|Number ten in the series - Mosques of the World|
Bishop Corny was transfixed. His head slightly bent forward, his delicate, sensitive hands firmly clasped together.
He gazed intensely at the table surface, not moving a muscle.
The clock ticked on his study wall but, all else was silence until, with a yelp of delight he seized a piece of the jigsaw in front of him crying: "Oh joy, I have found the missing piece of the mosque's minaret!"
For, indeed, he had struggled valiantly over the past 18 weeks, desperate to complete the 1000 piece jigsaw, number 10 in the series of Mosques of the World.
He was not aware of the knock on the door or of the appearance of his Diocesan Choreographer Sr Miriam Tursiops who boldly proclaimed to His Lordship that he was wanted on the phone.
"Not now, not now" hissed the Bishop, "I think I may have got the link to finishing this jigsaw. Tell 'em to buzz off"
Sr Tursiops turned dramatically and sashayed out of the room, considerably put out at receiving such abrupt treatment at the hands of the man to whom she had dedicated her dancing career.
The Bishop feverishly returned to his task, violently hammering in pieces of the jigsaw in spaces that were, all too plainly, not meant to receive them.
He was so desperate to complete this project that he failed to hear the ecumenical call to prayer that the local Ayatollah was, even now, nasally chanting from the Cathedral's steeple.
"It's 12 O'Clock Bishop, time for the adhan" trilled Sr Tursiops and, by the way, I've another caller for you on line one"
"It'll have to wait" snarled the Bishop, "And tell whoever is on that phone to stop cold calling me"
The good sister flounced out once more only to return a few minutes later to tell the Bishop that the mystery caller had telephoned for the third time and that she had used some very unnecclesiatical language on him.
"Good" said Bishop Corny, "I hope now that I can be left in peace to finish my jigsaw"
"Trouble is" replied Sr Tursiops, "It was Pope Francis wanting a word with you".
All of a sudden, 1000 jigsaw pieces were swept off the table and on the floor.
"******** it all" said the Bishop, burying his head in his fine, sensitive hands.