LONDON — Wrapping up his triumphal trip to Brazil to celebrate World Youth Day, Pope Francis, contrary to what the media prefer to say, did not fly straight back to Rome. As observed only by a solitary reporter, the Pope made a slight detour.

Early this morning, at Buckingham Palace, the Pope was surreptitiously admitted through a back door. Proceeding humbly through the ornate hallways of this, the Sovereign Residence, he politely but insistently asked the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for permission to baptize their infant son, Prince George of Cambridge.

The Pope's surprise visit threw the royal couple completely off stride. “It's one thing for Parliament to modify the British law of succession to allow Protestant descendants of Catholics to become our monarch,” Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, opined. “But it's quite another even to consider that a Catholic should baptize a royal heir, let alone the Pope.”

In the end, the Pope was content to give the royal baby, George Alexander Louis, a blessing, together with an invitation to His Royal Highness to preach at the next World Youth Day as a sign of papal outreach to Anglicans..


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