Fun_People Archive
7 Oct
To the meek: Watch Out!

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Wed,  7 Oct 98 14:03:53 -0700
To: Fun_People
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Subject: To the meek:  Watch Out!

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649
Forwarded-by: elshaw@MIT.EDU (Libby Shaw)
Forwarded-by: (Stephen Kagan)


 VATICAN CITY--In a historic reversal of its nearly 2,000-year-old pro-meek
 stance, the Catholic Church announced Tuesday that it is permanently
 rescinding the traditional "blessed" status of the world's meek.

 "Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ once said, 'Blessed are the meek,'" said
 Pope John Paul II in a papal bull read before the College of Cardinals.
 "However, there has always been a tacit understanding between the Church
 and the meek that this 'blessed' status was conditional upon their
 inheritance of the earth, an event which seems unlikely to happen anytime
 in the foreseeable future. Our relationship, therefore, must be terminated."

 "Screw the meek," the Pope added.

 Citing "two millennia of inaction and non-achievement" by the world's
 impoverished and downtrodden, the Pope contended that the meek's historic
 inability to improve their worldly status constituted "bad faith" on their

 "Twenty centuries should have been more than enough time for them to
 inherit the earth," the Supreme Pontiff said. "For years, the Catholic
 Church has made every effort to help them, but at some point, enough is
 enough. We are patient, but we are not saints."

 Catholic leaders around the world were vocal in their support of the Pope.

      "The meek have abused their blessed status for far too long now," said
   Bernard Law, Archbishop of Boston. "From the Renaissance to the
   Industrial Revolution to the current Global Information Age, the meek
   have always somehow managed to sit back and do nothing while others
   worked hard to make advances and improve their lives. They have collected
   the Catholic Church's spiritual welfare checks for long enough."

      "Everything about the meek, from their simple garments to their quiet
   demeanors to their utter lack of can-do spirit, goes against Church
   philosophy," Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte of Montreal said. "Sitting
   back and expecting the Lord to provide is not the type of behavior for
   which the Church should be rewarding its followers."

 The change in policy toward the meek is also rooted in financial
 considerations: According to Vatican statistics, though more than 80
 percent of the world's Catholics live below the poverty line, the Catholic
 Church receives less than 2 percent of its annual earnings of $395 billion
 from such people.

 "The meek's blessed status was originally bestowed upon them by Jesus
 Christ Himself, but there is enough latitude in His gospels and teachings
 to allow us discretion in this manner," the Pope said, "especially in light
 of the financial goals of the Church as it enters the 21st century. From
 this day forward, the Church position shall be, 'Blessed are the affluent,
 for they have indeed inherited the Earth.'"

 In an effort to move away from its traditional meek core demographic and
 attract more upscale worshipers, Vatican officials announced a number of
 changes for the Gospels. Among them: Christ shall be said to have been born
 in a rustic-but-spacious birthing suite and not a manger, with the amount
 of gold and frankincense bestowed upon Him by the wise men quadrupled and
 the amount of myrrh halved; it shall henceforth be as easy for a rich man
 to enter Heaven as it is for a camel to pass through a heated three-car
 garage; and the episode between Christ and the moneylenders in the temple
 shall from now on be interpreted as an internecine argument over
 appropriately aggressive fund-raising tactics.

 According to Holy See spokesperson Salvatore Vittorio, a new Catholic
 Church payment plan has been established, with blessedness and God's
 everlasting love free of charge once a nominal baptism/membership fee has
 been paid. For an additional fee, Catholics can become "Gold Circle"
 members of the Church, entitling them to such perks as forgiveness,
 sainthood and special priority seating at the right hand of the Father upon

 "We do not wish the Church to become completely exclusionary,' Vittorio
 said. "If any of the former meek wish to change their ways, they may
 certainly do so. But it won't be the free ride they got before, I can
 promise you that."

 "The Lord will provide, of course," the Pope said. "But He also helps those
 who help themselves, if you know what I mean."

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