I had no sooner read Jeffrey Donaldson’s views on why Catholics can’t be kings, their allegiance to the Vatican and the Act of Succession and when the telephone rang — it was Pope Benedict on the line for me. “Hello, Pól, wie geht’s?” (He is always very informal when he rings me.)
“Mir is wohl, your Holiness, what can I do for you?” I replied, feeling like one of those French resistance fighters on the eve of D-Day. This must be it! This must be the call to action.
Benedict soundly a little alarmed when he spoke: “Our agents in Ulster have alerted as to what Herr Donaldson has had to say about Catholics and their loyalty to the Vatican.”
“Have no fear, your Holiness, I know what I must do. I am about to pen 500 words about this piece of anti-Catholic legislation and Mr Donaldson’s foolish comments.
I think he has been reading too much Dan Brown and The Da Vinci code.”
“Nein,” shouted the Pope, “you will do no such thing. This Donaldson is obviously a smart boy.
“You might alert him to our other plans to take over the world. Do you think he suspects about Project X?”
“The plan to develop nuclear missiles with North Korea and hide them under Saint Peter’s? No, I don’t think he knows anything about it.
“Unless he overheard Maisie Maguire gossiping after Mass about how she was smuggling enriched uranium in her Rosary beads to North Korean spies while on pilgrimage to Fatima.”
“That is something,” said the Pope, sounding a little relieved, “I hope he knows nothing about the Secret Brigades of Mutant Ninja Franciscan Assassins or the Active Service Units of Sacred Heart Nuns Dedicated to the Kidnap of DUP MLAs?”
“No. I haven’t told him anything. Nor have I told anyone about that record by The Priests and the secret message it contains if you play it backwards: ‘My first allegiance is to the Pope. Destroy the United Kingdom.’”
“Good,” said the Pope, “make sure it stays that way. I don’t want you writing anything about this Donaldson story in case you make him even more suspicious. Hopefully, if everything goes to plan, we should have a Catholic on the English throne before you can say Avé Maria and, once that happens, we will sell-off Ulster to the Republic and send in the Jesuit Storm Troopers to replant the Planters back in Scotland.”
“A wonderful plan, Holy Father. It will be well worth the wait. Could you save me a nice piece of North Antrim as a reward for keeping the faith?”
“Just behave yourself or I will leave you Larne as your inheritance. Now, make sure you don’t spoil our nefarious plans by writing anything untoward. We need Fifth Columnists like yourself to help us gain our goals.”
“Halt die Klappe! You have your orders. Carry them out!” barked Benedict.
“Jawohl, mein Pontiff!”