VATICAN CITY - President Obama isn't the only one being distracted with income tax problems. Rumors are circulating that Pope Benedict XVI may be forced from his papacy over tax issues, while, he was Archbishop of Munich and Freising.
German authorities refuse to confirm or deny an investigation is being conducted, but a source says his einkommensteuererklarung for the years 1977-1982 are being examined for unreported income and unusual expenses by Archbishop Ratzinger.
The source claims he loved American sports and was a regular bettor through Spielhaus, under the code name Da Vinci. "He would bet heavily on the St. Louis Cardinals, the New Orleans Saints and the New Jersey Devils, hockey team - who now know where the anonymous prayer cards were coming from, before each game" - said the source. The substantial amounts of money made, while not illegal, were never reported to the authorities.
He is also believed to have worked as a lobbyist for Herr Dryer, a German company, whose products include: Jonah and the whale slippers for children, New Testamint Lozenges, Baby Jesus cake molds, Luke 5:1 sandals, Twelve Apostles' action figures and Holy See Designer sunglasses. Shopkeepers in Vatican City vaguely recall someone representing a religious products company in the late 70's, but could not say for sure whether it was Archbishop Ratzinger.
Senator Ted Kennedy commented, "His Holiness is a great and respected man of God who leads Catholics throughout the world, but if these allegations are true, I am puzzled as to why he didn't have faith and bet on the New England Patriots. Let me also add that from someone who has seen hardship, my advice to him would be to either 'sink or swim'."
Catholic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, tearfully said, "Let's hope we don't have to witness a conclave of Cardinals producing white smoke, I won't elaborate anymore than that."
Vatican spokesman, Father Bosco denied the rumors, saying, "If His Holiness was a betting man he would have wagered a few D-marks on Bayern Munich with Franz Beckenbauer, certainly not a team called, the Devils."