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VATICAN CITY –  Pope Benedict XVI announced that the cast of Jersey Shore will be his guests at the Vatican for a week.

Italians may be bracing for the arrival of Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and the rest of MTV’s “Jersey Shore” cast but Pope Benedict XVI is looking forward to their arrival and has invited them to stay with him for a week.

MTV’s decision to scout locations in Italy for the reality show’s fourth season has rankled Italian-American groups who consider the show a cultural smear.

But Pope Benedict XVI stepped in and said that the Jersey Shore cast is welcome to stay with him at the Vatican and has made available a number of suites for the cast.  The Pope said that all of the cast is Catholic and he welcomes the chance to bless them on a daily basis.

The prospect of hosting the “Jersey Shore” cast—a group known for public displays of drunkenness, brawls and other forms of lewd behavior—has shocked the entire country and Catholics around the world.

“We can’t understand why The Pope would do this,” said Bishop O’Malley of Cork, Ireland.  “They hold none of the values central to Catholic teaching.”

Many inside the Vatican are worried that perhaps Pope Benedict XVI may be suffering from pre-dementia.

But the Pope dismisses all those rumors.  He met with Snooki yesterday and said that the world will see what a positive influence the Catholic church can have on wayward children.

Snooki agreed, “I’m stoked.  You should see the rooms that the Pope set us up in.   Our parties are going to be off-the-hook.  Hallelujah!”

The cast could come in for culture shock. Having grown up with wine at the dinner table, most Italians tend to drink in moderation. They also take pride in social decorum, a concept known as cutting a “bella figura,” or the “beautiful figure.”

And the Vatican will require them to go to mass twice a day.

“Good luck with that,” said The Situation.  “I pray  on my own time, in my own way.  And usually with a girl.”

Zvia Shwirtz, 25, an American student living in Rome, says she can’t wait for the show to come to the Vatican. “It’s going to be hilarious… They are not going to have an easy time here.”

The Vatican will be sending up smoke signals – blue smoke – when the Jersey Shore cast arrives.