The much-anticipated moment finally arrived today. Pope Francis landed to a red-carpet welcome at Andrews Air Force Base, greeted by a throng of supporters and well-wishers. In a rare move for a U.S. president, Barack Obama greeted His Holiness on the tarmac. The two shared a brief conversation as the Pope headed to the small Fiat 500 awaiting him.
“So glad to have you here, Papa,” said Obama. “What a reception. You’re like a rock star!”
“Doesn’t quite match the reception the Beatles got in 1964 when they arrived at JFK,” quipped the Pontiff. “It was only a few days ago I was greeted by the Communist leader of Cuba and now the Muslim leader of the free world.”
“No, your Excellency,” replied Obama. “I’m actually a member of your flock. That Muslim stuff is just some nonsense my political opponents have concocted to energize their followers.”
“You know I will be the first Pope to address a joint session of Congress,” said Francis. “But before I leave for Rome, I would like to talk with you about the evils of your faith’s Sharia law.”
“Excuse me, your Holiness,” pressed Obama, “but I do not believe you heard what I said. I’m Christian.”
“But I spoke to my host, Speaker John Boehner,” said a puzzled Pontiff, “he assured me I would be meeting a Muslim … you.”
“No, Mr. Boehner is only calling me a Muslim so he can keep his Speakership job,” replied Obama. “He knows I’m not a Muslim.”
“So my host is a liar?” snapped the Holy Father, “I will advise him to confess to me. Sounds like a case of two “Our Fathers” and five “Hail Marys.”
The Pope, who makes a point of rejecting symbols of wealth, got into the backseat of the tiny black Fiat and was rushed away to his lodgings, Motel 6 Washington.
Photo | Andrew Harnik-AP