Vatican City -- The brilliant tenure of Pope John-Paul 2nd has come to an end, and the Spoof would like to join in the celebration of his life and accomplishments by publishing the following 1978 interview of Karol Wojtyla, then simply known as the Cardinal of Krakow, by the then-young journalist Silvio Berlusconi.
Berlusconi: Ciao Karol.
Wojtyla: Ciao Silvio.
Berlusconi: You've made the trek to the Vatican as a member of the College of Cardinals, in preparation for voting in a new Pope.
Wojtyla: That's right. I love Rome-it's a great city. I only wish I had a chance to visit here before taking the vows. And as for Krakow…well, let's just say that it's my idea of Hades during the summer. I think this time we should vote for a really old Pope-so that I can get back to Rome as soon as possible! (Laughs).
Berlusconi: Can you tell us a little about your life as a young man in Poland?
Wojtyla: I was born in a little town called Wadowice-a cow-town really-about 50 Klicks south of Krakow. Not much to look at. Finally at 18 my father and I moved up to Krakow.
Berlusconi: When were you first attracted to the priesthood?
Wojtyla: In high school I was asked if I was interested in the priesthood but I rejected it. I was interested in the theatre-that was really the only way that a young man like me, without much to my name, could gain the attention of the ladies.
Berlusconi: The ladies? Wait a minute. You've shocked me.
Wojtyla: When I was a young man in Krakow I intended to study Philology at University. I was very much caught up in the theatre-as an actor and I even directed a couple of little plays. Hmmm…you're bringing back some fine memories, Silvio.
Berlusconi: I…I feel like I'm treading water right now, father.
Wojtyla: Just relax. I mean, I was a devout young man, but just like any other, I looked forward to ‘sowing my wild oats' as it were. Come now, Silvio! You look as though you are embarrassed. You're beet red.
Berlusconi: (Changing the subject) Why did you finally decide to enter the priesthood?
Wojtyla: When the Nazis invaded in 1939, I had to take a job as a stone cutter. This was the turning point of my life. Every day I toiled with other young men, and many older men that were beaten down and haggard. It became important to me to try to transcend that way of life-all that manual labor is devilish. I really hated it.
Berlusconi: Please go on.
Wojtyla: One day after working for at least 12 hours…we were sent home for the day and some of the other stone cutters and I went out for a few beers. After our first round…we were all feeling a little better…and my fiend Wadislaw asked me if I wanted to have a date with his sister. ‘Is the Pope Polish?' I said (laughs again). I never did see Wadislaw again. I think his feelings were hurt. His sister was a pig though! But, the memory of that night stuck with me. Years later, after I took the vows, I thought to
myself that maybe a Polish Pope wouldn't be so bad after all. Who knows-maybe one day. Maybe one day.
Berlusconi: Father, I think that's all we have time for.
Wojtyla: Grazie, Silvio. Arrivederci.