Catholic Church Converts to Christianity
[PICTURED: Big changes in store as Christianity comes to the Vatican]
VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis stunned the world yesterday by announcing that the Catholic Church would adopt Christianity.
"Historically," said a Vatican spokesperson, "We have kept a strong wall between church and religion. But we have never been overtly hostile to Christianity. In fact, some of our best employees have been Christians -- artists and musicians especially."
The announcement was the culmination of a series of moves in recent years in which the Vatican appeared to distance itself from its history of crusades, inquisitions, and sexual repression, and instead criticized capitalism, wealth inequality, global warming, the death penalty, and even life imprisonment, and expressed new respect for women, gays, non-Christians, and the poor.
Still, Christianity was a surprise.
The Old Testament has been seen as a poor fit with Catholic doctrine. According to theologian Drake Olmeary, "The modern Catholic view would be that the Bible got the Commandments wrong. Killing, for example, is now widely approved if it is someone we don't like, or someone standing next to that person. By contrast, all the other Commandments about not being gay, not using condoms, and not selling things to gay people, somehow got left out."
But if the Old Testament was a bad fit, says Olmeary, the New Testament was right out.
"The Sermon on the Mount is a terribly problematic religious text," said Olmeary. "The wealthy can't go to Heaven? Most people can't relate to that. What if the wealthy people created economic value, or inherited their money from someone who did? And as for loving thine enemy and turning the other cheek in the face of violence, that's simply indigestible."
But Pope Francis has declared the death penalty wrong "in all cases," and says he is determined to embrace the rest of Christianity, too -- "the whole kit and caboodle," said the Pope. "If we have to install camels and needles in every church to get the point across, so be it."
Opponents of Christianity within the Catholic church have suggested that Pope Francis, age 81, is too old to lead.