His Holiness moves in for a sniff to ascertain authenticity of miracle
Pope Francis verified the miracle to reporters shortly after Vespers Mass on New Years Eve. "As the procession mounted the steps to the Sanctuary a very foul smell became noticeable," said the Pontiff. "At first I thought one of the Cardinals had ripped forth a fart. They often do that just to annoy those behind them. But the smell got stronger and stronger and that's when we were able to pin-point the source."
Vatican scholars confirmed the miracle later. Monsignor Bruno Spassmacher, head of the Vatican's Department of Miracles and Stigmata Research, said "usually we find these miracles in a peasant shack in the Peruvian Andes; it's quite unusual to find one so close to home. We are tentatively interpreting this as the return of the Spirit of Christ to the Holy See after an absence of many centuries."