When the pope arrived in heaven
He had just one thing in mind.
He would read the Word of God
Uncorrupted by mankind.

The commandments he read first
In the language God had written.
Words no human tongue could form
With their beauty he was smitten.

Then he read the Holy Word
From beginning to the end.
The human scribes had not done justice
With the lines that they had penned.

Then with clarity unearthly
He understood the will of God.
The things in life he held so dear
Now seemed mundane and odd.

A faithful priest until the end
His vows he’d always kept.
He served his flock with joyful love
But alone at night he wept.

He now would read the laws of old
That made his life so lonely.
Of all the vows he’d made to God
He regretted this vow only.

So now he would began to read
The old and dusty tome.
The Words that God had really said
To the scribes in ancient Rome.

He’d know the very thoughts of God
And why God thought it best.
That priests should live a life apart
Not fettered like the rest.

And then from deep within the stacks
There came an anguished moan
Heard from the very gates of hell
To the foot of God’s own throne.

Those ancient scribes with human ear
Knew not the pain they would create.
How could they overlook the “R”?
The word from God was CELEBRATE!

I know the scribes of old did not write in English and it would be difficult to think of a context in which “celibate” and “celebrate” could be confused; but it does make an amusing story, doesn’t it?

Agony is certainly not a word strong enough to describe the Pope’s feeling in this poem but it was the closest that I could come. His whole life had been made less fulfilling because of the misuse of a single word. I wonder if this ever happened in real life.


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