Abstain from text (Good News Week 16/3/09: 3 1/2 Corners)

It’s small, hard, you can slide your hand along to make it bigger, and the Pope doesn’t want you touching it. That’s right – it’s a mobile phone.

Monsignor Benito Cocchi has called on the faithful to avoid modern modes of communication for Lent. Not telephones of course, God’s cool with any communication devices pre-1980.

Monsignor Cocchi has called for young people to give up text messaging, iPhones, Facebook and even computer games. Though apparently God’s cool with Pacman and Space Invaders.

An Italian bishop has called on Catholics to give up modern modes of communication for Lent. All status updates are only to be made by pigeon.

He’s also discouraging people from using telephones, writing letters, or using any form of word, gesture, or facial expression. God would want it that way. / God just hates communication.

God just hates communication. After all, he’s the dude who gave everyone different languages. / Anyone remember the Tower of Babel? / After all, he’s the guy who pulled that “Tower of Babel” caper.

It turns out that God just hates communication. Monks don’t take a vow of silence for nothing.

The bishop said it was important to detox from the virtual world and get back in touch with the reality of the giant beardy skyman.

The bishop said it was important to detox from the virtual world and get back in touch with reality – that our souls are part of an eternal battle between a goat-legged fallen angel who lives in a pit of fire underground, and a bearded galactic supergiant who is his own dead son. / who wants us to eat wafers and pretend we’re eating the flesh of his son.

All that communication can really undermine your faith; all those “points of view” and “information”.

It might start with mere communication, but soon you start receiving information, and before you know it you’ve got a dangerously realistic view of the world.

The bishop is discouraging people from texting on the Friday before Easter. Apparently it interferes with the Vatican’s mind-control device.

After all, the Virgin Mary didn’t have text. She’s a virgin.

After all, it does say in the bible “thou shalt refrain from texting, yea, from using ANY form of digital telecommunication devices, or apps thereof”. It’s just under the verse about laptops. / It’s just under the verse about not launching space shuttles on the Sabbath Day.

God’s fully supportive. He still prefers to communicate by stone tablet, burning bush or hail of frogs.

It’s a whole new form of ex-communication.

So unless you want to be excommunicated, ex the communication.

The youth have responded with a Frowny Face. / with a greater than, colon, close brackets. / with a colon capital P.

Of course, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. The bishop is now sending a text to all his young parishners, saying “U R goin str8 2 L. Frowny Face.”

But really, what is the Bible but a really long text message from God?

In fact, the main thing Christ was thinking while he was being nailed up to that cross was “I sure hope nobody’s sending any text messages.” / “Y’know, text messages suck.” / “I think I’ll ban texting.”

After all, Christ didn’t die for our SIMs. / But I thought Christ died for our SIMs?

God doesn’t hate text – he just insists that it be for procreation. / be between a husband and wife. / be within the confines of marriage.

But they’ve got it all wrong. If they want kids to stop texting, all the church needs to do is start saying how cool it is. / all the bishop needs to do is send them a text message.

If the bishop wants kids to stop using Facebook, why doesn’t he just send them a friend request?

They want to encourage young people to ditch the virtual world and get in touch with themselves. After all these years telling youth touching yourself is bad!

Looks like the Pope’s Youtube channel might go through a bit of a slump.

Monsignor Cocchi has called for Catholics to give up Facebook for lent. Though if you must use it, please add him as a friend, he’s feeling lonely.

Monsignor Cocchi says it’s important for young people to “detox from the virtual world”, and he’ll do so himself just as soon as he’s checked his account one more time, he’s just been tagged in a photo.

The church would like young people to get back in touch with themselves, rather than spending time communicating with “friends” and “family”.

After all, the true Catholic has only one friend, and he’s only contactable through Holybook.

Next year’s Shrove Tuesday is going to be replaced with Text Tuesday.

Catholics might find it hard to give up modern communication though. The web’s got all the best evangelists.

Monsignor Cocchi asked all Catholics to give up modern communication for lent, or at least until he gets around to updating his web site.

Strange – I have a friend I call “Monsignor Cocchi”. A short and hairy friend I play with every day.

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