Sources from Vatican City have stunned the world on Monday, not only by announcing His Holiness Benedict XVI had resigned, but also that the next pope would be selected from a list of candidates participating in a special edition of Celebrity MasterChef.
“It’s been 600 years since someone last resigned from the papacy. To our knowledge no ruler of the Holy See has ever been selected by a televised cook-off,” announced Vatican spokesman Frederico Lombardi.
The series, set to be advertised next month with the tagline of “Vatican or Vatican’t?”, will feature a number of prominent celebrities who have nominated themselves and been approved by the Conclave.
“While traditionally the only requirements to become a pope are that the candidate be a male Catholic, we are excited to expand our range to connect with the world’s population, while still maintaining Catholic values. Chris Brown, for example, was one of the first to volunteer for the competition. He shows such clear disregard for women’s rights that he was an obvious choice,” Lombardi explains
“Plus I hear he makes an excellent soufflé.”
Other participants in the competition currently include Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp, who can “always find top ingredients for a good price”, and QI presenter Stephen Fry, who “makes a fine Ratzinger Ratatouille, a staple of the papal.”
Judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace claim that current West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce, who is “usually able to get the best from old ingredients”, has an excellent chance having seen him in the preliminary rounds.
“He showed a real boldness about his cooking, creating a delicious selection of traditional English cooking, opting for a truffled ballotine of quail with red onion and beetroot puree and garlic cream, beautifully garnished with an assortment of herbs you could find in your own back garden. He even made sure to boil the vegetables in holy water. This is particularly important for carrots – truly the root of all evil.”
Torode was less hopeful about participant Chris Huhne, former MP. “Initially he tried to keep it simple, serving just wine and bread. When he made the jump to eggs Benedict… Well, all I’ll say is that there was black smoke coming from the kitchens – never a good sign.”
“Apparently his wife usually helps him out,” Torode added.
Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney has announced himself as a surprise contender, despite being a Mormon. “But let’s face it, he’s no ones first choice,” Wallace states. “I’m fairly sure he’s only competing as the job of pope won’t entail the same pay cut as presidency would have.”
Pope Benedict XVI, who has somewhat embarrassingly left no heirs, has shown his full support for the programme. He was widely known respected for taking his quick decision skills from the kitchen into office. “For example when he exonerated all Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ – he really nipped that one in the bud before it got out of hand,” Lombardi states.
Joseph Ratzinger, as he will presumably now be known, has recently taken to Twitter, where he hopes to “really connect with the youth of today”, something many in the Catholic Church are attempting.
In other news, sources in Tibet state that the current Dalai Lama will face his previous incarnations in a special episode of Come Dine With Me.