In an effort to address major declines in new membership and a increase in the number of people leaving the church, the college of bishops has put together a list of potential marketing ideas, and is awaiting the office of the papacy.
"In light of the recent bad press that the church has received surrounding the discrepancies in the behavior of certain priests in the United States, we have put together a comprehensive list of possible changes to some of the church's teachings", Cardinal Richmond stated in a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland last week.
Although the college, and Cardinal Richmond, in particular, are downplaying the nature of the proposed changes, a local news agency claims to have inside information regarding the seriousness of the changes and their possible impact on the foundational beliefs of the church. Reportedly, Swiss Independent News (SIN) has been contacted by Pascal Stromal, a former Swiss Guard Sergeant, who claims to have inside information about the list of possible changes.
One of the proposed ideas that looks to cater more to the newer generation, the so-called Millennials, is that the physical locations of Heaven and Hell be reversed or, at least, adjusted. As you may or may not be aware, currently, heaven is thought to be located in the sky or UP, as its name Heaven would seem to suggest.
At the same time, Hell, the typically less desirable destination, has been correlated with Down or beneath. According to SIN (and Stromal it would seem), the Church would be "relocating Heaven to a position beneath Earth and possibly Hell as well. By default, this would be moving Hell to a place above Earth.
Apparently, according to Stromal, this is due to the perceived effort involved in going 'upwards' toward Heaven - the place the church teaches as 'Where you want to go, for those who are not aware. Moving Heaven beneath us would make it seem like a far less difficult and labor-intensive task for church members to undertake. Currently, it could be seen as 'Climbing up to Heaven' which, as you can imagine, describes a difficult process. With the move, Heaven could, potentially, become a much easier place to reach. Going downhill as opposed to uphill, is far easier, as any Tour de France bicyclist can tell you. Effectively, it becomes a place which you could 'coast' to - or even roll or seep to (although these are just the extrapolations of this journalist and not, as yet, supported by SIN, Stromal, or the College of Bishops).
When questioned about the information coming out of the Swiss news agency, and specifically, Stromal's apparent leak of insight into the submitted proposals, Cardinal Richmond responded "Stromal left the Guard under accusations of conduct unbecoming of a Swiss Guard. He not only refused to wear the silly, poofy, pin-cushion shaped portion of his uniform, but was also caught exhibiting 'free thinking' ideas about the infallibility of God. We gave Stromal an opportunity to vastly improve his situation and status in the community, but it seems we misjudged him. I guess making cheese with little holes in it was what he was meant to do. We wish him the best in his future endeavors, whatever they might b, but we would like to point out that Stromal was never privy to such high level information." Richmond also added, as he left the podium at the press conference, amid a flurry of camera flashes and shouted questions from reporters, "How could we move Heaven, even if we wanted to? It isn't a trailer home!"
Catholics and all Christians, and the world, waits to see if Cardinal Richmond's claim holds true and, if not, what the Pope will do if it turns out SIN is right.