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"Progressive" Pope Francis Admits He is an Atheist
By Chrissy Benson
17 July 2016
Pope Francis has assured Catholics that having an imaginary God friend will more than fill any perceived spiritual gap.
ROME - Pope Francis, lauded by some and criticized by others for daring to broach such traditionally papally-undiscussed subjects as climate change, income inequality, and homosexuality, has breached what many Catholics consider the final taboo by admitting to being an atheist.
Pope Francis's earth- (and, some say, heaven-)shattering acknowledgment that God, in the traditional sense, almost certainly does not exist, came last week during a meeting of Rome's diocese in Saint John Lateran basilica in Rome.
"The science is clear," said Pope Francis. "It is only conservative right-wing Americans who have shied away from this unavoidable, if unpleasant, reality."
Catholics and non-Catholic Christians everywhere are still reeling from the Pope's God-defying announcement.
Fox News reporter Adam Shaw, did not mince words. "Enough is enough, Pope Francis should resign," avowed Shaw.
"His fumbles on contraception and his recent statement that Donald Trump is not a Christian were bad enough," said Shaw. "This, however, represents a new low. In fact, I suspect that this blasphemy will be taking Pope Francis all the way down to, well, you-know-where."
Pope Francis, however, has assured want-to-believers that they are not without a place to turn for spiritual sustenance. Specifically, he urged every practicing Catholic to cultivate a relationship with an "imaginary God friend," which, he emphasized, will serve virtually the same purpose of what they had previously thought of as a "real" God.
The Pope reiterated that despite the revolutionary nature of his atheistic message, on a practical, day-to-day level, not much really needs to change for Catholics.
"Catholics can talk to and even pray to their imaginary God friend. For me, creating a personal imaginary friend, whom I call God, has been a great source of comfort," Pope Francis revealed on more personal level. "In fact, my imaginary God friend is just as effective, perhaps even more so, than the 'God' I used to believe was real. It's very common for children to have imaginary friends. Now adult Catholics can have them as well."
While the effect that the Pope's statement will have on the unity and vibrancy of the Catholic Church remains to be seen, religious leaders of other faiths expressed delight at the Pope's atheistic message, anticipating a likely boon to their own religions.
"This is terrific for us," said Rabbi Joseph Burman of Jewish Voice for Peace. "The Catholic Church was always one-upping the Jewish faith by offering people God plus Jesus. But now we have something they don't: a real God. People can't but respond to that. I think we'll get a lot of new recruits."
Chrissy Benson is a lawyer and writer living in New York City. Chrissy is a regular freelance legal writer for The Maryland Daily Record, and her short stories and articles have been published in Romantic Shorts, AltVariety, The Binnacle, and Audio Arcadia. She is currently finishing up her first novel, which she aims to release….soon! A two-time marathon runner, Chrissy starts her days by the East River, where she runs every morning. She lives in Manhattan's East Village with her vegan cat, Sammy.