THE SHOCK 'resignation' of Pope Benedict XVI and feverish speculation about possible successors to the throne of Catholicism's absolute ecclesiastical monarchy, got me mulling over the scandal-ridden mire of the world's smallest independent nation state, Vatican City.

by contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence
by contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence

Little more than 110 acres in size, it wields disproportionate influence throughout the world, and if God's representatives on earth are supposed to lead by example, then heaven indeed should help us.

Murder and mayhem, greed, corruption, fraud, money laundering, the mafia, trafficking in drugs and munitions are all activities closseted behind Vatican walls. I pondered the words of The Lord's Prayer and how far from the expressed sentiments the Church of Rome and its all-male cabal have strayed.

So I have rewritten the Oratio Dominica to more accurately reflect the Vatican's contemporary conduct and activities.

Vatican crest
Vatican crest



Our Father, who art on Earth,
sullied be thy name.

Thy Kingdom come,
Thy will be done over on Earth,
As it is not in Heaven.

Give us this Opus Dei our daily bread,
Fresh from the Instituto per le Opera di Religione.

And forgive us our child sexual abuse trespasses,
As we smite those who dare trespass against us.

And lead us not from temptation or to Blackfriars Bridge
But deliver us unto Evil and from Banco Ambrosiano.


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