In a surprise move earlier today, the Pope announced that the Catholic Church, in an effort to keep up with the times, now intended to wholly embrace the internet as its natural home and would, therefore, be setting up a Vatican homepage in the immediate future.
Speaking to this journalist on a balcony late this morning, the ineffable one said, ‘It seems like a natural and logical step: the web is an ethereal being without form into which people scream their pleas and opinions while nobody is listening. This is exactly like God. Worshippers will sit silently for hours, pouring their heart and soul into blank, unread pages whilst dropping connection fees into their ISP’s collection plates (and we’ve got shares in those, don’t you worry about that!) and they can donate at the click of a button – not for nothing am I called his PayPal holiness. Often folk will feel the call to prayer at set times during the day, when they will sit or kneel before the altar which is their PC and give up hours of their lives, basking in the big blue light for something which is, essentially, utterly meaningless. Are you seeing the similarities here?’
He paused to take a sip of communion wine and nibble on a wafer-like disk before continuing, ‘The simple fact is that a great many people are already prepared to actually be superstitious about the internet: forwarding emails which purport to bring good luck and so forth. People also have blind faith in the net, even when it is full of spurious data (Wikipedia springs to mind as an obvious example). This is exactly the kind of unquestioning belief that we’ve been nurturing and cultivating since we published The Bible.’
Waving his hand absent-mindedly to the masses sitting on his lawn, he continued, ‘Then there’s the whole omniscience and omnipresence angle of God that we’ve been banging on about all these years. Well, thanks to webcams and “digital assistants”, it’s quite possible that we actually will be watching and listening to you at all times. God knows, there are a lot of hours to kill in the priesthood.’
He got a faraway look in his eyes for a moment and then concluded, ‘Oh yes, and, of course, one last similarity between the web and the church is that paedophiles have been very successfully using the web to groom and stalk their victims for years – exactly like the priesthood.’