HOWARD ELSTON, our Rome Reporter, gives us details of who will oversee the Holy See after Easter.
I can reveal that Tony Blair, England’s ex Prime Minister, will be handed the Pope’s job once Benedict XVI takes his voluntary redundo early this spring.
Sources close to whatever mansion Mr Blair lives in have told me he is packing his bags and his suntan oil for the Vatican.
‘Tony will want to be known as Antoine The First,’ the source told me over spaghetti, those tasty little almond things and a glass of mediocre Tuscan wine. ‘He’s mad for the job now that he had made such as impact in his role as boss of the Mid East.’
‘And,’ the insider added, ‘He and Dame Cherie know there are a lot of nice little earners too once he grabs power in the Apostolic Palace.’
Prof MK Tang, a Glasgow University academic who knows everything because he reads The Guardian, says the job is well suited to the former Labour boss.
‘He is in essence made for the Pope’s role. He is a newly announced Catholic who amazingly let it be known he had changed faith once he stopped being a politician.’
‘He is a dab hand at starting holy wars. He is, basically a button down conservative which follows smoothly in the footsteps Benedict and Paul.’
‘And’ said Prof Tang, ‘He loves Italian food and Berlusconi.’
‘What more do you want?’
A spokesman for St Antoine said: ‘Tony is assessing his chances. He will re brand the Vatican as Tough on Original Sin, Tough on the Causes of Original Sin.’
‘By the way, don’t quote me on this, ‘ he whispered, ‘But I nicked that from a real funny guy on Twitter.’