The Announcement That Wasn't....
Tip to a mischievous operative who sent this my way....
ROME Sunday 22 January -- In a surprise move which stunned church officials, journalists and long-time observers of Vatican City, Pope Benedict XVI today decided to hold back and keep secret the names of 38 men he has appointed to join the ranks of the College of Cardinals, the men who will elect his successor.Like it or not, there's no stopping the Catholic imagination....
Speaking at his weekly 'Angelus' appearance at his study window before a massive crowd gathered in Saint Peter's Square, the German Pope appeared ready to make the announcement, paused, and then obviously decided not to do so.
No reason for the non-announcement was given by the Pope's household or the official Vatican Press Office.
This history-making decision by the Pope means that for the first time in history the Sacred College contains a record number of 'in petto' (Latin: 'in pectore' meaning 'in the breast' or secret) Cardinals.
One source close to the Vatican did, however, say 'It's nothing. Niente. It's not the first time the sacred college has been comprised mainly of nobodies.'
In a possibly related occurence, following the Rome non-announcement, Polish sources cited unconfirmed reports that cries of 'Twice! Twice! How could this happen to me twice?' were heard coming from the residence of the Archbishop of Cracow.
Speaking from the all-night street party which spontaneously erupted all over the city when news of the non-announcement broke, a spokesman for 'Voice of the Faithful' in Boston said he was elated at the news.