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Sistine Chapel Twitter spoofs comment on Pope selection

Published 5:00 pm, Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Thousands of Catholics gathered in St. Peter's Square Tuesday to eagerly watch the Sistine Chapel for smoke that would tell them whether a new Pope had been chosen.

If they'd been on Twitter, they might have listened to the chimney and stayed home to avoid the rain.

@SistineChimney, a spoof account created for conclave, told followers the Princes of the Church had pizza, saunas and a game of Duck Duck Goose — not the papal election — on the night's agenda.

Reporters used Twitter to share the disappointing, but expected, news that the 115 cardinal electors had not chosen a new leader for the Roman Catholic Church with their first vote, signaled by black smoke. Others, like the anonymous person behind @SistineChimney, couldn't miss the chance to create humorous commentary.

"Fact is, everyone has their say these days and I felt that, since I am privy to hearing what goes on down below, I should share it with the world," @SistineChimney wrote to the Chronicle, still in persona.

"The Vatican takes itself WAAAAY too seriously these days and if they aren't going to get from behind their bedrock and caught up to the times, I might as well help them along. As the saying goes — if you can't laugh at yourself, laugh at the Pope."

@SistineChimney appears to be the first to personify the iconic stack atop the Sistine Chapel, launching the account the Feb. 11 shortly after Pope Benedict XVI announced his intent to resign.

"Man, it's been years since I had a smoke," @SistineChimney tweeted.

Others have mimicked the idea — @ConclaveChimney and @PapalSmokeStack, for instance — or developed a different humorous take.

"Tweeting from inside the conclave, whenever I can slip away — the women's bathroom totally has wireless access!," reads the account description for @MysteryCardinal.

Perhaps @MysteryCardinal really wears a red robe. This tweet after the black smoke rose suggests it might even be Houston's own Cardinal Daniel DiNardo:

"Yup. My hopes of getting to #SXSW are fading."

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