In a shock move, England’s Catholic bishops have appealed for a brewery – any brewery – to get involved in the organisation of Pope Benedict’s forthcoming visit to the country.
The Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, said this evening, “We were hoping to mark the Holy Father’s visit with a great big piss-up, and to that end, we are appealing for a public-spirited brewery to come forward. Any brewery will do, as long as it’s game to have a couple of dozen bishops on the premises. I would like to reassure any interested breweries that they need not be put off by the proven inability of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales to organise a piss-up. At enormous expense to diocesan funds, we have engaged an events organiser on secondment from the Mr Tony Blair Faith Foundation, and we have full confidence in her ability to do all that stuff for us.”
Archbishop Nichols continued, “Oh, and there’s something else I’ve just remembered. At the bottom of my filing cabinet I found a coffee-stained memo saying the Holy Father was planning to beatify Cardinal Newman while he was in the Midlands, and he’d very much appreciate it if we could sort out a venue. So if anyone has a field or an airport or something like that going spare, we’d very much like to hear from you. Ideally, we’re looking for a place with a capacity of 200,000, and after we’ve paid off the Blair Foundation we should have about a fiver to spare.”
“Any loose change would be most welcome,” concluded Nichols.
Nichols’ statement has been followed by fierce argument as to what exactly the Archbishop means. Titus Oates, president of the National Sanderson Society, said in a statement that this was an obvious ploy by the Whore of Babylon to get its slimy tentacles into the drinks industry, while Chief Wiggum Austen Ivereigh told this blog that there was nothing to see here, folks, and Archbishop Nichols’ remarks simply underlined how swimmingly the preparations for the papal visit were going.