Pope Told to Butt Out

Pope Benedict XVI, speaking by proxy through Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano, .has raised his concerns about escalating Middle East violence. "As in the past, the Holy See condemns both terrorist attacks on one side and military reprisals on the other," said Sodano. "In fact, a state's right to defend itself does not exempt it from respecting the norms of international law, especially as regards safeguarding civilian populations."

Reaction throughout the region was nearly instantaneous once the various parties brought in their Latin translators.

"Hey hey hey," said clearly agitated Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. "You want a piece of us? Speak up - do you? Cause we're ready to fly to your teeny weeny microstate right now and mix it up with you. The cycle of violence, that's what we're all about, you know. We get persecuted, we persecute, we get persecuted, yada yada yada. And if you didn't happen to notice, there's hardly any Catholics here, so you can just talk to the hand, brotherman."

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas was equally vocal. "I am in total agreement with my sworn enemy Ehud Olmert. My people are equally invested in the cycle of violence, except even more so. And I swear before the Prophet, peace be upon him, we have even less Catholics than Israel."

"The question of who has the least Catholics is irrelevant," said Hezbollah's Sheik Hassan Nasrallah. "The question is who the hell blew up my home this afternoon, cursed dogs. I had just finished redecorating. The past eight weeks, carpenters, painters, masons, all under foot... Feh. Hey, Pope, maybe it was you and your minions that blew up my house, you with your fancy gold hat. No, just kidding. It was the Jews."

The reaction from President Bush - who is taking a hands off approach to the regional conflicts - was one of befuddlement. "You tellin me that Vatican City - that little parcel of land - has got a Secretary of State? That's kinda mind blowing... They got what? About a hundred acres, compared to the fifteen hundred on my ranch. Maybe I should get a Secretary of State for my ranch. Yeah. Yeah. I think I will."


2006, Mark Hoback