The much anticipated result of theology’s hottest competition was announced today to a waiting audience of world religious leaders.
Papal spokesman Monsignor Francisco Pompino, read from a prepared statement:
“The argument provided by Blaise Pascal has weathered over three centuries of theological debate. It has been one of the strongest intellectual weapons in the church’s armory for over three hundred years, convincing countless individuals that the interests of their immortal soul lies not with abandoning belief but with accepting His existence. As Pascal wrote, treating the belief in God as if a wager, belief is the more logically beneficial option, for “if you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation that He is.”
In accordance with this wager, our Most Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI has today conveyed to the assembly of cardinals a personal revelation he received directly from the Lord God Himself. God, who apparently speaks with a Welsh accent and a slight lisp, revealed that Pascal was indeed correct. Not only this but Pascal, in writing the famous wager, was merely relaying “a bloody great hint” direct from above.
As such, those who accepted the God of Pascal would be granted eternal paradise and those who rejected the Holy Churches teachings would indeed “burn in hellish agony for all eternity”.
Monsignors Pompino’s announcement was marked by a mix of wild applause from the gathered Roman Catholic clerics but shocked silence from the leaders of the other major religions. Speaking in hushed tones Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Wudja-Ah, leader of the Islamic Shiah muslim population, explained, “but it cannot be. Our heaven is so much better than the Catholic heaven, and our hell? Their hell has burning but do they stop to give new skin every now and then? No! Ours does and yet they win? Can we ask for a recount?”
Protests also erupted amongst the gathered Mormon, Sikh, Jewish and Hindu leaders, furious that their choice had been overlooked. Secular figures also expressed some surprise: Richard Dawkins, author of ‘The God Delusion’ when asked for a comment could only muster “oh bugger”.
While some commenters voiced suspicions that Gods revelation seemed to favor followers of the Pope’s own church over all others, their objections were silenced when Monsignor Pompino revealed that God pointed out an important section in the fine print.
“In order to collect on the wager, the participant must have accepted, as Lord, Pascal’s God and followed all his rules”
“Unfortunately”, explained Monsignor Pompino, “this meant the winners are confined to those who believe in strict 17th century Catholicism.” “But we thought we were doing the right thing moving on from there - Vatican II and all that” stated the clearly emotional spokesman. “I mean, who actually believes all that medieval stuff any more, really.”
Despite this unexpected development at least two individuals have reached the Vatican claiming victory, namely the actor and director Mel Gibson and his father Hutton.“No comment” said the elder Gibson as he passed the waiting reporters, while his son was equally reticent, only pausing to state a cryptic “lets see that traffic cops face now!”.