Pope Shocks Easter Crowd, Doffs Cap and Gown
by Scott Ott

(2006-04-16) — Pope Benedict XVI shocked the faithful gathered at the Vatican Sunday morning when he removed his golden headdress, shed his glamorous robe and pulled up a chair for an “informal talk” with those who had gathered for Easter Mass.

Dress in casual khaki pants and an open-collared long-sleeved denim shirt,


his hair mussed with a self-confessed “bad case of miter head,” the pontiff formerly known as Joseph Ratzinger (TPFKAJR),


said that “during a long sleepless night of prayer” he had begun to wonder “whether all the pomp and circumstance sends the wrong message, and directs people’s gaze on me rather than on the one who deserves our worship.”

“It makes good television — you know, all the candles and gold and costumes — but we have gathered to celebrate the resurrection of the only sinless man who ever lived, the one we believe is Lord of the Universe,” the Pope said, “and that ain’t me.”

The Pope told a rapidly-dwindling crowd that the “true message of the Gospel was that God sent his one and only son to fulfill the righteous requirements of God’s law and to give his life as a ransom for many, because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

[rapidly-dwindling – sweet! ]

By the time he finished, inviting those who realized they were sinners to “repent and believe in Jesus Christ alone for forgiveness of sins, and eternal life” a relative handful of Vatican tourists remained in the cathedral.

A CNN reporter shouted to the pontiff, “Would you mind putting the hat back on so I can get some video? Our viewers didn’t tune in to see an ordinary Joe.”

One of his best.