My butler, Paolo Gabriele
"BENEDICT!" screamed my Aunt Agatha. "What's all this I hear about money-laundering?"
I had just been giving an audience to a group of Catholic journalists from the Telegraph, and now had a bit of a headache. "Benny, old bean," said their leader, a man called Damian with funny hair, "don't you think that one of the great spiritual challenges of our day is addiction?"
Personally, I don't think that addressing the Pope as "Benny, old bean," is right - we don't read of Jesus addressing St Peter as "Pete, old bean," do we? - but then Damian is spiritual leader in his own right, so I said nothing. However, after a two-hour lecture on the dangers of compulsively downloading pictures of cupcakes from the Internet - I may have dozed off a little, and got some of the details wrong - I was glad to see Damian, Cristina, Tim and little Will leave. At least it wasn't Tony and Cherie Blair again, telling me how to rewrite 2,000 years of Catholic dogma.
Tony Blair giving me his blessing
So that is why I was lying in a darkened room, nursing my headache, when the door burst open, and my Aunt Agatha stormed in with her comment about money-laundering.
Now, being Pope isn't as easy as it may seem, you know. It's not all burning up the town in a Popemobile or sticking a "Kick me" sign on "lofty" Cormac when he comes round to unblock the drains - although these things do give some job satisfaction. You also have to be seen in church occasionally, give spiritual guidance to your flock worldwide, and deal with daily obscene phone calls from Sr Margaret Farley (frankly, she talks more like a sea-captain than a nun).
Lifelike blow-up Farley dolls on sale now, as a reappraisal of sexual theology
So I replied to my Aunt Agatha in no uncertain tones: "Really, Aunt, it's not my job to worry about the finances. We have accountants to do that."
"You really are a wastrel, Benedict," snapped my aunt. "It's time you got a proper job. Now, call your man Gabriele: he's the only one who knows what's going on round here."
"Splendid idea, Aunt Agatha," I replied. "Perhaps he can make me one of his pick-me-ups."
I rang the bell, and Gabriele shimmered in. Unfortunately, there was no pick-me-up to be seen: in fact he was carrying a pair of large suitcases.
"So, Gabriele," said my aunt. "Do you know what's going on in the Vatican?"
"Indeed, my lady," replied Gabriele. "It's all explained in these confidential documents. I was just taking them to my friend Gianluigi Nuzzi the journalist, for safe keeping."
A secret Vatican document
"Good man, Gabriele, I knew I could trust you!" I said.
Will Aunt Agatha intervene? Or will the details of the Vatican's annual spending on pizza, chips and beer be released to the press? Will Sr Farley turn up and make an improper suggestion? If we find out, we'll let you know.