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VATICAN CITY – As news broke last night that cardinals voting in the papal conclave had not managed to elect a new pope, the Catholic church this morning briefed media on a series of initiatives it said was aimed at modernising its image – chief among them that the new Pope would be named “Darren I”. Traditionally Popes choose their own regnal name, but the Vatican said its push for a more relaxed and accessible face had led the College of Cardinals to pick the name Darren from a shortlist of “just normal, everyday guy names”.
Pope Darren’s first duties will include leading the traditional Easter Mass at St. Peter’s Square in Rome, as well as an appearance on The Tonight Show in Los Angeles on Monday and a still-to-be-announced mystery cameo on the hit series CSI: Las Vegas. The Vatican also confirmed that Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter accounts had been set up in Pope Darren’s name, and that the new pontiff would write a weekly youth-oriented blog under the moniker “Dope Darren”. Vatican security officials have also purportedly shortlisted a number of potential new Popemobiles, with the frontrunners said to be a Fiat Panda and a Hyundai i20 hatchback.