By: Bill The Butcher
The Pope was dead. The Vatican had declared it, and consigned him to eternity with the usual ceremonies, and buried him with the usual rites.
The Pope was dead. So they had to select a new successor to the Throne of Peter, to serve as God’s Vicar on Earth, and to oversee the rule of the Lord upon Earth.
And so the Cardinals came to the Vatican, and they cast their votes, which were burned with wet straw, and the waiting multitudes saw the black smoke rise, and knew the selection of a new Pontiff was not yet.
And the Cardinals debated among themselves, and prayed, and held more rounds of voting, and the black smoke rose from the chimney, and the multitudes of the faithful waited.
And then, lo and behold, arose from among them a Candidate: a Man not too young, nor yet too old, a Man old in wisdom beyond his years, stern of mien and with a faith that, it seemed, was built on the Rock of the Ages. And so this was the Candidate of the World, and so heralded by the Cardinals there assembled, and the votes were burned without straw, so white smoke rose from the chimney, to signal to the world that the Seat of Peter was vacant no longer.
And the new Pontiff assumed his Office, and in so doing, caused the first ripple of many: for he chose to be called Lucifer, being the First of that Name.
And the Pontiff Lucifer I issued a Bull, that spread evil and calumny through the Land.
For the Pope Lucifer said, that it did not matter that God really exist, for the Teachings of the Bible to be followed, for a better World; and so was revealed as an Atheist.
And, also, the Pontiff Lucifer said, it was not possible that a Man had been Born of a Virgin; for such a Human would be haploid, having only the Mother’s set of Chromosomes, and so would be Female.
And, furthermore, said the Pope, it mattered not whether Jesus really had existed, or in fact did Rise from the Dead, for His teachings to be followed; and, as a Corollary, it matter not that there be an Afterlife, for one to be bound by rules of common Decency towards all Men – yes, and Women, and non-human Animals, too, in this Life. And, said the Pope, if the only Reason for following the Teachings of God is the hope of Divine reward in the Afterlife, such a Reason is pure Selfishness, and no valid Reason at all; it is, said he, a Mortal Sin. Even though there be no Hell, it is still a Mortal Sin.
Still more, said the Pope, it was Incorrect of Popes past to claim Infallibility; for only God could claim to be Infallible, and that would be true if God was, and perhaps God was not.
And – said the Pope – if Celibacy was meant as a Requirement for Divine Office, then God, assuming such a Being existed, would not have issued Men and Women with genitals, for such Humans would be by definition unfit for Divine Grace, having in them the potential for Carnal Sin;
Which, logically extended, means, said the Pope, that Celibacy is an Abnormal condition, and that Henceforth it be no longer a Requirement for Priesthood; no, furthermore, that Celibacy is an Offence against Nature and the Lord, assuming such a being ever existed.
And, said the Pope, there being no difference in ability or intelligence between the Male and Female genders, it be immediately possible for Women to take the Cloth, and in future to be Archbishops and Cardinals, and Popes, too, in the days to come.
And all these Pronouncements of the Pontiff Lucifer, First of the Name, threw the Faithful into dire confusion, and caused rumblings in the Holy Mother Church.
But still Worse was to come; for the Pope so declared, that, there being no certainty of the existence of an Afterlife or a Divine Being, all Religions were Equal; and there was no Sin in being a Hindu or a Muslim or a Jew or a Protestant, any more than there was Merit in being a Catholic baptised and catechised.
And, horror of horrors, the Pontiff declared that Homosexuality was not unnatural; that it was as true and natural as heterosexual love, and that if one condemned the one, one could not but condemn the other; for both sprung from the same Source.
And the Cardinals and the Archbishops and sundry Priests of the Church grew vexed indeed, and hoped that there was nothing more the Pontiff had to say.
But no, the Pontiff then said that the Evil on Earth was real, and sprang not from the Devil, but from our own Midst; and there it had to be countered and fought, not through Prayer or Divine Intercession, but by tracking down the Source of that Evil in Ourselves.
And, said the Pope, the Church had grown bloated, effete, and corrupt; she needed Rebirth, and Reformation, to shed the shallow dross of pomp and Ritual, and assume the Role she had been intended, to cater to the Longings of the Poor in Spirit. And this pronouncement threw the Church into the greatest Turmoil of All.
And the Prelates gathered, and from themselves chose an Inquisition, and the Inquisition took the Pontiff Lucifer and burned him at the Stake in St Peter’s Square.
And then the Throne of Peter was vacant, and needed to be filled, and from over the world the Cardinals came, to elect the new Vicar of God on Earth.
The faithful are still waiting.