The Vatican has announced that it is considerably richer than it previously thought after discovering several million euros ‘tucked away off the balance sheet’.
It claims that the newly discovered funds will be used to extend its portfolio of religion by acquiring Buddhism.
“Well, we’ve had our eye on a number of other religions for a while now,” said Cardinal George Pell, who heads the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy.
“Sikhism, and Hinduism were considered. The Jehovah’s Witnesses were deemed too mental, even for us.”
“In the end we settled on Buddhism.”
It is thought to be the first time a major religion has acquired another since Christianity’s disastrous attempt to take over Islam during the crusades.
“It’s a terrific little religion, a good solid pedigree of several centuries experience, and some lovely temples.”
Catholics around the world were broadly welcoming of the plan.
“Yeah, sounds alright,” said Simon Williams.
“I mean, it’s a lot of sitting about and chanting and that isn’t it? I don’t mind a bit of a chant.”
“As long as I can still harbour an irrational hatred for homosexuals and birth control, I’m okay with it.”
It was put to Cardinal Pell that perhaps a better use of the previously unaccounted millions might be to give it to the poor.
However, he was left too convulsed with laughter to give a coherent response.