“Pope on the Dole,” a satirical novel by local authors David E. Miller and Michelle Miller, imagines a world where a bankrupt Catholic Church auctions off everything of worth including the Vatican, which is transformed into The Vatican Hotel & Casino, an adult playground complete with a Sistine Chapel lounge for private dances. Jobless, the Pope vanishes, destined for a long-overdue trip to Paris and holding onto the hope of restoring the church to its former stature.
Excerpt from ‘Pope on the Dole’
After taking a few steps, he spots another pigeon flying towards the statue. The pigeon lands in a nearby tree, its red eyes pondering the various perches a good bronze can offer.
Charlemagne’s would-be defender, rattled by an unpleasant vision of what is to come, cannot refrain himself from having a go at the pigeon. “Hey, you over there! Creature of God. Can’t you show some respect?”
Somewhat surprisingly, the pigeon turns its red eyes towards the green-eyed human. And then it poops on the parvis.
Annoyed, but perhaps also encouraged, by this response to his plea, the man waves the pigeon away…. The pigeon hesitates, but then takes flight. It makes an arc over his head, and settles on the ground near the teenager. Folding its wings, it disappears beneath the bench, where it begins feeding on the bread crumbs scattered about. The meek shall inherit….