* * *
Well, he’s not actually worshipping the Shroud.
He’s just praying before it.
Actually, reporters say B XVI commented: “Hey, what’s this? Is this a shroud of some description? What is it? Another silly prank by the College of Cardinals? Oh never mind, I’ll pray first then see what this blanket is.”
Followed by: “Dear father in heaven some help would be nice ok thanks bye”, followed by “Why, it is the Shroud of Turin! An object whose origins are… shrouded in mystery.” And then he put on his shades and smiled.
According to a Vatican spokesman: “The Holy See does not at the moment wish to comment on the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, and His Holiness’s prayer certainly did not indicate such a commitment. But think, of all the places in the world, where did His Holiness just by accident happen to kneel? Was it a supermarket? A library? A public toilet maybe? Nay, it was close to a relic of the Christian faith. Just by accident. Coincidence? His Holiness thinks not.”
According to another Vatican spokesman, before he was tackled and dragged off by the first: “It’s demons! It’s demons I tell you, little Jewish imps that get in microscopes and delude scientists into thinking the Shroud is too young — but they do not know the 16th century is a demonic forgery and never happened —“
According to a third Vatican spokesman: “Well obviously the problem is these modern times of ours. In these modern times the Shroud dates to the thirteenth century when it should date to the first. That is symptomatic of our licentious, permissive modern cancer of a culture, where carbon dating is all over the place. I have it confidentially from the Arch-Secretary of the Congregation of Faith, Racks and Hot Screws that in the past, the Shroud would have dated to the first century, which our pet mathematicians assure us is all right: it is but an effect of our modern distorted times that the Shroud dates wrong. There’s some curvature in it. That and the gays and the atheists; I personally wouldn’t put it over the atheists to fabricate twelve centuries of history just to get the Shroud to date wrong, just to get at Christianity. Because atheists are funny that way.”
According to the Turinese Church of Satan, the Shroud “obviously is not a diabolical forgery.” Their spokesman, M. Haggard Goatwhisperer, says “such rumours are ridiculous fabrications. The Shroud is genuine; and what’s more, if we could get our hands on it and bury someone in the Shroud in a crossroads at full moon he would rise in three days as the Anti-Christ and cause the End of the World! And this time, contrary to common belief, the Cloven-Horned Beast would win, and Varg Vikernes would sit forever at his left side! Ia!” Vatican spokesmen declined to comment on the subject, except the second spokesman who was however forcibly restrained and removed by the first and third. According to the Turinese Church of Satan, it is a organization representing the omnipresent and eternal conspiracy against the Christian faith, and is responsible in a non-liable way for all things Satanists have been blamed for, which they’ve all hushed up because they’re very powerful. Also they are the declared and official Enemy of the Roman Catholic Church and the RCC’s “dark twin, evil shadow and constant source of woe”; the RCC declined to comment on this also.
Monsignor Prissy of the unaffiliated Catholic Council of Interfaith Relations said: “I think all spiritual people can draw great comfort from the Shroud of Turin, even if their personal religious traditions don’t involve incarnated male gods nailed to pieces of wood. The thing is, don’t you feel awful thinking about someone nailed to a piece of wood? That’s a human universal, and that’s what all religions are really about: compassion. If it’s not a guy nailed to a piece of wood it’s something just as bad.”