In an unexpected decree entitled Inter Gravissimas, Pope Francis enacted a calendar reform containing but a single change: the skipping of April 1st, 2020. March 31st 2020 is to be followed directly by April 2nd, 2020; however, weekdays are to follow their usual succession, as a result April 2nd 2020, following Tuesday March 31st, is to be a Wednesday, contrary to expectations (Editor’s note: this blog publishing software could not be corrected in time for publication, so it is erroneously going to show April 1st at first. We apologize for the confusion).
“It has come to our attention that the celebration of Easter is drifting out of sync with the cycle of seasons”, wrote Pope Francis as a way of exposing the motives for the change. “To avoid the error becoming any greater, we are correcting the calendar in this way while there is still time to do so before Easter 2020.” This decision has baffled all observers: while the current calendar does have some systemic error, it was not expected to have accumulated to a full day, and the emergency is all the more questionable given that Easter can fall on any of about 36 days in the calendar, making a shift of a few hours compared to the cycle of seasons hardly visible.
Keen observers are remarking this may be an attempt by Vatican City to get rid of a celebration they don’t otherwise control. While the papal authorities obviously cannot repeat this every year or otherwise eliminate the day from the calendar going forward, it is rumored they hope the cancellation of this year’s celebrations will disrupt observance of the event and dissuade attempts to reintroduce it.
“This calendaring decision is entirely within the Pope’s prerogatives”, a Vatican City spokesperson was quoted as saying. That may be true inside the Vatican and the Catholic church in general, where the Pope concentrates both legislative and executive powers in his hands. “And who do you think is in charge of the World’s calendars? Julius Caesar? Get real.”, the spokesperson continued.
Meanwhile, all the major software vendors appeared to be scrambling to develop an emergency update to take this change into account, as evidenced by the banners appearing on their web sites apologizing for the erroneous dates being currently shown in their interfaces. However, none of Microsoft, Google, Apple, YouTube, Amazon, Blizzard, Stack Overflow, or Facebook were available for comment, and they have seemingly scrapped all their other plans for the day.