The Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI, who will abdicate the Papacy on Feb. 28, will not move into the Blessed Sisters of the Poor Convent as first planned. (Mother Superior said his presence would be a distraction and he’s been Pope — who’s gonna tell him to put the toilet seat back down?)
So, a special habitat will be devised for the Supreme Head of the Holy Roman Catholic Church (soon to be known as Mr. Ratzinger) to spend his twilight years. In fact, always looking for a way to turn a buck, the Vatican has turned the idea into a money-making proposition.
The ex-Pope (Pope Ex-Officio? What the hell do you call a Former Pope?) will live in a 14 x 20 foot stone-walled cell with a plexiglass front with holes drilled through to facilitate the passage of food and other necessities. There will be a screen in front of the Papal Privvy to give the ex-Pontiff the privacy he needs to conduct his holy business.
The new Former Papal Residence will be added to the “Premium Package” in the Vatican tour, along with the Sistine Chapel and the vaults where the other former popes — the dead ones — are entombed.
Coin-operated machines will be available for pilgrims to purchase small handfuls of peanuts or little pretzel bits (which the outgoing Pope just can’t seem to get enough of these days) that they will be able to throw to the former Pope over the top of the Plexiglass enclosure.
The Supreme Pontiff is working on a little “Pope Dance” he will do for the visitors who pay to hear a German beer hall tune played on a loudspeaker.
“Whaddya want from me,” a Vatican spokesman said. “He’s the Sarah Palin of Popes. Like he deserves better?”