UnNews:Pope Gets Lost at Way of the Cross Procession
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15 April 2006
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(Rome, Italy) Newbie Pope Benedict XVI suffered an embarrassment on Friday as he got lost during his first Way of the Cross procession. The annual event commemorates Jesus' final hours as he crip-walked along the streets of Jerusalem "one last time for the homeboys" before being crucified. In last year's procession, the late Pope John Paul II missed a key step of the crip-walk, nearly causing a gang war, but was forgiven due to his ailing health.
This year's celebration began flawlessly as the Pope departed Rome's Colosseum wearing his full regalia and bling-bling. But then, as the pontiff reached the "7th station" of the path, (representing Christ's second breakdance) the complicated maneuver apparently left him disoriented. Cardinal Mark Lester, who was in the pope's posse, recalled how "Benedict seemed a little dizzy after the final headspin, but was clearly too proud to ask for directions." Instead of turning left onto the Via Appia, he headed right, towards the Pantheon.
Bewildered spectators yelled for him to turn back, but the 79 year old former Cardinal Ratzinger left his hearing aide at the Vatican, making their calls futile. It was only after he reached the famous "spanish steps" that he realized he had made a wrong turn. At that point, he was able to use his specially designed Popephone to call for help. Officials rerouted him back towards the Vatican, but heavy traffic on Tiber Boulvard just compounded the problem. It was well past midnight before the Pope finally reached St. Peter's square.
Many in the crowd were clearly disappointed with Benedict's performance. Devout catholic Asa Wilks complained, "I came here all the way from England, and I know it's good to be 'fashionably late', but 3 hours tardy is a bloody travesty." When the supreme pontiff at last spoke to the masses from the basilica balcony, he kept his remarks short. Exhausted from the long trek, he simply announced "Jesus loves you!" and retired to bed.
The Way of the Cross procession is re-enacted all across the world, not just Rome. A particularly popular one is in the Philippines, where "Jesus" is pronounced with a soft "J", and the actor porraying him wears a hairnet and loves bowling. At the Los Angeles procession, actor Mel Gibson leads followers while speaking in Jesus' original two languages - aramaic and ebonics. The event is even recreated in the World of Warcraft, but the Jesus character there has so far had little luck in spreading his message of peace. "Why can't the night elves and the orcs all just get along?" despaired level 20 priest FatherLeeroy.
Vatican officials are hopeful the newbie pope's performance will be better at the upcoming Easter Sunday celebrations. Rome's vicar Camillo Ruini worries that, "If the pontiff fails to find all the eggs at the Easter egg hunt, people might start doubting his infallabilty." They hope to avert this problem by putting a "cheat sheet" map of the Vatican grounds (with all the egg locations marked) into Benedict XVI's miter.