It all seemed innocent enough. The former Pontiff, waving to the admiring throngs, whisked away in a waiting helicopter (shades of Richard Nixon's departure from the White House? Hmmm.) [Why his Holiness Emeritus would need a helicopter to take him to his newly-built apartment just a block away from the Vatican befuddles us, but we digress.]

The sun rose over the Vatican this morning, Cardinals lounging by the pool in their red velvet Speedos, and then, from the Arch Bishop of St. Louis, Cardinal Lou Brock, came a pained gasp.

"OMG!," cried Brock. "We've been exposed!"

Not that priests and prelates haven't been exposing themselves for years, mind you, but as the Arch (St. Louis, remember?) Bishop dropped the late edition of Rome's leading newspaper, IL Conceiveda, the headline screamed off of page one:

Cardinals Caught Cheating On Common App
Monks Vow Silence As Latest Scandal Looms

Yes, now it can be told. Long before Pope Benedict had blessed a crate of Number 2 pencils, used by the Cardinals, as ovals on the SAT answer sheet mystically filled themselves in to form a caricature of the Madonna (no, not that Madonna), there had been a break-in at the headquarters of Common App. 

Somehow, the plans for Common App 4.0, quoted as being worth in the neighborhood of $8 million, had disappeared. Foul play was suspected (at first, fingers pointed to College Board, though they denied any involvement). And then, copies of the new Common App began to appear in Catholic churches around the world.

"Yes, we have the new essay prompts," Cardinal Mahony was said to have uttered to his Altar boys. "Something new to cover up!"

Essay prompts, indeed.

Yet, the personal statements to be penned by those applying to the College of Cardinals seemed somehow different than those recently released to the masses.

-You are God. Rewrite the Holy Scriptures in no less than 250 and no more than 650 words.

-What Would Jesus Do? Take the SAT or the ACT.

-If The Corinthians had Twitter, would they have written letters?

-If you could walk on water, where would you go?

Then there was the entrance exam. Turns out the Cardinals had written the answers inside their skull caps.

"It wasn't us," exclaimed a German Cardinal, speaking on condition of anonymity. "It was the Jews!"

"We were looking to save a few bucks," he rambled, "so we bought these yarmulkes from some Hasid in Brooklyn. We didn't know the answers to the test were written inside. We thought it said, 'From The Bar Mitzvah of Samuel Levine.' Who knew?"

Holy Sepulchre, Batman!

So now, the entire College of Cardinals is suspect, as they prepare to elect the next Pope (also known as Pope Du' Jour). [Spoiler Alert! The name of the next Pope has already been chosen: John Paul George Ringo, also known as the singing Pontiff.]

Hold on to your Birettas, everyone!

In the wake of the latest scandal to besiege the Catholic church, an independent board of Rabbis has asked Sally Field to reprise her role as The Flying Nun, to hover over the Vatican, and report back on the Cardinals' every move. No word from Ms. Field, as Vatican officials continue to deny any involvement in the reported scandal, let alone any link to the departure of Pope Benedict, along with the Pope's beloved Shetland pony, 12 cases of caviar, and several religious figurines.

This has been a special report from the Vatican. Follow us on Twitter, hashtag #PopeFiction, for the continuing story as it develops. We now return you to your regularly scheduled election of the next Pope, already in progress...

Plan. Prepare. Prevail!

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of The College Whisperer.

Who knows what peril lurks in the college application and admissions process? The College Whisperer knows. . .

* * *
Comments? Questions for The College Whisperer
Write us at

The College Whisperer™ is the Trademark of
COLLEGE CONNECTION, Official Sponsor of College Admission Success. The road to college begins at COLLEGE CONNECTION! Whether you are applying to college, planning for college, paying for college or simply thinking about college, COLLEGE CONNECTION can help! Call TODAY for a FREE telephone consultation. 516-345-8766

For up-to-the-minute news, apps, info and insights on college applications, admissions, scholarships and just about everything college, follow The College Whisperer™ on Twitter at