Friday, 13 March 2009

The Grand Vatican Tour

Almost four years have passed since the election of Pope Benedict, the all-new Millennium-friendly Mk. 16 papal model.
While these short years have been marked by several eruptions of controversy the former Hitler Youth cadet and Catholic Cardinal Joseph Ratflinger seems to be surviving and surmounting Vatican politics with a practiced hand.

Pope Benny’s diplomatic fencing skills are a product of his formative Nazi years as a junior greeter at Auschwitz and later as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: a long-winded euphemism for the renamed dreaded historical Inquisition.

In this office he was responsbile for interrogating and trying offenders of canon law, the repression of Jews and Moors, book burnings, the forced conversions of infidel heathens, ripping out the tongues of blasphemers, the scourging of heretics, the burning of witches, the stoning of adultresses, the odd crucifixion and the overall maintainance of keeping a prominently-displayed capital C in Christianity.

As a performance bonus for his work as the Grand Inquisitor of the Vatican’s Heretic Watch, Benny was promoted within the College of Cardinals to become Cardinal Bishop of Velletri-Segni and was made dean of the College in 2002

Seated at his PC desk and picking his nose in the huge penthouse study at the top of the Apostolic Palace, looking out over the bell towers, cupolas, monuments and rooftops of Rome, Pope Benny may well reflect with satisfaction that nowadays the head of the Catholic Church is no longer a "Prisoner in the Vatican" as some of his predecessors were called.

Here he is in daily contact with people of all races, colours and creeds – male and female alike – through his super-fast Vatican web internet connection and personal 'Benny Boy' Facebook page.

In the evenings Benny often wanders out alone, down into the back streets of Rome to take in a spot of local colour, play darts and drink lager in his regular pub; chatting up transvestites, lonely housewives and ten dollar crack whores with equal magnanimity and interest : issuing blessings to all and sundry before he staggers back to the Vatican at closing time.

Earlier this week, on a rare official visit to Rome's City Hall, Benny chose a good phrase to describe his impressions of the ancient Italian capital to the media : "It’s an absolute shithole.”

Rome really is an unusual place, for squeezed within its teeming metropolitan area is the Pope's surviving sovereign territory, occupying an area the size of fifty rugby pitches. However the walled fortress complex and park are all that remains of the former papal states of central Italy.

Strolling through the Pope's manicured private gardens, under the ever-watchful eye of Vatican gendarmes and Swiss guards, you can still hear the distant screams of heretics and pederast priests being tortured, deep within the Vatican’s dungeons.

Next to the offices of the governor of Vatican City is a branch line railway station where no passenger trains ever arrive, only duty free goods for Vatican employees and hard drugs for re-cutting and distribution around Europe enter the Pope's domain in the official Vatican state customs-sealed wagons once a week

This is the surviving Odessa rail line by which so many Nazi war criminals escaped Europe at the end of WW2 en route to the coast and ships bound for South America with their personal cargoes of looted gold bullion, Tesco discount vouchers, and priceless artworks.

Continuing around the back of Saint Peter's Basilica you come upon the former Mint (the Pope’s used to coin their own currency) and the GM-free kitchen garden and hothouses, which provide organic vegetables and cut flowers for the Pope's dining table.
Situated well out of sight from the casual observer is the papal seraglio : staffed by a harem of exotic convent beauties from around the global Catholic empire.

Vatican City also has its own Post Office and postage stamps, a Bank for it’s global money laundering operations, its own radio station and newspaper, the Osservatore Romano, a publishing house, a world famous library, and a dispensary and chemists shop run by monks and nuns where, incidentally, condoms are stocked in a variety of sizes and colours, with the ribbed Black Mambas being the most popular choice for priests, nuns and choir boys alike. Viagra, alike many more everyday pharmaceutical and medications, is available prescription-free to Vatican employees.

So, is the Vatican feeling the financial pinch of the current global recession? Doubtful with their multitudinous rents derived from being the biggest landlord on Earth, with semi-legal incomes from benefices, the sale of indulgences and simony propping up the decayed edifice that is the Catholic Church.

After 2000 years of the same, it’s probably good for a few years more – the coming Apocalypse withstanding.

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