Action Alert!

you shouldn't have

By Diogenes (articles ) | Nov 02, 2007

The tradition of in-yo-face gift exchange continues at the Vatican. Sometimes, however, kindly fate intervenes and the planned calamity is averted. CNS's Cindy Wooden reports on a Paraguayan misdirection play gone awry:

When a head of state meets the pope at the Vatican, the encounter unfolds according to a fairly strict program, usually ending with an exchange of gifts.

Paraguay's President Nicanor Duarte Frutos packed a gift for the pope in his luggage, but it was nowhere to be seen when he met Pope Benedict XVI earlier today.

The luggage apparently was a victim of strike-induced airport chaos in France, where Duarte had stopped before traveling to Rome.

Reporters traveling with the president said the gift was a traditional, vibrantly-colored poncho. Paraguay's ambassador to the Vatican promised to deliver it when it arrives.

Let's hope a larcenous baggage handler at Charles de Gaulle mistook this "vibrantly-colored poncho" for a rainbow-theme chasuble, and that it is now adorning the uneven shoulders of some Parisian druid. The cause of world peace would thereby be advanced. Remember how Henry V of England reacted to the gift of tennis balls?

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