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Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? 150 Years of Papal Insights

Each pope has a different way of approaching things. So as an illustration, we can imagine how each of the popes over the past 150 years might have offered an answer to the question of why the chicken crossed the road.

Pius IX (1846-1878): “If anyone should assert that the chicken has a right to cross the road, in direct disobedience the the Decrees of the Supreme Roman Pontiff which specify the divinely ordained place and roles of chickens, let him be anathema. And by the way, We are never wrong.”

Leo XIII (1878-1903): “The right of the chicken to cross the road, especially because all chickens are empowered to organize collectively for the right of crossing the road, must not be infringed. Unless the chicken is Anglican.”

Pius X (1903-1914): “Among the propositions to be condemned is the subversive Modernist doctrine that a chicken, without full knowledge of what lies on the other side of the road, may freely cross such a road. And you will swear an oath to that effect.”

Benedict XV (1914-1922): “The chicken has a right to cross the road in peace. Please don’t bomb the chicken.”

Pius XI (1922-1939): “You cannot prevent a chicken from crossing the road simply because it is Jewish. Stop that! No, stop it right now!”

Pius XII (1939-1958): “Herr Ambassador, if I let the chicken cross the road, will you also put me in one of your concentration camps?”

John XXIII (1958-1963): “Oh, just let the chicken cross the damn road already.”

Paul VI (1963-1978): “On the one hand, the chicken feels a need to cross the road. On the other hand, one wonders if the chicken really must cross the road.”

John Paul I (1978-1978): “The chicken crossed the road because…”

John Paul II (1978-2005): “The chicken crosses the road as an eschatological prefigurement of the parousia, when Christ will be all in all.”

Benedict XVI (2005-present): “The Byzantine emperor Paleologus Constantinius Optimus Prime once engaged in a colloquy with a devout and scholarly cooper in which his imperial majesty observed that chickens often engage in the non-teleological practice of crossing the road for seemingly mystagogical purposes. The cooper was recorded to have opined that the learned emperor’s discourse was ‘as the corporeal remnants of an ox which effuses its bad humours upon the wayside.’”

3 Responses to “Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? 150 Years of Papal Insights”

  1. RP says:

    Eric,
    Hilarious!! I think you captured their perspectives really well, including, of course, that of said chickens.
    The real question is: what would Woody Allen say?
    LOL

  2. Chris says:

    As hillarious as it is illuminating. One wonders, though, if in the Internet Age John Paul I should not be more correctly redesignated John Paul 0.8?

  3. Jim says:

    I’ve heard of bad theology, but this is ‘fowl’

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