Rome - Every Easter since the dawn of time Popes have recognized the celebration of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection. Some have held large masses, some have marked the occasion with festive parties, while others celebrate with sincere and thoughtful prayer.
This Easter weekend marked a black day in the life of many Catholics. Pope John Paul II canceled a ten foot round trip to his bedroom window to waive at the gathering masses. The Pope's health has been a severe issue in the last few years, but sources inside of the Vatican indicate that this incident wasn't brought on by merely physical matters.
"(Pope John Paul II) just didn't feel like it," stated one archbishop who asked not to be identified. "You see, when the Pope was in the hospital for several weeks he got behind on a few of his television shows. We Tivo'd a few and this Sunday he happened to be catching up on ‘24' - the non-stop event. His Holiness does like that Jack Bauer."
While the Catholic Church is struggling with these issues, it appears other Christian denominations are preparing to take advantage. Southern Baptist preacher William Screven noted that "any God fearing Christians that wanted to see a real church leader" would be welcome to their 10:30 service on Easter Sunday. "We're on the corner of Main and 3rd St. in Tulsa, OK. Not only can I preach a sermon from a window, I am fully able to do an Easter jig and that is what I intend on happening this Sunday. Come on out and see ‘the jig'," said the sweaty Screven.
Losing face this Easter Sunday may not be the biggest problem the Vatican faces over the long-term.
Another distraught member of the Pope's entourage, Cardinal Keith O'Brien gave a very telling description of what goes on in the inner circle inside of the Vatican. "He's almost impossible to deal with," said O'Brien of the 84-year-old pontiff. "We all know that he's had his physical troubles in the past few weeks and that he has advanced Parkinson's, but if he waives that fake ‘Get out of Jail' card signed by ‘God' in my face one more time…"
A reluctant Cardinal O'Brien sits in his Vatican office and blankly stares at the globe on his desk. "We've fought off the Moors, the plague, and attractive alter boys," laments O'Brien. "They say you never see it coming when it is your time."