The world's one billion Roman Catholics this week congregated on the streets of the Vatican City to celebrate the appointment of former Battlestar Galactica actor Dirk Benedict as their new spiritual leader.
While critics rounded on Pope Benedict following allegations of a dubious past, the Papal Press Pool today tried to play down newspaper speculation that as a younger man he had become involved with an evil demon -- "One known to spread misery by infiltrating the mind, playing on weakness, and leading its prey to murder." Pope Benedict pontificated that he had no option but to star in the 1994 movie, "The Demon Keeper," as money had been tight since the demise of The A-Team in 1987 and it would have been futile to protest. Although admitting his previous connection to evil, a spokespriest today insisted the Pope had done his very best to act particularly badly in the film and had used a fake crystal ball in the séance scene.
On a good day for Bookmakers, it transpired that Pope Benedict had not been in the running to succeed Pope John-Paul at all until the Archbishop of Liverpool, George-Ringo, and Benevolent Archbishop Baracus of Chicago pulled out of the competition. In an astonishing turn of events, Archbishop Baracus failed to even attend the conclave within the Cistine chapel, despite being odds-on to succeed the Polish pontiff as the first modern-day black Pope. Father Baracus explained, "Rome? In Italy? Fool, I aint going on no plane."
Oscar winning actor Morgan Freeman was today reported to be disappointed at the turn of events after signing a contract to appear as Pope BA Baracus in the movie of his life story, "The Rocky road to Rome."
Pope Benedict is the oldest elected since Clemet XII, who was chosen in 1730. His age is clearly a factor among high-ranking Cardinals who favour what has become known as a ‘transitional' Pope. The Catholic Church feels that an older Pope could use his life experience to lead the church as it reflects on John-Paul II's legacy, rather than a younger cardinal who could wind up with another long pontificate.
The new Pope has a history of health problems and is a cancer survivor. He has written a book, "Confessions of a Kamikaze Cardinal," which chronicles his rise through the Church and his battle with the disease using a macrobiotic approach.
US president George Bush today paid homage to Benedict saying the new Pope was, "A man of great wisdom and knowledge…a man who serves the Lord." Bush used the same sentiments last year when praising British PM Tony Blair on his visit to the Whitehouse and also when discussing Osama Bin Laden in 1996, just prior to his putting the kybosh on the proposed oil pipeline the then Governor of Texas was trying to establish in Afghanistan.