Friday, April 1, 2011

Roman Catholic Church to De-Emphasize Jesus

In a stunning change of policy rivaled perhaps only by the Vatican II reforms of the 1960's, Pope Benedict XVI has announced that from this point forward the Roman Catholic Church will no longer emphasize Jesus in its sermons or public statements.

Though he reassured followers that he was still the head of the 1.1 billion–member Roman Catholic Church and an unwavering believer in the divinity of Christ, the pope suggested he might have an easier time communicating with people if he wasn't up in everyone's face about Jesus all the time.

"I just want to rein it in a smidge," Benedict said. "While I alone among men have been chosen to represent the Son of God upon this earth, I've found that if you have a big chip on your shoulder about something like that, it can be pretty alienating to people."

"I'd like to think I can be an infallible ecclesiastical authority without ramming it down people's throats," the pope said. "I'm starting to realize what a huge turn-off that is."

In accordance with this new policy, the church plans on taking a more relaxed approach to doctrines that in some cases have endured since the middle ages.

The Pope believes that a laid-back approach to worship will be more appealing to modern people, and perhaps allow the church to lure back lapsed Catholics who find those doctrines off-putting or inconvenient.

To temper his past hyperbole with regard to Jesus, the Supreme Pontiff said he is now at work on an encyclical in which he will call upon Catholics to relax a little and not treat every aspect of church doctrine "as if it were the end-all, be-all of the whole universe or something."

Benedict added that his staff is exploring options for scaling back the opulent Vatican into something that, while still glorifying to God, isn't quite so over-the-top about it. The pope said he also hoped to tone down some of the more grandiose aspects of his own appearance, noting that some might find his extravagant wardrobe of luxurious, hand-woven cassocks and velvet capes to be off-putting.

Tugging at his heavily embroidered vestments, Benedict said, "These robes, this hat. It's a bit much, right? I don't see why I can't just go to a beatification ceremony or a papal audience wearing a nice dress shirt and some slacks: It's respectful, it's dignified, but it's not like I'm going in with guns blazing, either."

Benedict has gone so far as to compose an edict to all Catholic clergy urging them to follow his example and maybe dial the religion back a click or two.

"Please, definitely keep giving your sermons and celebrating the Lord," Benedict wrote in his official decree. "But play it mellow with the Jesus material—give it some room to breathe, you know? Trust me, you'll get your point across better if you're not so heavy-handed."

The Pope answered critics of his new approach by explaining that while the church may be reforming its style, its core beliefs will remain unchanged.

"I was worried at first," Cardinal Lorenzo Antonetti said. "Then His Holiness reassured me that whatever words he chose, birth control, abortion, homosexuality, and the distribution of condoms in starving, AIDS-ravaged nations would always remain abominations. That calmed all my fears."

Happy April Fools Day, everyone!

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man with desire said...

Below, we examine the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, so that its members might find the grace of God. The fact is that there are many Roman Catholics who do not yet know Christ. Many of them may, indeed, be quite religious, but they have not yet received Christ into their lives. These people may also regard the Roman Catholic Church as being, "the only right church", or may think that there is no salvation except that inside the Roman Catholic Church, but they still do not understand how they can be saved.
The problem with the Catholic Church is that its rituals and doctrines do not lead people toward knowing the grace and salvation in Christ. Instead, they lead to something else. Over the centuries, this church has been more and more affected by heresies, and nowadays many people are led rather badly astray. Among other examples of errant teachings are Mary, the merits of the saints, compensation acts, sacraments, and purgatory.
We will examine the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church so that everyone might get in connection with God. Our goal is that people find personal salvation and the grace of God in Jesus Christ. You, the reader, may not hold the same opinion, or think about everything in the same way we do. The most important thing for you is to receive the eternal life given to us by God.

Scott Stenwick said...

You realize this story is from The Onion, right? And that it was posted April 1st?

It doesn't have anything to do with real statements from the Roman Catholic Church.