Special to TPN — Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, announced that the Convocation of Cardinals assembled to pick a new Pope will liven up the proceedings with a Silly-Hat Contest, which has not been conducted for 1200 years. Now-retired Pope Emeritus Benedict will lead the judging panel of six cardinals.
The winner will be a guest on a special presentation of Saturday Night Live, hosted by Father Guido Sarducci, who will also bless audience members for a small fee. “Waddaya think, I do-a this for-a fun? I gotta nun friend who get take-a-de-out pizza seven nights-a week. It ain’t-a cheap.” Sarducci’s brother, Father Angelo “Hit-Man” Sarducci will be in charge of crowd control.
First winner of the Silly Hat Contest, Pope Stephen VI, who reigned from 896 to 897, was famous for exhuming the corpse of his predecessor, Pope Formosus, and putting him on trial in the so-called "Cadaver Synod." Pope Formosus received honorable mention in that early contest.
Although Ralph Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition, was invited, he declined, saying that “we want to keep clear separation between church and state in America, unless I can find a good Christian fundamentalist to run for President. He’d be like a Pope, only he wouldn’t have to wear those damn hats.”