Pope Drops in on Local Mass to Workshop Material for Upcoming Liturgy

LIVORNO, ITALY—“And now, folks, we’ve got a real treat for you this afternoon,” Father Antonio Cristelli told his congregation at Santa Caterina da Siena yesterday after concluding his own sermon. “Ladies and gentlemen—you’re not going to believe this—please give a warm Tuscan welcome to his Holiness, Pope Francis I!”

After finally quelling a wild burst of applause from the 54 overjoyed villagers, the 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church spoke humbly:

“Guys, calm down, I’m just here to work some shit out,” said the Holy Father, laying a thick, worn notepad on a stool by the organ.

What followed was nearly 40 minutes of half-formed homilies, blessings, and prayers that, while clearly not as polished as his Vatican material, seemed to satisfy the small but starstruck crowd. At one point the Pope recited a parable about a goat that failed to elicit any audible response.

“Nothing on that one?” asked the Pope, adjusting his zucchetto. “I feel like there’s a divine wisdom in there somewhere, but… ah fuck it, let’s move on.”

“What else, what else…” mumbled the Supreme Pontiff, leafing through his notebook. “Sorry guys, this is all new stuff.”

Despite the unfinished nature of the sermon, church-goers were positive in their reviews as they exited Santa Caterina.

“I still can’t believe our luck,” gushed Maria Francesca, 40-year-old mother of three. “We were already thinking about getting tickets to see him live at St Peter’s Basilica next month and then he pops up in a tiny church here in Livorno? Crazy.”

“It wasn’t exactly A-material, sure; but that’s how Catholicism works, right?” said Giorgio Moretti, a 58-year-old retired carpenter. “It was a thrill just to watch a master at work. His timing, his pulpit-presence… I mean, you can really see why he’s Pope.”