Following today's shock news of The Pope's resignation, many people around the world face an uncertain future, as they are left wondering how the resignation affects them and what reaction they should have to the announcement. To assist the population at this difficult time, the Catholic Church has issued this special Papal Bulletin answering many of the questions that are commonly asked around this time.
Q. WHAT IS "THE POPE"?
A. The Pope is a very important, very rich man who lives in a big palace in Rome. It is his job to tell all Catholics that they don't need to be important, rich or live in a big palace. This is the reason why all Popes are carefully screened to ensure that they have no understanding of irony whatsoever before they are appointed to the role. Because he is so rich and so important, and the palace he lives in is so big, God has given him Papal infallibility. That means that he is not allowed to be questioned and that he is always right about everything, even when arguing with women.
Q. WHY HAS HE RETIRED?
A. Opinions are currently divided about why he has retired. Some people believe that he has retired on medical advice as he is now 86 years old and does not consider himself mentally and physically up to the job any more. However, Free Presbyterians believe that The Pope has retired because the time has come for him to be revealed as the Anti-Christ and he is going to use his resignation speech to cast his human shell aside and reveal the hideous Hell-Beast that dwells within that will lead to a thousand years of blood, fire and death. One of these opinions is not correct.
Q. HOW DOES HIS RETIREMENT AFFECT HOUSE PRICES?
A. Surprisingly, there have been remarkably few studies charting the correlation between Papal retirements and house prices. However, given that everything else seems to continue to send house prices plummeting at present, our guess is that the Pope's retirement is unlikely to get rid of your 300% mortgage and massive negative equity any time soon.
Q. WAS THE CURRENT POPE TALENT SPOTTED IN THE A-TEAM AND BATTLESTAR GALACTICA?
A. No, the person you are thinking of there is probably Dirk Benedict, rather than Pope Benedict.
Q. WHO WILL BE THE NEW POPE?
A. The Pope is picked from amongst the Cardinals, who are an American Football team from Arizona. They have still not arrived in Rome so it is much too early to say who will be the new Pope. However, some names which have been mentioned in connection with the Papacy include Jean-Pierre Fignon, a conservative and hardline anti-abortionist from France, Seamus O' Bradaigh, a liberal Irish reformer who believes that children should be introduced to the Church at a young age, and Mads Hellhammer, a drummer with the Norweigan black metal band, "Crucified Inferno", whose policies include the burning down of every church in Scandinavia. Although controversial, this policy has been given a warm welcome by the Vatican as they say that all those Scandinavian churches only belong to Protestants anyway.
Q. HOW IS THE NEW POPE PICKED?
A. The new Pope is picked by means of a process whereby smoke comes out of a chimney. This smoke is created by burning vast quantities of incriminating documentation which contain evidence of the Catholic Church's role in various scandals and outrages over the years. Once all the documentation is burned, they then make some white smoke to let the guilty parties know that they are in the clear and then pick the new Pope with a game of eeny-meeny-miney-mo.
Q. HOW SHOULD I REACT TO THE NEWS OF THE POPE'S RETIREMENT?
A. According to the news, you are only allowed to react in one of the following ways: 1. Shock; 2. Surprise; 3. A vitriolic attack on anything that has ever been done wrong by the Catholic Church. You should also make sure that you use the phrase "a bolt from the blue" as much as possible, in an attempt to sound witty.
Q. COULD A WOMAN BE THE NEW POPE?
A. No, of course she couldn't. Don't be fucking stupid.