Facebook has announced it is to spend $750bn (£620bn) acquiring the Catholic Church in a surprise move that will see the Papal office relocated to California.
The surprise deal, announced by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg last night, will see an instant transfer of power from the Vatican to Facebook’s Californian offices when the sale goes through later this month.
In a statement, Zuckerberg described the Catholic Church’s services as “excellent value” and said the Church’s 1.3 billion members made it a “logical partner for further growth”.
Zuckerberg said: “After our success with acquisitions such as WhatsApp and Instagram, we realised the key to further growth is to find and buy those services whose users display the lowest capacity for independent thought.”
“If they happen to have strong brand loyalty, all the better. The catholic church opens up huge opportunities for us.”
The move will see the Pope reporting directly to 38-year-old Zuckerberg, while Vatican City will be dismantled and recreated on the outskirts of San Francisco.
The merger will also see the introduction of an online confession service, in which Catholic Church members will be able to admit to their sins to an AI chatbot priest from the comfort of their own homes using virtual reality headsets.
Suggestions for penance will be provided by other users and then decided via an online voting forum, with an option to share your penance on Facebook.
The Pope said, “While it may come as a shock to many that the Catholic Church is still operating in many civilised western societies, we are pleased to align ourselves with Facebook and extend our influence through social media.”
“And if you ignore all the sodomy, San Francisco has many benefits over Rome,” he added.