Pope Benedict XVI's 1.1 billion Facebook friends were stunned this morning to read a wall posting from the pontiff that blared: "Pope B-16 just took the Holy Land Trivia quiz and scored 56%. Can you do better?"
"OMFG," said one commenter. "I know more holy stuff than the pope."
Vatican officials say that Benedict was hoping for a little downtime after a long day standing in line at Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank, so he curled up at his Bethlehem hotel with his laptop and a virgin Bloody Mary and sank into Facebook.
His Holiness is already having a rough week in the religion department, ever since he arrived in the Holy Land having forgotten to pack his mea culpa. Muslim leaders in Jordan were hoping for an apology for the pontiff's 2006 remarks criticizing the prophet Muhammad. Jewish leaders in Israel wanted an apology for the Vatican's passive voice during the Holocaust. Christian leaders in Palestine were simply hoping the Pope and some of his friends would move in with them.
This week Benedict has also had to confront his Nazi past, deal with getting around Israel's Separation Wall in the West Bank, and restore hope to his flock in the Middle East. It's been, well, a crucifying ordeal.
According to a Vatican spokesperson, the pontiff was extremely tired, dehydrated and suffering from Jerusalem Syndrome when he logged on to his Facebook account, which may explain why he missed such quiz questions as Where is the Mount of Olives?; How many Stations of the Cross are there?; and What was Jesus's middle name?*
Vatican officials quickly moved to assure the world's 1.1 billion Catholics that the pope would do better next time. Meanwhile, they downplayed speculation that in the future pontiffs might be chosen based on how well they do on the quiz.**
The moral of this modern biblical story: Let he who is without sin try to deal with all that sh*t.
* OMG - JK :-)
** The Holy Land Trivia quiz on Facebook is a creation of the Israeli consulate in New York City, which hopes to entice American Christians to follow the pope's pilgrimmage to Israel and spend lots of money and love Israel blindly, etc, etc.