There were gasps of surprise around the world as the Conclave inadvertently elected Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Supreme Governor of the Church of England as Pope.
It emerged overnight that Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio had left a copy of the Falklands referendum ballot papers near the Sistine Chapel office photocopier. A Vatican intern mistakenly copied and distributed these among the Cardinals, assuming them to be Papal ballot slips. Cardinals noticed the slips looked rather different to usual but assumed that this was merely an innovation of Pope Benedict. They then voted overwhelmingly in favour of “political status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom”. As the vote of 99.8% in favour was well over the two thirds majority required for papal election, this triggered immediate white smoke over the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church announcing the election of the Supreme Governor of the Church of England – Queen Elizabeth II – as Pope.
A clearly distressed Emeritus Pope (who wished to remain anonymous) said, “This is not what I had in mind at all. However, God moves in mysterious ways.”