OK all you fakers and posers out there who are always claiming to see the Virgin Mary in your scrambled eggs or Jesus in your baby’s soiled diapers, you’re officially on alert! The Pope has had enough of this nonsense and he’s laying the smack down:
The Pope is declaring a ‘holy war’ against people who claim falsely that the Virgin Mary is appearing to them.
He will attempt to snuff out an explosion of bogus heavenly apparitions with new guidelines to help bishops root out frauds.
Benedict XVI plans to publish criteria to help them distinguish between true and false claims of visions of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, messages, stigmata – the appearances of the five wounds of Christ – and weeping or bleeding statues.
In some cases exorcists will be used to determine if a credible apparition is ‘divine’ origin or ‘demonic’.
Ha ha! The joke’s on him! There are no “credible” apparitions!
The Pope is said to be deeply concerned by the explosion in the number of pseudo-mystics who, claiming a direct line to God, set themselves against the bishops and lure the Catholic faithful out of the Church and into cults.
If there’s one thing that gets the Pope hot under his collar it’s competition for the hearts and minds of the overly credulous and self-delusional.
When a claim of heavenly apparitions occurs, the local bishop will need to set up a commission of psychiatrists, psychologists, theologians and priests who will investigate the claims systematically.
The first step will be to impose silence on the alleged visionaries and if they refuse to obey then this will be taken as a sign that their claims are false.
The first rule of Seeing Jesus Club is you don’t talk about Seeing Jesus Club!
As it turns out there’s an excellent job opportunity here for us atheists:
The visionaries will next be visited by psychiatrists, either atheists or Catholics, to certify their mental health and to verify whether they are suffering from conditions of a hysterical or hallucinatory character or from delusions of leadership.
The irony in the above statement is almost too much to take. But it gets even better:
The third step will be to investigate the person’s level of education and to determine if they have had access to material that could be used to falsely support their claims.
If the visionary is considered credible they will ultimately be questioned by one or more demonologists and exorcists to exclude the possibility that Satan is hiding behind the apparitions in order to deceive the faithful.
I smell the makings of an excellent reality TV show in this idea. A little work from the boys in Hollywood and the Vatican would have another source of revenue to pay off all those pedophile priest lawsuits! Good to see the Pope is tackling the really important problems facing the Catholic church!