Pope Francis, the Engels-loving commissar of the Catholic Church, has once again stood proud tradition on its head by refusing to take a summer vacation.
Unlike many of his fellow popes, going all the way back to my man Urban VIII (1623-1649), Francis has decided to embrace the chilly Protestant tradition of toiling without cease until the sweet release of the grave.
That means he won’t spend any time this summer at Castel Gandolfo, the tumbledown cottage with cramped but comfy rooms that’s full of gently mildewing beach books, maintained by the Vatican as a papal summer share since the days when it was a normal thing to execute people for witchcraft. Shamelessly shaming his siesta-seeking co-reilgionists, the newly Genevan pontiff will instead spend the golden months of the summer hunkered down at his office, anxiously going over the papal finances and trying to land the big Johnson account before Mr. Dithers gives him a pink slip.
To make it even clearer that he has shunned the comfortable existence of a bishop of Rome for the drab furniture and theology-inspired workaholism of the Reformed Church, Francis is not even staying in the cushy papal domicile:
“Francis, who as Archbishop of Buenos Aires didn’t take any summer holidays, will continue living in the Domus Santa Marta, the modern Vatican guesthouse where he has set up his headquarters, shunning the Renaissance glory of the papal apartments.”
The effect this will have on the Excommunicators, the Vatican’s feared summertime beach volleyball team, was not immediately apparent at press time.