Annals of the Flesh

“Ask Papa Ratzi”

by Pope Benedict XVI

Infallible advice from the Vatican’s very own love doctor!



My dearest Joseph,


What is this awful rumor I hear, of you voluntarily giving up power?!  What can our love be if not based on the little-known joys of absolutism, the sweet pleasures of totalitarian rule that so few in this world can ever truly know or understand?!  If not in you, where am I to find my solace amongst the leaders of the Western world — the royal family of Lichtenstein?  Those idiots were invaded by the Swiss!  The SWISS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I have never known such betrayal… but in honor of our secret love, I have sent you a parting gift.  The metals are soft, but they are… precious.


If I cannot have you, no one can!


Babushkas of love,

Vlad “My Dick is the Impaler” Putin


Dear Vlad,


I appreciate your concerns.  But an old man must know when to give up worldly power.  I am not in such fine physical condition as yourself; why, it has been years since I wrestled a polar bear in front of photographers!


Alas, I was not able to enjoy the special gift you sent, as the cardinal who opens all of my mail was swiftly waylaid by radiation poisoning.  


Yours in the Eucharist,

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, formerly Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Defender of the Roman Faith


My dearest darling J-Ratz,


Ahahahaha!  I should have known better than to think I could fool a pope.  The science of a slow, polonium-induced death is no match for the might of the Vatican!  Do you not see why you and I are meant to be???  As we say here in mother Russia: “Quit Stalin’, be my Valentine!”  Do you understand the pun?  What the joke really means is “Stop exterminating millions of peasants and come purge my PANTS!”


I have sent you another gift; this time, I promise, it is safe for your consumption, a traditional dowry of cabbages and laundered oil money.


You are the Sputnik of my heart,

Your Vlad


Dearest Vlad,


Your cabbages are very fine.  I have enjoyed them heartily in the borscht recipe you sent me last year.  Your attention to the delicate dietary needs of an old man is truly touching.


Yours in the Eucharist,

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, formerly Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Defender of the Roman Faith


To my one and only love,


Your words fill me with hope.  Perhaps your retirement might be a good thing for us: with you no longer bound to the schedule and demands of tending your worldwide flock, you can finally come visit me in Russia.  We will ride shirtless throughout the Urals and spend a romantic week at the Gulag Archipelago, which is a very fine new hotel in Siberia — much like at the Vatican, the gold and jewels trimming the lobby were stolen from Jews!  You will feel right at home, in my country and in my arms.  We will eat enough borscht to drown ourselves and the sun might finally shine upon our love.  (Not if you come in the winter.  Although I’m sure your time in Hitler’s Youth taught you all about that, ha ha!)  We shall conclave together beneath bearskin pelts from St. Petersburg to Vladivostock!


Call me? Maybe?



Dearest V.,


For cabbage and Carly Rae Jepsen, I’ll go anywhere!


Yours in the Eucharist,

Benedict XVI, Pope Emeritus

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