In a long interview with Italian journal La Civilta Cattolica Pope Francis outlined his plans to modernise the Roman Catholic church saying that it must appeal to those who “do not attend mass, who have quit or are indifferent” and to that end announced that he is teaming up with sinister pop-svengali Simon Cowell.
“Simon is the obvious choice to help the church enter the new century,” said Pope Francis. Cleverly not specifying which century although the smart money is on the sixteenth. “He has ratings like the church can only dream of. And I heard that he literally shits gold.”
“Over time I’ve learned many things,” the Pope continued. “And the main one is that religion is all about bums on seats. The church has great venues all over the world now Simon is going to help us fill them by making services much more interactive. I’m very much looking forward to Cardinal’s Got Talent where the congregation will be able to buzz senior clerics out of the pulpit if their sermon is too boring.”
Cowell himself was on hand to reveal the biggest weapon in the church’s new arsenal: PX Factor a televised search for the best choral singer.
“It’s a format that will work in any and every country,” said Cowell confidently. “In the UK the first judging panel will be myself, whichever of the droids from JLS in which I am well pleased and Sister Wendy Beckett. What do I know about sacred music? As much as I know about any other form of music. I know its price.”
When asked if he thought it would be difficult working with a man who thinks he’s God and who lives in a bubble of privilege surrounded by acolytes and whose every whim is catered for and every deed praised, Pope Francis said that he was looking forward to the challenge saying:
“Perhaps this mere Pope can teach a powerful man a lessen or two in humility.”
Meanwhile Ladbrokes are already taking bets on who Pope Francis’ successor will be though of course as yet no one has a clue when Pope Idol will hit our screens.