VATICAN CITY (SatireWire) — The leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics officially resigned Thursday unless you define ‘Catholics’ as  “people who actually practice Catholicism” and ‘leader’ as “person you still to listen to.”

"No one on the planet wields more influence than the Pope doesn't anymore," says one journalist.

In the wake of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, followers around the world expressed their admiration for his eight-year tenure as long as you’re cool with ‘follower’ meaning “no longer follows.”

Il Papa, we love you!” shouted Massachusetts resident Mary McCluskey, who stood for hours in St. Peter’s Square to see off the pontiff before going back to her Rome hotel room to have sex with her second husband using contraceptives, after which she will board a plane for home to make it to her son Eric’s wedding to his partner, Richard, which will be performed by a female Episcopal priest. “You are our guiding light!” McCluskey added.

Reactions like that are not surprising given the depth of feeling Catholics have for the papacy unless they really think about it, said BBC Vatican reporter Justin Cleverly, who has spent the last five years in Rome trying to ignore the nagging feeling that he was given this assignment as some sort of punishment.

“I don’t think you could find anyone on the planet who wields more influence than the Pope doesn’t anymore,” said Cleverly. “If you want proof, look at the thousands of journalists here covering this event as if it actually will make a difference in people’s lives.”

Those journalists will remain in Rome to await the election of the next pontiff, a man who, like Benedict, will act as a beacon in the darkness to a world that has readily available electricity.

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