[Disclaimer: This is a satirical news piece, just for fun, read at your own risk!]

GOP: Pope a Secret Muslim?

Republican leaders have many concerns about the Pope’s place of origin, such as: Do Argentinean bears really do it in the woods?

WASHINGTON, DC – Like the composition of Howdy Doody’s olfactory organ and the tendency of our ursine brethren to park among the bark, the Pope’s religious affiliations have been historically predictable — until now.

Pope and cleric
Evidence: The Pope prays with a Muslim cleric.

The rhetorical question, “Is the Pope Catholic?” has always expected both affirmation and total certainty. It’s even more emphatic than Sarah Palin’s “You betcha!” — wink included.

However, following Pope Francis’ controversial addresses to Congress and the UN, the GOP’s presidential candidates are loudly querying his true convictions, and even his right to hold the office he was elected to.

There is nothing in the Bible, they said last night at a hastily assembled meeting, that requires Christians to even recognize the existence of the poor, never mind give them “free stuff,” as Jeb Bush put it. Justice and Mercy, they added, are the attributes of Allah, not Jehovah.

The conclusion is obvious, they all agreed. Francis is a Muslim, and ready to come out of the closet.

Several candidates also pointed out that not only is the Pope not a Catholic, he isn’t even an Italian. In fact, Ted Cruz noted, his passport describes him merely as a “citizen of the Vatican.” The Texas senator sagely concluded that the Vatican “must therefore be in some other place.”

After briefly consulting with Marco Rubio, however, Cruz smoothly continued: “Okay, okay, so his parents maybe were once Italian. But he was actually born in Argentina, a completely different country than Canada. Therefore he is an illegal immigrant, which unlike me and Marco here disqualifies him instantly.”

“Me too,” squeaked a voice from the back. It turned out to be Bobby Jindal’s.

Devout Roman Catholic Rick Santorum confirmed Cruz’s observations.

“Everyone knows that like St Peter, the Pope has to be an Italian,” he said. “It’s a basic rule, like not touching yourself.” He suddenly blushed like an engorged nipple and threw up.

Ignoring the mess, Donald Trump jumped in to say loudly that he would “immediately demand Francis’s so-called birth certificate.” The Donald added: “Papa Francesca, as he deceptively styles himself, should be impeached without delay by the Conclave of Cardinals, and then removed from office.”

Pausing dramatically Trump began shouting that the Pope was “obviously a secret Muslim” with an agenda to destroy Christianity and even Western Civilization itself. He waved his Bible and immediately the entire Republican presidential road show lined up behind him.

Jawohl, mein fuhrer!” yelped Lindsey Graham with a smart click of his heels. “Just look at his great friend Obama. Like Goebbels said, constant repetition and ‘news stories’ planted by the Kochs over the past seven years have convinced millions that he’s really a Muslim thug terrorist planning to introduce Shariah law.”

Graham added: “Forty-three percent of Americans know this for a fact! And quite a few are beginning to realize that it’s true of Il Duce as well.”

Dimpled Christian fundamentalist Mike Huckabee also had something useful to contribute.

“Francis’s calls for peace, love and reconciliation,” he said, “are not only straight out of the Koran, but profoundly un-American and against all our great traditions.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?” he laughed. “Mein Gott, ask Kim Davis! If we’d followed that policy there’d have been no Vietnam, Iraq or even the invasion of little Panama! Can you imagine what the world would have been like without them?”

Famed neurosurgeon Ben Carson spoke up too, though so quietly almost no one noticed. “The Pope‘s call to care for the environment and the poor,” he murmured, “is the sort of attitude that has to be excised like a cancerous tumor, including all its roots, branches, leaves and those little fluffy things that make us sneeze. I am that man.”

Carly Fiorina also chipped in, noting that the pope’s authority was “deceitfully” propped up by selective quotations from the Bible, “like an aborted fetus on life support twitching and begging for mercy in a Planned Parenthood execution chamber. Similarly, the world can no longer tolerate lies and dishonesties like these, including mine.”

She went on, and on. “Upon this rock I will build my church,” she explained, “simply means that 1950’s music should be played during Mass. Agnes Dei was a well-known medieval nun, while Ita Missa Est is pig Latin for ‘It’s a messy estimate.”

Not quoting that one often enough, she said, had cost her the top spot at HP.

Sen. Cruz pointed out that in the event of the Pope’s impeachment and removal from office, the Church had an immediate replacement readily at hand.

“It’s not as if they don’t have a spare,” he noted. “Benedict XVI is just itching to get into those little red shoes again.”

“Boy, can I relate,” called Scott Walker, heading for the bus terminal. “There’s no place like home.”

Michael Egan