The world learned today that Pope Francis visited with the Stanley Cup Saturday night in Philadelphia. It was the pope’s first ever visit to the United States and Lord Stanley’s Cup’s first ever papal visit.

Said Cup caretaker Philip Pritchard, “We had this planned for quite some time. Pope Francis and I follow each other on Twitter, and like the rest of us, His Holiness is fascinated with the Cup.”

Pritchard flew the Cup to Philadelphia under cover of darkness at the request of the pope, who did not want to detract from his messages to the American people on immigration, global warming, and combating poverty.

According to Pritchard, Pope Francis spent about 15 minutes with the Cup – admiring it, reading its etched history, and posing for photos. When asked by reporters via email today if he was bothered by the fact that the original owner of the Cup held the title of Lord, the pontiff replied, “Oh no, that does not bother me at all. That’s just earthly British aggrandizing. It has no relevance in heaven.”

When asked about the growing, frenzied popularity of the Stanley Cup vs. the declining popularity of attending Sunday mass, the pope replied, “I see it as an opportunity for collaboration between the NHL and the Church for a Stanley Cup world tour, sponsored by DraftKings. Come to mass and afterward get one minute and one selfie with the Cup.”

When asked if his private visit with the Cup and proposed Cup world tour constituted the worship of false gods or idols, which the Bible frowns upon, the pope emailed a smiley face emoticon. “Certainly not. Who do you think gave me the order to visit with the Cup? God’s a big fan.”