Written by Michael Balton
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Wednesday, 17 July 2013

image for Pope's remarks panic Purgatory
The Pope isn't planning any pilgrimages to Purgatory.

Vatican City -- An offer by Pope Francis to reduce Purgatory time for Catholics who embrace the "miracle of social media" has led to a massive and sudden selloff of real estate in Purgatory.

As a result, prices for Purgatory condos have been slashed by more than half, and hospitality properties, such as hotels and restaurants, are going for a third of what was their value only days ago.

"We depend totally upon the tourist dollar to keep our economy healthy," said Brett Hosmer, Communications Director of the Purgatory Chamber of Commerce. "So when the Pope announces that people are going to be doing less time down here, we've got a big problem."

Hosmer's group recently released a promotional package designed to draw more souls to the interim destination. The campaign emphasizes Purgatory's nightlife with the motto: "See you in Purgatory: the stairway to Heaven."

"Here we are spending millions to get people to visit us, and the Pope is making us look like Newark in a heatwave," Hosmer said. "Sure, the devil is down here, torturing, lying and cheating. But how is that any different from a typical day in Congress?"

Pope Francis replied in a tweet: "Craps tables? Blackjack? Poker tournaments? The middle world has gone off course. My social media encyclical will put it back on the proper path."

"Well, can't argue with the big boy. He's never wrong. That's part of his job description," Hosmer said. "And he is giving his flock a fantastic offer here."

Under a new plenary indulgence agreement, the Pope is offering three season reductions in Purgatory time, a free 6 inch hero and a small Diet Coke for every "religious" tweet posted. Winners are subject to sweepstakes rules. Cannot be combined with any other offer.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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