowds in Rome without extending his arm straight outwards, out of habit. This means he can only give the Nazi salute in private, which explains his injurious fall. Old Joe had had just one too many schnapps and steins of Beck's, and began goosestepping up and down the bar.'
'When he found out that some Polish tourists were in the next room, he announced he was going to invade their room, their 'liebensraum', and while still marching began giving the old salute. Tragically he then slipped on a copy of the magazine 'Jesus and the Nazis, No Contradictions There' (No. 3), which somebody had thrown onto the carpet, and the rest was destiny, or at least a trip to Aosta's A&E.'
At the hospital, jibes from the nursing staff about 'Pope, heal thyself!' and 'Can you turn this cleaning fluid into wine?' didn't amuse Herr Ratzinger, though he was more pleased when some former Blackshirt fascists dropped in to visit him. 'Just shows you', one fascist, Musso Beniti, told him, 'your right hand never knows what your right jackboot is doing!'
The Pope is expected to make a speedy recovery from his injury, and will soon be not mentioning the war again, nor child abuse by priests, nor the Vatican bank storing Nazi gold, nor his voluntary membership of the Hitler Youth.
Nor Jesus being Jewish, nor Jesus regarding the idea of a man being seen as divine as blasphemous, nor the first written Gospel not even mentioning any resurrection of any sort. Nor the fact that Jesus was married and survived his own crucifixion, nor the entire Christian religion being invented by a carpet seller from Syria.