For seven hundred years, the annual papal Palm Sundayprocession has followed approximately the same route, butthis year the pope took a wrong turn, leading thousands downalleys, through a coffee bar and into a rail yard, where theprocession degenerated into a chaos of waving palm frondsand sheep, which escaped from a stopped cattle train in theconfusion. A distraught Pope Benedict XVI announced thatthis was just another indication that the end times are uponus. “Strange behavior and odd signs indicate the approach ofthe latter days,” he said as he used his symbolic staff inthe actual herding of sheep.

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