This St. Petersburg Times article profiles the writers of the Onion and discusses the process they use to write each issue:
"DiCenzo types a list of headlines that made the cut: 30 about the pope and 60 others. At 7 p.m., the writers gather around the table, the last glimmers of sunshine fading.
"We have a lot of good, solid pope jokes," says Garden.
They agree on "Pope's Renal System Proves Fallible" and "John Paul II's Last Words: "Pope Sled,"' their riff on the Citizen Kane "Rosebud" line. They also like "Pope-Killing Virus Claims Another Victim."
They decide against "Make 10 Billion Commemorative Plastic Items" because it's similar to their recent story about NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.
They choose three for the Web site and pick "Heaven Not As Opulent" for the lead pope story in their next issue."