Big Brother: The Vatican


Unless you’re John Paul II, you’ve probably heard that Pope Benedict XVI has resigned in order to spend more time with his beautiful wife and children.

As I write, 117 crotchety old Cardinals, many of whom have travelled from all corners of the world, have been locked up in the Sistine Chapel to try and decide which of them gets to be God’s appointed representative on Earth.

Aside from the flowing silken robes and ornate golden crucifixes, the whole thing is basically Big Brother, except they don’t end up having sex with each other and there’s no token gay cardinal.

It’s 2013, and the Church is still announcing the election of a Pope with coloured smoke. No audience phone-in? No hashtags? No Davina? Get the with times, Catholics. Now that Big Brother’s dead, it’s time for you guys to take up the task of hosting the world’s top reality gameshow. Here’s some inspiration to get you started.

9:30AM, Bedroom
Cardinal George Pell and the Archbishop of Kinshasha wake up the rest of the candidates by arguing over Pell’s snoring. The President of the Pontifical Council escapes to the kitchen to eat a bowl of cereal he won for the house by successfully shooting a basketball through a hoop 5 times in a row. We see a sneaky camera shot of the Archbishop of Philadelphia’s bum as he showers, which is reproduced on ‘HOT’ pages of Nuts magazine the day after.

12:00PM, Smoking area
Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe and the Archbishop of Colombo share a cigarette outside, while talking about the youngster of the house, 55 year old Cardinal Tagle of Manila, claiming he “better know himself, d’you know what I mean?â€?, and needs to “grow the fuck upâ€?. Sepe accidentally mentions his plans for the next nominations, and the Vatican places him in a 4’x4′ darkened cell for the next 48 hours as punishment.

2:00 PM, Living Area
Evictions are fast approaching, and in the Diary Room (an ornate wooden confessional tucked in the corner of the Sistine Chapel), two of the Papabili are giving their nominations. The most nominated so far is Angelo Bagnasco, the Archbishop of Genoa, as he never does his washing up and drank a whole crate of beer the previous night that was meant for the whole house. At 2:30, Bagnasco, as well as two other Cardinals are told that they’re up for eviction, and the rest console the nominees for the next half hour.

6:00PM, Garden
Cardinal-Priest Schonborn of Vienna declares to the house that he’s “had enough of this fucking conclaveâ€?, and attempts to escape the church, much to the delight of the viewers at home and the devout pilgrims that crowd St. Peter’s Square. The Cardinal is apprehended by the Swiss Guard, and tells the producers that he wants to leave. He is whisked away for a brief chat with Davina, before being interview by a Sun reporter for the next day’s splash, ‘My Conclave Hell: Austrian Archbishop Reveals All’.

9:00PM, Living Area
It’s time for the Evictions, and after an agonising pause of 10 minutes from Davina, Angelo Baganasco is given the boot. Teary goodbyes are said from his clergymen colleagues, and he makes his way outside to a chorus of boos from Catholics from all over the world. Onwards, to a chat with Davina, and a short-lived Page 3 career.

Meanwhile, the hunt for the next Pope continues…

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