After Italian Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini described the Catholic Church as being ’200 years behind’ the times, Vatican officials insisted he was about 50 years out.
The 85 year-old Cardinal wrote the letter on his deathbed, hoping it would spur the church into adopting a more modern outlook on the world.
However, the initial reaction has been to reject the assertion and to point out that the Roman Catholic church is actually no more than 150 years behind the times.
A Vatican spokesperson explained, “Cardinal Martini was losing his mind, clearly.”
“If you look at the way we treat women and the abuse of children, we have far more in common with an organisation based in the 1860s, than the 1810s.”
“150 years is a reasonable statement, and it means that by 2060 we’ll be on the verge of granting rights to women, and the gays can expect equal treatment some time in 2162.”
Church 200 years behind
Supporters of the church have said the criticism is unfair, when placed in its proper context.
Catholic Sheila Williams told us, “You have to give us some credit, our very existence is based around a two-thousand year old book, so being just a few generations behind modern society should be cause for celebration.”
“I mean, we no longer burn people we think are witches, and I don’t believe we’ve killed anyone for wearing garments of mixed fabric in at least a few hundred years.”
“In the world of religion we’re positively progressive.”