VATICAN CITY (ASS. PULP) — As details leaked out about the Spartan lifestyle of former Argentinian archbishop, Jorge Bergoglio, who is now Pope Francis, the lavish Vatican lifestyle seemed in for a shock. Pope Francis has already snubbed the throne while receiving his cardinals, has refused to wear the illustrious red cloak over his white cassock, and, if those weren’t strange enough, he refused to ride in an official car back to his hotel. Instead, he rode the bus.
If the Vatican was expecting the new pope to shun some of the perks of his newly elevated position, they did not expect to walk in on him in his hotel bathroom undergoing a grueling session of self-flagellation.
“He was using an old brown belt. It looked worn,” a hotel employee said, who’d been on the scene when Vatican officials came to retrieve the pontiff before his first public appearance Wednesday.
Pope Francis did not realize he was being watched. Slightly hunkered over, he flung the belt over his shoulder so it snapped against his leathery skin.
“The other men were speechless,” the hotel employee said, “so I finally said, ‘Sir?’, and he stopped whipping himself and turned to look at us.” The employee said Francis “sort of smiled” and seemed rather unashamed to be seen naked from the waist up and enduring his own private violence.
Haven’t you boys seen a serious act of self discipline before? the pope asked.
Francis admitted he does anywhere between 70 to 150 lashes every morning to bring on the “solemn state of religious buzz” needed to undergo “true and meaningful” service to the Lord and all the Lord’s people.
“Being pope ain’t easy,” the hotel employee told reporters, “but I’ve never heard of whacking yourself with a belt to help you get in the mood.”
The Vatican has not made any official statements concerning Francis’ flogging, and they aren’t expected to.