ROME – The Vatican sent out a distress signal last night on the eve of the Papal conclave that is set to choose the next pope and Tom Hanks – Hollywood screen legend, professional nice man and Forrest Hump rapper – responded immediately by packing three suitcases, booking a ticket on line, getting a taxi to the airport, getting on a plane and flying to Rome where the Vatican – a separate country (?) – is embedded like a sticky-outy belly button.

The cardinals had feared that the various scandals featuring a dossier, sexually abusive bishops, pedophile priests and general corruption would destroy the Holy See, but now with the imminent arrival of the Hankster calm has been restored.

Fr. Ewan

Father Ewan MacGregor – an old friend of Tom Hanks, once an ‘actor’ and now a catholic priest – said that he thought the arrival of Hanks would be a ‘tonic’.

What Tom brings to the table is a lightness of touch and an ability to draw the attention of the world press away from some of the less pleasant aspects of our most holy Roman church. 

Fr. Cheech Marin

Some die hard conservatives within the church however have criticized the Hanks intervention, citing the disastrous Cheech and Chong conclave in the mid-seventies. ‘They were originally there on a purely consultative basis,’ said Mel Gibson’s dad. ‘But the next thing you know white smoke is covering St Peter’s Square and the Pope wasn’t even dead yet.’

Some have speculated that Hanks’ role by go beyond dealing out good cheer and he might in fact be offered the Papacy himself, despite being married and American.