Travellers Ask ‘Ash Whensday?’ as Vatican Moves to Claim Phenomenon
The Bali Times
Tens of thousands of would-be passengers across northern Europe wondered on Saturday when they would be able to fly home as airspace across many countries remained closed due to fast-drifting Icelandic volcanic ash amid moves by the Vatican to claim the historic occurrence as a “redeeming” act of God.
Holy See spokesman Cardinal Emiterius Rosarius, 93, said the once-in-a-lifetime disruption in European air traffic was a specifically designed force majeure meant to cleanse the souls of all those who had “attacked the Church” over ongoing, explosive priest sex scandals.
Noting that the vast ash plume originated on Wednesday in a country associated with frigidity, he said: “Last night I had a dream. I had a dream that a cloak of the Lord would descend upon all of [European] humanity and wash their souls. In our belief system, Ash Wednesday has significant importance,” the Sicilian said of the first day of Lent, an austere time of self-denial in the run-up to the Christian festival of Easter.
And he added: “Now we see that this prophecy is coming true. There is ash everywhere and people cannot go anywhere. It is a time of introspection, and we urge them to read the bible – and to collect the falling ash and daub it on their foreheads.”
London-stranded Irishwoman Concepta McMghast was, meanwhile, livid at the claims from Rome.
“I’ll give him prophecy,” the single expectant mother of sextuplets returning from a holiday in the Irish seaside resort of Cork said. “I’ve got buns in the oven.”
Meteorologists said on Saturday they expected the airplane engine-damaging ash cloud to remain over Europe into the early part of next week as the Icelandic government offered a half-hearted apology for another continent-wide economic meltdown following the 2008 collapse of its financial system that plunged Europe into a severe depression.
“What can we say?” a government spokesman in Reykjavik said. “This problem just erupted.”Filed under: Arts & Entertainment