By C. Michael Forsyth
VATICAN CITY — In yet another startling demonstration of his liberalism and compassion, Pope Francis has issued a moratorium on the destruction of vampires.
“It is our duty as Christians to be charitable toward these unfortunate individuals, following the example of our Lord,” the Pontiff said in an April 28 letter to cardinals responsible for the church’s search-and-destroy program.
The move represents a sharp U-turn for the Catholic Church, which has maintained a stern, take-no-prisoners approach to vampirism since the Middle Ages.
As recently as 1983, his more conservative predecessor John Paul II issued an edict ordering church officials to “destroy all vampires.” An elite taskforce of Vatican exorcists with specialized training carried out the missions, reportedly eliminating 109 blood-drinkers in the decades since then. The clandestine war on the undead has been a staple of fiction, most notably the 1998 John Carpenter movie Vampires.
“Medieval theologians reasoned that vampires are demons that reanimate human corpses,” explains Vatican-watcher Antonio DePlesio, an Italian journalist. “Since they lack souls and are pure evil, they must be destroyed. That is the view the holy mother church has taken ever since. Now Pope Francis is talking about taking a more nuanced approach.”
According to the new policy laid down in the Pope’s letter, a vampire is not to be harmed unless it can be shown he or she presents a direct threat to the community. They are to be treated with kindness and encouraged to surrender to the love of Jesus.
Since he was elected Pope in 2013, His Holiness has softened the Church’s stand on gays, spoken out against income inequality and warned about climate change, earning him praise from liberals in the United States. But some American preachers, especially evangelicals, have greeted the Pope’s new ceasefire order with skepticism.
“The Bible doesn’t mince words when it comes to the evil of vampirism,” declares the Reverend Coby Brokskin of Atlanta, one of the state’s best known vampire-hunters. “Genesis 9:3-4 clearly states, ‘You shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.’
“Allowing vampires to roam around free may feel good, but it goes against Scripture and also common sense. The Pope may be infallible 99% of the time, but even he gets it wrong once in a while.”
Copyright C. Michael Forsyth
If you found this story by fiction writer C. Michael Forsyth entertaining, you might enjoy his novels…
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