ROME (The New York Times)—Vatican officials have launched a frantic investigation into the unauthorized release of the transcript of God’s recent conversation with world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao.
Officials of the Roman Curia, the Holy See’s ruling body, are appalled that someone with access to the Archivum Secretum Vaticanum illicitly passed on an official copy of the classified document to a columnist of INQUIRER.net in the Philippines, which published it verbatim.
Pacquiao, today’s best pound for pound pugilist, told a Philippine radio show that he spoke with God in a dream and that the Almighty asked him to quit boxing soon. As a result, he has turned to preaching, which eventually will be his new vocation in addition to politics.
Serious security breach
The release of the full transcript of the conversation is a serious security breach, declared Caparbio Ficcanaso, chief of the special unit of the Pontifical Swiss Guards assigned by the Curia to track down the source of the leak.
“It’s the religious version of attorney-client privilege,” Mr. Ficcanaso stressed, “except lawyers charge more. God is fine with a few candles and a sincere prayer.”
He expressed relief that his unit members do not have to wear the guards’ colorful but swishy uniform on this assignment. “We tend to stand out in tutus and tights,” he told a Times reporter who met him in a typical trattoria near Peter’s basilica for the obligatory local color.
An inside job
A reliable source said someone hiding in the vast, shadowy stacks of the Vatican Library could have sneaked into the Archive’s restricted entrance nearby, and filched, photocopied and returned the transcript without being seen by the sinister albino guardian who was also in the Da Vinci Code.
“Paranoid members of the Opus Dei who are always lurking in the corridors also failed to notice,” he added.
The short document published by INQUIRER.net reveals for the first time a somewhat complicated relationship between the boxer and his maker. In it, God complains that Pacquiao and his ilk “always put me in a terrible bind.”
[GOD] Emmanuel “Manny” “Pacman” Dapidran Pacquiao, WE HAVE TO TALK. Right now. I’m so busy being in charge of everything, even when that leaf on your guava tree is going to fall, there’s not enough days in the week, I tell you.
[PACQUIAO] Don’t you get Sunday off?
Theoretically. But with all the sacraments I must…enough about me. I’m here to give you a piece of my mind!
Sir Lord, is it really you?
Who else makes a cloudy entrance with angels blowing trumpets in the background?
See. That’s why you need talking to. Your head is now filled glitter and glamour. You’ve been palling around with the wrong crowd. Paris Hilton? Who’s next, Snooki, Kim Kardashian?
Is that why I’m not sure if people still like me? Even the BIR is harassing me.
Manny, you simply must give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. But you’ve been giving to the wrong Caesar.
Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Lord. Even Jinkee got mad.
Exactly. Quit gambling. And Saint Peter is complaining that you go through roosters like there’s no tomorrow. Enough of the cockfights, okay?
Don’t be angry, Lord. I always pray to you to give me strength and power.
Yeah, yeah, so you can beat the other fellow to a bloody pulp—and have I denied you?
Just 3 times out of 54.
Well, I’m tired of doing you that favor, you hear. You boxers always put me in a terrible bind. All of you pray for victory, make the Sign of the Cross and point to heaven before the bell rings. What am I supposed to do? When I side with one, the other guy gets mauled. I want you to stop this violent business. It’s harmful.
Wellll. I don’t know if…
Suit yourself. But if you keep hurting people you’ll end up forever in YOU-KNOW-WHERE with that loudmouth Senator Santiago.
Lord, I see the light! I see it now!
Clean up your act. Be a good, kind leader among your brethren.
Yes, Lord. No more parties with celebs and chicks. No more singing sexy Lionel Ritchie and Kenny Rogers song hits. I will master the Bible. That’s all I’m going to read and say to people.
Susmaryosep, Manny, I’m not asking you to be b-o-o-o-ring. Just be a good man like when you started ou…
I will be a preacher with my own El Shaddai. I will remain in politics to guide my people, have a big voting bloc…
Oy vey. What have I done now? Wait, hold it…
I will be like that very religious Rick Santorum who may be president of America. According to “Real Time” host Bill Maher, Santorum believes life begins at erection. I’ll be like that…no to the RH bill!
Listen, I’ll be back to clear up what I mean, okay? But now I must go to finish some work. I have to help a new bird fly, ask Dick Cheney to meet me for judgment—or maybe I’ll postpone that one–make a certain Rene in San Francisco win the lottery… I’ll be back.
Then I’ll be president, yes. Lord…Lord, why do you look like my wife?
Hoy! Who are you talking to there? Gising!
Investigators say an obsessed, highly placed fan of the champion may have leaked the document to give Pacquiao an excuse if he loses any of his coming fights. “Remember, Juan Manuel Marquez almost beat him or actually did,” said Mr. Ficcanaso.
A loss could be explained away as God’s insistence that Pacquiao stop boxing. The transcript proves it to the public, saving Mr. Pacquiao’s reputation.
Or it could be a vigilante theologian “who wants to make clear that some of the Pacman’s political views do not have clearance from God,” Mr. Ficcanaso speculated.
Investigators have not ruled out anyone as a suspect, except the Pope who is infallible. But they are not ethnically profiling the Filipinos in the College of Cardinals.
“They’re too busy fighting condoms and pills to bother with this one,” Mr. Ficcanaso said.
He stressed that the investigation is a top priority because one side of the conversation, God, did not expressly give permission for the transcript to be released publicly.
“Usually, he says OK with a burning bush or something. But nothing this time,” Mr. Ficcanaso noted, before polishing off a plate of fettucine alfredo, a glass of house red, followed by tiramisu, and heading home for the three-hour siesta. NYT Rome Bureau