The Vatican's got a fever and the only prescription is more ... James Bond?

But the Vatican’s daily newspaper has overlooked such niceties and given delirious coverage to Skyfall, the latest Bond film, claiming it shows a new, introspective side of the British agent while thankfully cramming in the usual dose of exotic locations and “extremely beautiful Bond girls”.

L’Osservatore Romano has tried recently to move with the times, praising cult films such as the Blues Brothers, lauding Bob Dylan and publishing a women’s supplement, ever since the editor, Gian Maria Vian, was told by the pope in 2007 to liven up the 151-year-old daily.

But its Skyfall review takes things to new limits for the newspaper, which ran it in Wednesday’s edition alongside coverage of the 500th anniversary of the Sistine Chapel, the appointment of new bishops in Peru and the Philippines, and the welcome news that catholic numbers are rising in Ireland.