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Pope Promotes Punctured Prophylactics
Pope-approved rubbers help sinners prevent disease and delay their journey to eternal damnation
The Vatican is about to launch its own range of condoms - with the blessing of the Pope. But the aim is to prevent disease, not babies, said a spokesman for the Holy See.
Every condom will come complete with a hole in the tip so that the faithful can protect themselves against infection while obeying the church's ruling on contraception. It's believed that the Pope is hoping to change the Roman Catholic church's image when it comes to AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
"We still say that AIDS is divine retribution for those who have been led astray by the devil," said one Cardinal who requested to remain anonymous. "But our previous strategy of spreading lies about condoms has backfired. People are dying and it makes it look as though we're killing them. Which we sort of are."
There will be two products in the new range - the extra-sensitive Rapture and the heavy duty Holy Shroud.
The move is a sign that the church is trying to repair its reputation and show that it still has relevance, claimed the Cardinal.
"We can't stop people having sex," he said. "Hell, we can't even stop our own priests doing it. But we want them to be safe, even if they are going to go to hell eventually."
He refused to comment on criticisms that the hole will mean that the condoms remain relatively useless in the fight against AIDS and other diseases.
The condoms will be available only in selected churches and the first batches will be distributed directly to priests for their own use. When production ramps up, they will be made available to the public, accompanied by a marketing campaign with the slogan:
"They're holy because they're hole-y"
Early prototypes had holes created by nuns who were blindfolded to protect their virtue, the Cardinal explained. "But we just had too many accidents," he added. "And some of the condoms were slipping through unpunctured. So the holes are now made by a carefully selected group of priests who, for one reason or another, can't return to their parishes for the time being."
One Vatican-watching pundit, William H Carpenter of the Carpenter Ecumenical Foundation, says this puts a new light on the recent spat between the Vatican and the British Government over a leaked memo. The UK Foreign Office email made a number of suggestions for the Pope's planned visit to Britain, including some ideas that senior Roman Catholics apparently found insulting and disrespectful. The Vatican expressed displeasure at the idea that the Pope might open an abortion clinic or launch a new range of condoms.
"It now seems that the anger over the condom idea expressed in the memo had nothing to do with theology or ethics," says Carpenter. "According to my sources, the Vatican was more worried about protecting its brand and the possibility that marketing plans had been leaked."
Messiah Mashed by Monster
Jesus wasn't nailed to a cross, he was savaged by a T. Rex according to new evidence from the Holy Land
Jesus did not die on the cross - he was killed when his pet dinosaur turned on him, according to new evidence coming from the scientists working in the Holy Land.
Dr Seth Croyant, Chief Scientist with the Biblical Fact Foundation, is leading a team of evangelical archeologists based in Tel Aviv. According to Croyant, the team has uncovered several rock strata not dissimilar to those in other countries in which dinosaur remains have been found.
"And yet," he says, "these are the exact same rocks in which we find ancient tombs not unlike the one in which Christ was buried and from which he arose."
This led Croyant to re-read sections of the Gospels that deal with Christ's death. "Most of them are actually a bit skimpy on details when it comes to the whole crucifixion thing," he says. "And they're inconsistent. It looks to me like there's been some rewriting, perhaps to cover up an embarrassing truth."
Croyant says he will reveal the full details of what's he's discovered in a press conference in July, which is when he will also launch the book, DVD, iPhone app and range of apparel based on his findings. In the meantime, though, he's keen to head off criticism of his new interpretation of biblical history.
"Some other so-called scientists would have you believe that dinosaurs became extinct millions of years before God created humans," he says. "But as the Earth is only 6,000 years old, that means there was no planet for the dinosaurs to roam on, which proves the scientists are wrong. It's simple, really."
The Bible makes frequent references to dinosaurs - or 'behemoths' and 'leviathans' as it prefers to call them. There's evidence that some demons may also have been carnivorous dinosaurs, says Croyant. And some scholars have claimed that early editions of Paul's Epistles contained references to a 'Jesus Horse' which many scholars took to be a T. Rex.
"We now know this to be an Abelisaurus, or 'Abel's Lizard'," says Croyant. "That's a two-ton, 30-foot carnivore easily capable of killing a man. Maybe that's what killed Jesus, though it could still have been a T. Rex. I definitely think the Jesus Horse is what Christ rode into Jerusalem, and it got changed in the Gospels to a donkey so that it would fit Old Testament prophesies. But then, we all know how unreliable the Old Testament can be."
Not all scientists agree, however, and the new findings have prompted a furious debate about Christ's relationship with dinosaurs.
"Jesus spread a message of love," says Rodriguez Ignare of the Texas Organization for Scientific Harmony in Houston, "and there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that he had any kind of relationship with anything but vegetarian dinosaurs.
"I think this new evidence has been misinterpreted," he adds, "and that Christ's death was nothing but an unfortunate accident. He was probably crushed when his tame Brontosaurus was just loved him too much."
However, both Croyant and Ignare agree on one issue
"He died for all our sins," says Croyant, "including the sins of dinosaurs."
The Real Face of Jesus
Italian scientists have proven the Turin Shroud is the real face of Christ - and atheists paid them to do it!
An Italian scientist has proven that the Turin Shroud - a sheet that bears the miraculous image of the crucified Christ - is genuine and shows the real face of Jesus. And the research was paid for by a bunch of non-believers!
Luigi Garlaschelli, a professor of organic chemistry at the University of Pavia, exactly reproduced the shroud using materials he says were easily available in medieval times.
