Pope Ignatius I, having been “fired” from his job at the Vatican, now joins a secret Catholic congregation in Venice, California….
Niccolò turns his attention to the pulpit as Father Priestley calls upon Burt, the church “prophet.” Burt reminds everyone that the Big One is going to strike, and that California will soon fall into the ocean. However, he must return to the “Prophet Tree” in order to pin down the date. Lucy reminds everyone that Poppy proclaims daily that “The End is Near.” The congregation blesses the Pope (Niccolò finds himself in the awkward position of blessing himself–but with little enthusiasm), even though he is qualified as MIA. Niccolò tries to convince the congregation that he is the Pope, but they think he’s a loony, and therefore a perfect addition to their congregation. They criticize the Pope for the downfall of the Catholic Church (Niccolò finds himself in the awkward position of defending his papacy–with forced conviction), but nonetheless declare themselves his defenders. At the end of the sermon, the churchgoers eat Oreo cookies and pour a pink powder into a glass which is filled with water. Finally, the priest accepts contributions towards their annual pilgrimage into the desert, and asks Jeffrey, their resident ufologist, to give a funding report. Then he turns to Franklin for the weather forecast (which is very meteorologically laden with scientific jargon, but also concludes with divine explanations; seems his parents named him after Ben Franklin). But the pilgrims must first save themselves from the Big One, so their first priority is to leave L.A. on their “fact finding mission” to the mountains.