The Vatican is deeply concerned about the possibility of running out of ways to offend people, according to a statement issued by the Vatican's Public Non-relations office.
"So far," said Vatican spokesman Rev. Fred Bombardi, "we've re-alienated the jews, the sex abuse victims, and most recently, the gays." But that's not enough, says Bombardi. "We’re going for the whole world. We're doing our best to make almost everyone despise us so that we can feel more like Jesus must have felt at the end of his life.”
The concern has been deemed great enough to consider a call to the faithful for new offensive material. Each offensive idea submitted would earn the submitter 33 days off purgatory. Submissions chosen for actual use in speeches, homilies, or press releases will allow the winners to bypass purgatory altogether.
“This way, we are not selling indulgences, and at the same time we’ll save money on public relations and marketing,” says Bombardi.Selling indulgences came to a contentious end in the 16th century, omitting a reliable source of income for the church. In addition, church coffers have been somewhat depleted of late by the pesky lawsuits of deposed altar boys harboring various grudges.“We’re frequently approached by public relations experts trying to sell us their costly services,” explains a senior Vatican official, Cardinal Tacitus Burponi, “but they always want to make us look good. The silly gooses just don’t understand. We want to be persecuted. And we can achieve that on our own if we just keep doing what we’re doing.”
“Getting people to hate us has been a specialty of ours since we started this whole thing two thousand years ago,” agreed the Pope, who declined to provide his real name.
This would explain why, despite the blossoming of professional services such as imaging and branding, the Vatican appears to be afflicted with an astonishing case of acute hoof-in-mouth disease.
The Vatican may well be concerned about running out of ideas; meanwhile, back in reality, many of the faithful worry that there seems to be no end to them.