Pope Benedict XVI is to resign, the Vatican has confirmed today.
Pope Benedict XVI is to resign, the Vatican has confirmed today. Amid growing concerns over the Europe-wide horsemeat scandal, the shocking news emerged that even the highest echelons of the Vatican are not above lies and subterfuge. This revelation came to light after the latest round of tests on the Pope found that he was in fact a horse.
The resignation is due to come into force on February 28th, the same time as the by-election in Eastleigh, fuelling speculation that the Pope is trying to avoid media criticism, hoping the election will ‘bury the bad news’. Investigators are already moving into action, examining how a horse was able to masquerade as a senior Catholic figure for so long. Italian Police moved in fast to seize several items of Vatican property, including a large number of bales of straw. It appears that after becoming Pope, Benedict, known among friends as ‘Dobbin’, claimed infallibility in his actions, which included living in a field and being startled by loud noises.
The following text, the Pope’s statement, was read by an aide, accompanied by loud whinnying and stamping of hooves.
I have convoked you to this Consistory to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the equine – er, Petrine, ministry.
For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by Saint Jesus.
[Snorting sounds. Benedict is issued with nosebag. Sounds abate.]
Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects and the fact that I defecated all over St Peter’s Square. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Farmer, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff.”
Conspiracy theories already abound, including some who argue that the Pope’s recent presence on Twitter proves that the Illuminati trolls, who control the Internet, infiltrated his brain and forced him from office. At the end of the month, Cardinal Ratzinger will be moving to a Vatican farm just outside Rome with plenty of room for him to roam freely. Kettlemag will be bringing you more as the selection of a new Pontiff continues. Until then, though, take solace in the fact that in that brief period of time, nobody in the world will claim to be infallible.