Adam Ash

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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Dispute brews over Pope's feeding tube

The Pope has not made a living will, and his Cardinals are too daunted by his august presence and current condition to ask him to draw up one, reports our secret source in the Vatican. The Pope has difficulty speaking, and has not been able to bless his flock by word, only by the small, timid gesture of raising his right hand. Two factions in the Vatican are gathering forces: those faithful who want to pull his feeding tube once he cannot minister to his millions-strong flock, and those who want his feeding tube to stay in, even if he slips into a persistent vegetable state. Currently the second faction is the strongest, owing to the Catholic belief that suicide is a sin, and therefore pulling the Pontiff’s feeding tube can be likened to assisted suicide. At present the feeding tube goes into the Pontiff’s nose. “As long as he can bless us by raising his hand, we will keep his feeding tube in,” vows the right-to-life faction. “We will only pull the tube from his nose if he wants to sneeze." The right-to-die faction disagrees. “We cannot have a persistent vegetable as a Pope,” they vow. “If the Pope cannot lift his hand to bless us, what use will he be as a Pope? St. Peter never imagined a persistent vegetable as a Pope, otherwise he might have named a turnip as his successor, although a potato is pretty persistent, and can grow ears. If the Pope is unable to lift his hand, it will be necessary to remove the feeding tube and allow holy organ failure to occur.” There are rumors sweeping Rome that an American entrepreneur who has asked to remain nameless at this time, has offered to buy the Pope if he becomes a persistent vegetable, for exhibitions in the U.S. "I pledge to keep the Pope going as a persistent vegetable for as long as the faithful will pay to see him," said the entrepreneur. More details soon as the squabble in the Vatican intensifies.


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