VATICAN CITY. Continuing his efforts to welcome “lost sheep back to the fold,” Pope Francis I followed up yesterday’s historic outreach to remarried Catholics by urging onanists to return to the faith that once shunned them.
“Don’t touch my National Geographic!”
“To the many who have touched themselves inappropriately, the Church will now take a ‘hands off’ approach,” the Pontiff said in a papal bull entitled “Laudato masturbare,” or “In Praise of Self-Love.” “If we’re going to forgive some guy who dumped his wife for an au pair, I suppose we can’t turn away a mere monkey-spanker.”
“Onanist” is the technical scientific euphemism for a person whose love for him or herself crosses the boundary from an appropriate level of amour-propre into the forbidden realm of the physical. “This is an area of inquiry that is rife with euphemisms,” said Professor Norbert Weinman of the Lobaugh Institute for the Study of Auto-Eroticism. “My favorite is ‘choke the chicken’–it’s such a colorful term.”
“To the thousands who have come here to seek forgiveness–you’re all set!”
Self-abuse has historically been forbidden by the Roman Catholic Church as a mortal sin, but it will be down-graded to the level of “venial,” Latin for “not a big deal.” “Where before you burned in hell forever for just one Playmate of the Month,” said Father Ignatius O’Keefe of St. Columbkille’s parish in Brighton, Mass., “now you say three Hail Mary’s, an Act of Contrition and you’re good to go.”
Initial reaction of onanists to the Pope’s outreach were enthusiastic. “You don’t know how long I’ve waited for this day,” said Bob Pfeiffer, a former communicant at St. Columbkille’s who journeyed to Rome to express his gratitude. “Let me shake . . .” he began, before the Pope recoiled in apparent horror.
“Please,” the Vicar of Christ on Earth said with barely-concealed disgust. “No touch-a the hand.”