VATICAN CITY PAPAL ANNOUNCEMENT.
The following was broadcast last night by Pope Francis from Rome.
"The Holy See's concern with the march of materialism has prompted her to reinstate PENANCE as the primary mode of the expiation of sins. For too long we have ignored the sacrament and its healing power. The global obsession with transient pleasures, with material things, with cosmetics, travel, good cheap wine and the "root of all evil"... money, has concerned Our Holy Mother The Church for some time... and we must now do what we can to combat it, in the name of Our Saviour. Amen."
With this aim in view the Vatican has set up a website; www.absolvo.te.com. There the sinner, via tele-conferencing or text, can speak directly to a priest.
After confessing his sins the penitent is presented with a list of them divided into "cardinal" (serious) and "venial" (not so serious) and asked for confirmation.
In the case of textual confession, the sinner must tick boxes that accurately describe his sins and the number of times he has committed them. At the end of the confession a bill is presented and the penitent asked for his credit card details. A receipt is forwarded to the requested email address listing the monetary fines for sins confessed with "cardinals" priced highest in a descending scale. VAT at 17% is added.
Said a Vatican spokesman Cardinal Malvolio: "This is the church addressing the problem of materialism head-on, hitting the penitent where it hurts so to speak, and reminding him or her of the vanity of worldly possessions. Old fashioned penance in the form of prayer, fasting, the wearing of sackcloth shirts, self-flagellation, the pouring of hot oil on the genitals; or listening to repeated tracks of Johnny Cash while strapped to a chair of nails when your own mother can't even be bothered to answer your calls, still have their place... but we feel this is a major step forward in the re-spiritualisation of the sheeple... er... flock. Now, even those who are not Catholics can have their sins forgiven by a Catholic priest. And the beauty of it is... we will accept all known currencies."
Proceeds from "absolvo-te" will go to the poor. All you have to do is believe. The website has already been translated into a hundred and ten languages including 'extra-terrestrial". And, like the religion it represents, it is totally encrypted and safe from hijacking.
Critics say this is just a rip-off, a throw-back to the old medieval days of simony and sales of indulgences that prompted Martin Luther to begin the Reformation in 1517. Others say it is a clever ploy for establishing the New World Order's one world religion using the internet as its launching pad; a religion to form the mental frame for its one world fascist government.
Whatever way you look at it, the cost of sinning has gone up and is directly linked to the rising American Dollar and the slide of the Euro. Worse, those who do not have access to the internet or do not have a credit card are in serious danger of hell and damnation. Let us pray. Do... let us pray.