The Vatican's product recall.

Dubious and far-fetched ideas.
July 11 2007 6:00 PM

The Vatican's Product Recall

Defects found in Protestant and Eastern Orthodox sects.

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ROME—Pope Benedict XVI restated Tuesday what he said were the " defects" of Christian faiths other than Roman Catholicism, prompting anger from Protestants who question the Vatican's respect for other beliefs.
Ian Fisher, New York Times, July 11, 2007

NEWS FROM THE HOLY SEE
Office of Information and Public Affairs
Vatican City, Rome

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Vatican Recall Hotline: (800) ASK-RATZ
July 10, 2007

VATICAN CITY—Pope Benedict XVI today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer products. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Products: African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.), Amish, Anabaptist, Anglican, Baptist, Calvinist, Christian Science, Congregationalist, Episcopalian, Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Huguenot, Jehovah's Witness, Lutheran, Mennonite, Methodist, Moravian, Mormon, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Puritan, Quaker, Seventh-Day Adventist, Shaker, and Zwinglian Christian sects (frequently labeled "Protestant").

Name of Products: Albanian Orthodox, Bulgarian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Czech Orthodox, Cypriot Orthodox, Estonian Orthodox, Finnish Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Latvian Orthodox, Macedonian Orthodox, Montenegrin Orthodox, Polish Orthodox, Romanian Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Serbian Orthodox, Slovak Orthodox, and Ukranian Orthodox sects (frequently labeled "Eastern" or "Oriental" Orthodox).

Manufacturer: The devil (listed on the New York Stock Exchange as "Angel of the Bottomless Pit," "Beelzebub," "Belial," "Dark Prince," "Evil One," "Fallen Angel," "Foul Fiend," "His Infernal Majesty," "Lucifer," "Mephistopheles," "Mr. Applegate," "Mr. Scratch," "Prince of Darkness," "Satan," and "Tempter").

Hazard: Can fail to achieve salvation on contact.

Incidents/Injuries: Widespread reports of salvific malfunction and consequent exclusion from the Kingdom of Heaven. Users complain of being rerouted to Purgatory and in a few instances to the Fiery Pit.

Cause: BecauseJesus Christ subsists only in the Catholic Church of Rome™, adherents to other faiths that self-advertise as Christian must rely on infrequent guest appearances. Although He is omnipresent, He can't be everywhere at once.

Sold at: A complete list of retail outlets has been unavailable to the Church for the past five centuries. We continue our efforts to compile one and will post it online when we can.

Manufactured in: Wittenberg, Germany; Istanbul, Turkey; Alexandria, Egypt; Boston, Mass.; Palmyra, New York.

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Remedy: Consumers shoulddesist adherence to the abovementioned sects, now proven unreliable, and transmit their souls to the Catholic Church of Rome™. United States residents may use this Catholic Church locator. For those who are already deceased, and therefore ineligible for salvation, the Church has commenced discussions about reopening Limbo, which the Vatican decommissioned in April.

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Timothy Noah is a former Slate staffer. His  book about income inequality is The Great Divergence.

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