Vatican City — Pope Francis yesterday stunned onlookers when he opened the “Holy Door of Jubilee” in St. Peter’s Basilica, then promptly slammed it shut and flipped the deadbolt. Confused dignitaries and pilgrims tapped politely on the door, but the Pontiff refused to open it again, repeatedly shouting, “I’m not here! I went to buy socks!”
A spokesman for the Holy See later offered this explanation: “His Holiness has simply grown tired of being so accessible,” said Cardinal Antonio “The Papal Bull” Fontana. “He is weary of tourists barging into St. Peter’s every day, beseeching him for miracles or restaurant recommendations. He seeks to have once again the privacy to do those little things we all enjoy, such as waxing his crozier or putting funny hats on Michelangelo’s Pieta.”
The closure was deeply disappointing to the hordes of pilgrims who had hoped to pass through the Holy Door to begin this year of Jubilee. “Really a bummer,” said Michael Stith, 22, a student visiting from Duluth, Minnesota. “I missed seeing the Pope. Plus, I thought this was the line to buy Star Wars tickets.”
Asked if Pope Francis had any plans to re-open the Holy Door in the near future, Cardinal Fontana replied, “I am certain that His Holiness may open it from time to time, if only to set out his dry cleaning or fetch his paper off the Holy Doormat.”
Prior to yesterday, the Holy Door was last opened to inaugurate the year of Jubilee in 2000. It was bricked shut in 2001, after Pope John Paul II became annoyed because Jehovah’s Witnesses were always ringing the bell.