CARDINALS will use martial arts and arcade-style special moves in their battle to become Pope, it has emerged.
In a move towards greater transparency, the Vatican described how the papal selection process is modelled on the immensely popular 90s video game Street Fighter II.
A spokesman said: “Each member of the papal conclave will come prepared for battle with a ‘special move’.
“For example, African cardinal Peter Turkson shoots glowing balls of holy energy out of his upturned palms.
“His main rival, Angelo Scola, has a sort of jumping uppercut where he shouts something unintelligible.
“There will be a series of combat bouts at various locations around the globe including, weirdly, a Buddhist temple.
“In deference to the game, we are also obliged to include a potential Pope who is part-animal with green skin and very sharp teeth.
“But despite his fearsome appearance, Cardinal Blanka is safer around children than many of our priests.”
The Catholic church considers Street Fighter II to be of divine origin because of its unsurpassable design and the inspired feature of ‘combo moves’.
In a message to his rivals, papal contender Francis Arinze of Nigeria said: “Attack me if you dare, I will crush you!”