Overturning 2,000 years of religious doctrine, an out-of-breath and visibly flustered Pope Benedict XVI announced Sunday that the termination of unwanted pregnancies was now "completely and perfectly acceptable in the eyes of God." * * *This is why they always pick old guys to be popes.
"My friends in Christ, brothers and sisters of the cloth, having an abortion is ... err ... not that big a deal," announced the anxious pontiff while reading from a series of hastily scrawled edicts. "In fact, it is written, uh, somewhere, that the taking of an innocent life might even be something of a blessing in some cases."
"For example, when a mother's life is at risk," continued Benedict, wiping several beads of sweat from his forehead. "Or, say, when someone is just way too old to become a father at this point."
Shocking a crowd of thousands that had gathered in St. Peter's Square, the infallible religious leader declared Sunday that the killing of an unborn child is "not really a mortal sin," especially if everyone involved pretty much wished the whole thing had never happened.
"The Lord hath come unto me when I could not sleep and He hath said, 'This is totally an option now,'" proclaimed Benedict, taking off his miter to fan himself. "Also, He hath said that some people should probably go out and get this done, like, today, and that they shouldn't tell anyone else about it. Umm...Amen."
The pope, who on many occasions prior had called abortion a "crime against society," admitted Sunday that, on second thought, "some things are not actually that straightforward."
Pausing momentarily to take a drink of water, Benedict went on to stress that certain religious doctrines no longer apply in today's world, and that, perhaps, they ought to be weighed against more modern considerations, such as making a problem go away.
Other important factors outlined by Benedict included length of pregnancy, the possibility of health complications, and whether or not two people just met one crazy night, got a little carried away, and made the biggest mistake of both their lives.
But wait, there's more:
Though he spent most of his papal address on the issue of abortion, Benedict also delivered a number of lesser decrees. Stunning all in attendance, the head of the Catholic Church announced that contraceptives were, in fact, not a grave evil, and recommended that birth control be used by everyone, even those who claim they are already on it, but as it turns out, are really not.Which false claim, btw, is *definitely* a mortal sin.