VATICAN CITY – Officials representing the Holy See have reportedly issued a formal request that Pope Francis cease ending his sermons from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica with local announcements from the Vatican bulletin.
“It just takes away from the magnitude of His Holiness’ message when his big finisher involves unfolding a creased piece of paper from his pocket and informing everyone about new items in the lost and found bin,” said Cardinal Robert Sarah.
The request for the change came after the Pope’s most recent speech, a two hour liturgical missive comparing the plight of the world’s refugees to both the wandering of the Israelites and the visit of the magi. At the climax of the speech delivered to thousands of adoring Catholics, the Pope then announced that the Swiss Guard would be hosting their annual bake sale to raise money for new lawn bowling equipment. He then swiftly moved on to ask parishioners to park only in designated spaces in the Vatican parking lot as there have been complaints. Viewers described the ending as “anticlimactic”.
“I travelled all the way from Australia to witness the Pope deliver his sermon to the masses last Easter,” said Audrey McMillan. “And after an amazing oration that approached the level of poetry, he announced that this week’s “Movie Night with the Bishops” would be a screening of Rush Hour 2.”
“Kind of a let-down”, she continued.
Phasing out the practice may be difficult given the long history of Vatican community messages. Historians point to Pope Alexander VI’s tradition of announcing rummage sales of his murdered opponents’ possessions in the main square, the widespread popularity of the Antipope Gazette in the 14th century, or Pope Pius XII personally illustrating a little-read Encyclical he called “The Pope and the Panther”.
“And with the horrors of childhood poverty and nationalist violence firmly in our minds, please also help me wish Sister Mary Prudence a big Happy 67th Birthday! Cake will be served for those who wish to help celebrate in Multi-Purpose Room B immediately following this week’s softball game against the Great Synagogue of Rome. Go Vatican Vandals!”, God’s chosen representative on Earth proclaimed to throngs of worshippers.
“And if the assembled cardinals and bishops wouldn’t mind hanging back after the sermon to help stack the chairs back into the Storage Shed of St. Andronicus of Alexandria, that would be most blessed,” he concluded.