It started as a routine business trip to the UK by Scott Thompson, President of PayPal, but it now appears that a simple typographical error at the Passport and Immigration Office has resulted in millions of people mistakenly expecting a visit by Pope Benedict XVI.
Scott Thompson will travel the UK in a PayPal branded 'PayPMobile'
A Vatican spokesman confirmed that the Pope has no plans to visit the UK. "The Holy Father finds the whole situation amusing. Next week he will be visiting his home town of Schulstraße for some rest and relaxation and perhaps a few rounds of golf. He is certainly not planning to visit the UK."
However, the catholic church in the UK, as well as the government, are refusing to acknowledge that the Pope is not visiting and major preparations continue regardless and are nearing completion, encompassing a packed 4-day schedule which will see millions of people turning out to show their respects.
Staff at PayPal - the leading internet ecommerce transaction gateway - have wasted no time in capitalising on the misunderstanding and have reportedly hired a white, glasstop limosine for Scott Thompson's visit.
"We are planning to drive Scott along the route which has been scheduled for the Pope. Scott will have a megaphone and will use the opportunity to promote PayPal to a captive audience of millions. It's going to be great! You can't buy publicity like this."