Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Pope Runs Into Jungle, Never to Return

He's somewhere down there

QUITO, ECUADOR, July 6 (AP) – At an outdoor rally earlier today, Pope Francis put down his prepared address, turned ad orientem and suddenly sprinted into the surrounding jungle, leaving behind a crowd of stunned onlookers. Twelve hours later he had not returned and was presumed permanently lost in the vast Amazon rainforest.

Swiss Guards Follow

Members of the Pope's elite traveling Swiss guard were quickly handed machetes by local police and pursued the fleeing Pontiff, but after two hundred yards of frantic hacking could proceed no further through the dense natural growth. One mentioned catching a distant glimpse of the Pope's white cassock as it flitted further in.

Possible Motives

Only last week, Pope Francis had indicated that he didn't think the Papacy should be a permanent entitlement. In addition, close associates have mentioned the effect that months of advising and reviewing Laudato Si had on the environmentally conscious prelate. In that recently released encyclical, the value and worth of a pre-industrial situation, especially one involving trees, was emphasized again and again. Other witnesses reported that the Bishop of Rome had been intensively chewing coca leaves only a few hours before.

Where's Papa?

Souvenir hawkers were disappointed. "Where's Papa?" complained one, stuck with three-hundred wooden crosses with plastic Pope Francis heads glued onto the top. Another salesperson, manning a stand draped with "Who am I to judge?" t-shirts, said the Pope was a selfish bishop who had let them down.

Those familiar with the nearby topography said it was impossible to estimate in what precise area of the forest the Pope might currently be. "It's like looking for a miniature aspergill in a haystack," said one natural scientist. When informed that the Pope was still probably wearing his cassock, he replied, "Okay, so it's like looking for a miniature white aspergill in a haystack. Same thing."

Given the extreme biodiversity of the forest, there are no worries that the Pope will be without nourishment or even without a more than adequate menu of useful medicines and drugs for the indefinite future.

Historical Precedent

Though a handful of Popes have resigned voluntarily – including Francis' predecessor, Benedict XVI – and a handful more have been deposed by force, there has been no reported incident of a Pope intentionally losing himself in a wooded area. The closest similarities are Linus V jumping into the Tiber to avoid debt collectors and Pope John Paul II secretly sneaking out on a full week's calendar of official meetings to go skiing in the Alps.

Conservative Backlash

Traditionalists jumped on the Papal action, branding what now is being called the Pope's "Amazon gambit" as embodying material if not formal heresy. Rumors are swirling that prior arrangements had been made to link up with a hitherto undiscovered tribe, which, according to anthropologists, worshiped helicopters. This was denied by a Vatican spokesman who claimed that members of the tribe in question were merely Pentecostalists.

Uncharacteristically, Mark Shea was silent.


  1. Amazon Gambit-that's good. Later on, having ran through the forest and his white suit all muddy, he runs into a tribe that doesn't know a thing about Christianity and eat him.

    1. I was hoping for a cannibalistic ending too, Mr. Blue.

      Thanks for the belly laugh, Oakes.

      Seattle Kim

  2. Hilarious. I think the Pope is showing us the way. We should ALL head into the wild. Especially into Bear country. Yeah.

  3. As I said elsewhere, the image of the white-cassocked Pope running into the lush green jungle came to me in a dream. It would be blasphemous to suggest it was a prophecy. But maybe, just maybe it was a lower-level, second-tier, non-Vatican approved glimpse.

  4. Maybe his Apocalypse Now encyclical inspired him to retire to the jungle surrounded by primitive tribesmen and broadcast his commentary by short wave radio.

  5. Pope seeks inspiration from rain forest, prepares for Laudato Si II and Family Synod surprises. Press comments on brilliant PR strategy.

  6. In the jungle the quiet jungle Pope Francis sleeps tonight....x2

    Refrain: Laudato Si laudato Si laudato Si laudato Si, etc.

    Seattle kim