How does the Pope do it?

The man is 273 years old, has barely been able to speak or move for what seems like decades and still he manages to trot out the phrase ideology of evil like some sprightly Republican senator.

He’s referring to gay marriage, by the way, in his fifth and latest potboiler, Identity and Memory.

Apparently based on conversations with philosopher friends in 1993 -“ what effervescent gatherings they must have been -“ the book has raised hackles around the world (he’s not too keen on abortion either).

Personally I think he should be applauded for his canny timing with these hot-button issues, especially considering he appears to be in a state of indefinite vacancy.

When I saw recent footage of the Pope appearing briefly at a hospital window, at first I thought Michael Jackson had forgotten to put on his face and hair.

But then he gave that sad Muppet wave of his and I just wondered how long he has left.

Sometimes I wonder if he actually is still alive.

How do we know that figure in the Popemobile isn’t an elaborate animatronic hoax?

Maybe it’s controlled by one of those other old Vatican drags, or even a panel of them.

Do another wave.

No, he just did that. Nod twice, then blessing.

Oh for Christ’s sake! Gimme the remote.

Or maybe this hospital stay has been orchestrated to mask an even more sinister plot.

Have you seen Face/Off, in which John Travolta and Nicolas Cage swap identities?

Okay, so I’m being silly, but does it make a difference?

They could just pop Mickey Rooney in papal robes, give him a script, a cheque and be done with it.

In Identity and Memory, the Pope also writes of the assassination attempt in 1981 by Mehmet Ali Agca, which nearly killed him.

The plot was, he reckons, not [Agca’s] initiative, someone else masterminded it and someone else commissioned it.

I imagine it’s the same with the Pope and his new book.

To be honest, I feel sorry for the poor old bugger. They should stop carting him out, let him enjoy his final days and look for a modern replacement.

Tony Abbott, perhaps? At least we’ll get rid of him.

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