Last week, Pope Francis released a new encyclical entitled Politice Recte, with the goal of ushering the Church into a new era of political correctness. In his most dramatic change, Francis has banned the sexual modifier “virgin” when talking about Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ.*
“Referring to Mary as the ‘Virgin Mary’ implies that she is only valued for her sexual purity,” the Pope said Tuesday morning, in a press conference about the new encyclical. “Mary was so much more than that– she was a profoundly good, kind, and holy figure, qualities which in no way relate to her sexuality.”
Pope Francis then suggested that those present, which mainly included some press and handful of the Pope’s closest friends, form “like, a quick Third Vatican Council” to come up with better epithets for Mary.
“What about ‘Our Lady,’ as you’ve previously been known to refer to her?” asked a representative from CBS This Morning. Everyone nodded in agreement.
“See, but I fear that in some way implies ownership over Mary.” Pope Francis responded. “Though faithful, she was also a strong, independent woman. Maybe if we say, ‘Our Lady, Who Also Is Free To Do Her Own Thing, If That’s What She Wants?’” Pope Francis suggested.
“Ooh, then what about, ‘The Mother of God, Who Also Had A Beautiful Life and Career Outside of Motherhood?’” a reporter from the Buenos Aires Herald asked.
“Love it,” Pope Francis replied. “Keep ‘em coming.”
A cardinal present at the press conference asked, “What about we keep using ‘Immaculate Mary?’ She was immaculate, after all.”
But Pope Francis was quick to shut that one down. “I fear that might make women feel as though they must be perfect. We don’t want to pit women against each other, forcing them to compare themselves to one another,” the Pope responded. “Maybe we try to eliminate the superlatives.”
Everyone was silent for a moment, taking it all in.
“What about ‘Queen?’ You know, like she’s the female ruler over us, aside from God?” another Cardinal asked.
The Pope contemplated for a few seconds, but was clearly unsettled. “People might confuse that with Beyoncé, though. Maybe if we clarify by always saying, ‘Queen Bey’ and ‘Queen Mary’ or something. I don’t know…yes?” There was general agreement in the room.
After nearly seventy-five minutes of deliberation, the impromptu Third Vatican Council comprised the following list of epithets for Mary:
-The Mother of God, Who Also Had A Beautiful Life and Career Outside of Motherhood
-Holy Mary, Though Slipping Up Sometimes Won’t Make Her A Bad Person
-Our Lady, Who Also Is Free To Do Her Own Thing, If That’s What She Wants
-Queen Mary, Who Sometimes Needs A Day Off
-The Real Madonna
Pope Francis hopes that these changes will further his goals of creating a more inclusive church throughout his papacy.
*Disclaimer: This piece is satire and should be read as such.**
**But we should totally make this a thing.