Prof Garlaschelli laid a linen sheet over an assistant, rubbed it with an acid-soaked pigment and baked the sheet in an oven for that authentic 'biblical' look.
"The result is spooky," said businessman Jack Betise, an acknowledged expert in religion, the occult and the paranormal. "It's an exact replica of the Holy Shroud."
The Italian prof's research was funded by a group of atheists and agnostics, trying to prove that the real Turin Shroud could have been manufactured by con artists in the Middle Ages.
Two decades ago, carbon dating of the original Shroud dated it to between 1260 and 1390, but many Christians have maintained that it is the real thing - the burial cloth laid over Jesus after he was taken down from the cross.
"Professor Garlaschelli has shown, beyond reasonable doubt, that the image on the Turin Shroud was formed by direct contact with a real body," said Betise. "This completely blows out of the water any theories about it being a 'painting' or some other kind of fake. There has to have been a body. And, obviously, that body must have been our Lord Jesus Christ. Just look at the face. Who else could it have been?"
The image produced by Prof Garlaschelli was made even more realistic with the addition of blood stains, burn holes, scorches and water stains. He claims that this shows the real Turin Shroud could have been created at any time by anyone. But this is unlikely to worry the faithful, says Betise.
"That's just the usual scientism we've come to expect from these sorts of people," he said. "You know, scientists. As Homer Simpson said, you can prove anything with facts.
"In fact, this shows the strength of faith," added Betise. "Now we know the Shroud was formed by contact with the real Jesus, we can go back to dismissing mere evidence and once again glory in our beliefs."
Burglars in English crime town rob church of saint's bones
Robbers in the English city of Liverpool have stolen the bones of a saint. But they may have got away with less than they thought.
The bones of St Therese of Lisieux are on tour in the UK. They arrived in Liverpool two days ago following sell-out appearances in Bristol, Walsingham, Tottenham and Little Snoring. The Catholic faithful have flocked to see and pray to the relics. In Liverpool, lines began forming nearly half-an-hour before the doors opened, with possibly dozens of worshippers - mostly the old and infirm - waiting patiently for a miracle.
Now they are going to be disappointed.
"It's the worst moment of my life," said Mrs Edna O'Savage, who was hoping the saint's remains might cure her of some particularly difficult piles. "I'd hoped this would be an end to my suffering. Now it's back to the rubber ring. I hope they catch the bastards who did this and string them up."
Angry pilgrims have criticized security arrangements at the church.
"When the bones were displayed at Liverpool Cathedral, they were in a locked ossuary inside a clear case made of bullet-proof Perspex," explained freelance sexton Albert Unctuous. "I'm not sure why they thought anyone would shoot her, though. I mean, she's dead, isn't she?"
Then the relics were moved for a brief appearance at the Blessed Church of the Repentent Scouser in Toxteth, a notoriously crime-ridden area of the city.
"This place is full of scallies," said Unctuous. ['Scally' or 'scallywag' are believed to be local terms relating to people with criminal tendencies — ed]. "Those arseholes [assholes] will nick [steal] anything."
The bones were removed from the ossuary and placed on a bed of specially blessed shell suits. An hour later, they were gone.
But the loss may not be as great as it seems.
According to US-based conspiracy theorist and militia leader, William H Carpenter, they might not have been the saint's bones at all.
"I saw the bones years ago, before they became popular," said Carpenter, who was visiting Liverpool to research recent UFO sightings in the city. "And I saw them again in the Cathedral here. They weren't the same bones."
The relics on tour in the UK are too small and too fresh, he said. "St Therese died in the 19th century," said Carpenter. "Those bones looked like they were scraped clean last week. If you ask me, they belong to a puppy."
So where are the real bones?
"These religious relics have power," said Carpenter. "Remember that scene from 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'? My sources - who I obviously can't name - tell me the real bones of St Therese are in the hands of a government. I can't say which one and what they're using them for. But trust me, no good will come of this."
Good Book in Space
Phoenix spots King James Version in Martian soil
The first images beamed back by NASA's Phoenix probe revealed more than the scientists were expecting. Analysis of the first images show a Holy Bible buried in the Martian surface!
"It came as a real shock," said Buck Uranus, the Inquisitor's space correspondent who was at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory when the images came in.
"Normally, when a spacecraft lands, the team call other scientists to invite them to join in the celebrations," he added. "This time, they were calling for a priest."
Evangelical preacher Pastor Joshua LaVista, whose religious community is based close to NASA's headquarters in Houston, Texas, made a special TV broadcast just moments after the revelations were made public. "I have always said that NASA's true mission was to reveal the glory of God," he said. "It's time we replaced atheist heathens in science labs with those who are faithful to the hidden truths. This is a sign that wherever we go, whatever we seek, we will always find God."
The presence of the Holy Book was noticed only after the images were treated to special digital enhancement.
It was Pastor LaVista's own imaging specialists, on secondment to NASA, who first realised what Phoenix had found. They used special image enhancement tools to repeatedly improve the image until they were satisified that - in the words of one evangelical technician - it, "showed what it should show".
Loser in presidential race sets extremist agenda for next attempt
Vatican is to honor Adolf's public piety, says mysterious cardinal
Researchers discover gene that makes us love and fear a higher authority
Jesus appears to woman "while in the neighborhood". Says he'll try to stay longer next time
Divine blogger "needs all the friends he can get," claims leading atheist
Ancient relic still shows traces of saviour's sandwiches, claim scientists
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, says veiled president
Evil averted on '666 day' by pious pastor and his pals