Tuesday, March 19, 2013


The Unconventional Gazette
March 18, 2013

Every time a new Pope is elected, there are many rituals in accordance with tradition, but, there is one tradition that very few people know about.

Shortly after a new Pope is elected, the Chief Rabbi of Rome seeks an audience. He is shown into the Pope's presence, whereupon he presents the Pope with a silver tray bearing a velvet cushion. On top of the cushion is an ancient, shriveled envelope. The Pope symbolically stretches out his arm in a gesture of rejection. The Chief Rabbi then retires, taking the envelope with him and does not return until the next Pope is elected.

During the reign of Pope Benedict XVI, Riccardo Di Segni became the new Chief Rabbi. He was intrigued by this ritual and that its origins were unknown to him. He instructed the best scholars of the Vatican to research it, but they came up with nothing.

Then Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope and took the name Francis.

When the time came and Rabbi Di Segni was shown into his presence, they faithfully enacted the ritual rejection but, as the Chief Rabbi turned to leave, Pope Francis called him back.

"My brother," Pope Francis whispered, "I must confess that we Catholics are ignorant of the meaning of this ritual enacted for centuries between us and you, the representative of the Jewish people. I have to ask you, what is it all about?"

The Chief Rabbi shrugged and replied: "We have no more idea than you do. The origin of the ceremony is lost in the traditions of ancient history."

Pope Francis then said: "I’m not all that much into tradition, so let us retire to my private chambers and enjoy a glass of kosher wine together. Then with your agreement, we shall open the envelope and discover the secret at last." Rabbi Di Segni agreed.

Fortified in their resolve by the wine, they gingerly pried open the curling parchment envelope and with trembling fingers, Rabbi Di Segni reached inside and extracted a folded sheet of similarly ancient paper.

As Pope Francis peered over his shoulder, he slowly opened it. They both gasped with shock.

It was a bill for the Last Supper from "Moishe the Caterer."

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