Well, we didn’t see this coming.
Ever since Pope Benedict’s surprise resignation in 2013 and the subsequent election of Pope Francis, the two pontiffs have maintained a respectful and peaceful co-existence. On the few occasions that they have appeared together in public, Francis and Benedict have displayed what observers can only describe as affectionate friendship. There has never been any trace of discord, resentment, or competition.
Apparently the recent dust-up in America over inaugural crowd sizes has prompted a similar feud to explode within the walls of the Vatican. What started with a simple tweet on Saturday has evolved into one of the most awkward and embarrassing episodes for the Catholic Church since Pope Urban’s Latin-barking dog started dictating unauthorized encyclicals, such as Fido et barkio and Habemus poopam. Eventually the pontifical mutt had to be accompanied through a process of discernment ending at the bottom of the Tiber, thus closing the door on the great “Rex Cathedra Crisis of 1473.”
But we digress.
On Saturday, out of pretty much nowhere, the following tweet appeared:
My election crowd much bigger than @EmeritusBen’s crowd. Stay retired!!! LOW ENERGY.
Initially the tweet garnered little attention from the worldwide Church, but then a response came, and the whole fiasco went viral:
Wow. Everyone knows – way more people in St. Peter Sq. for my election. Don’t you have any work to do @PontifexFrancis?
It only escalated from there.
BXVI just jealous because massive crowd in 2013. Photos don’t lie! EPIC CROWD!!!
OH PLEASE. Nice photoshop! Check out REAL crowd size for 2005 (MY) election.
HUGE LIE @EmeritusBen. Yours was more like this. Ghost town. Lol.
Yours was more like this. DESERT.
Yours was like this. MOONE.
LOL, can’t even spell MOON. Here’s a new “dubia” for you: where are all the people? AT HOME. BORING ELECTION.
That was it. The spat seems to have quieted down for now, but stay tuned. Sources inside the Vatican are hinting that this is just the beginning of a new era of papal one-upmanship, and there are even rumors that the Rosary may soon get another update, with the introduction of the Five Terrific Mysteries.
It’s getting out of control.