Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Santo subito !

The following is the unedited version of an exposé currently featured in the 27th revised edition of Malleus Maleficus The Moonshine Memorandum. If you wish to report intrusiveness, racism or inaccuracies, please email  To make a formal complaint under IPSO rules please contact IPSO directly at .  

    The Pontiff also insisted the universe was created by God, and guided by the infallibility of men like himself. “May the Lord come to the aid of our world torn by so
many conflicts... May He bring an end to the violence where so much blood has already been shed.”  Ever partial to the world’s deprived,  the “People’s Pope” then went on to criticise “oppressive banks” and urged world leaders to do more to help the poor, declaring that caught at a disadvantage, their fate  lay wholly with the intercession of their  patron saints. And it is worth bearing in mind that - as a journalistic colleague put it last year –  the average price for having yourself declared a saint is a mere € 500,000.[1]
Wall Street was the Sodom that God would bring down for its wickedness, and the future, never so much as today, in the hands of the Devil. But contrary to what Thomas Malthus or Sir David Attenborough would have you believe, “the population time bomb” was not a matter for a firmly asserted papal dispensation on the use of contraception, but  an issue that could be overcome by the simple  expedient of ignoring it. What was really needed, apparently,  was a social policy capable of producing compatible but effective disincentives for having sex - which, needless to say, was not a demographic problem but chiefly a question of what’s on TV. The Holy Father arrested himself for a moment, as if a new thought had suddenly occurred to him. “And I’ve got news for you,” he said,  the left eyebrow raised ever so slightly. “The notion of Satan does no longer arise in the twenty-first century. That’s just idiocy. Hell simply does not exist!” Having got that off his chest, the possessor of the heavenly mandate added a pious gesture with the index and little finger that Italians call a cornuto.
          And that’s when Sir David Attenborough finally butted in. “I say!” Deftly taking hold of the Pope’s right ear, he started to squeeze it as if he were wringing out a wet rag.  “You’re dribbling on my foot,” he said. “Only flat-Earthers deny that we have a
population problem. And you are waving your magic wand at me. You oughta be ashamed of yourself.” Attenborough, clearly, did not view the world’s military confrontations as political. The political problems were merely symptoms. The cause, he said, was overpopulation, suggesting that the rise of internecine conflicts over the past decade or two could also be treated as a demographic rather than political phenomenon. More accurately, every proportional increase in the world’s population translated to a subsequent 2 or 3-point increase in the world’s armed confrontations. Well, OK - I may be an atheist, but by any standard, that sounds pretty much like a vision of Hell to me. Or, as the Mombasa-based cleric Abu-baker Shariff Ahmed so memorably  put it: “I’m not saying I agree with children having their throats slit, but I do not condemn it.”

Kiss of Death

[1] according to two Italian journalists, Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, accused of leaking and publishing confidential Vatican documents.


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