The move, which drove old school Catholics to their rosaries to prayer for the Pope’s soul, was a big hit with casual Catholics, young atheists, and chocolate addicts.
#HolyChocolate was trending on Twitter minutes after the Holy Father’s announcement, and a Facebook page called Pope Francis’ Chocolate Factory sprang up almost miraculously and now has nearly one million likes.
The Pope made the announcement before a throng of adoring followers this afternoon in St. Peter’s Square.
“I want Easter to be the holiday that brings everyone back to Church,” he excitedly told the sea of people who hung on his every word. “Right now, more people associate Easter with the Easter Bunny and baskets full of chocolate, than they do with the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
“That is why I decided I would bring both versions of Easter together. If people want chocolate, they can go to any Church on Easter Sunday and receive the most holy of all chocolates. And maybe rediscover their faith as well!”
While more traditional Catholics have spoken out against the move, saying that the head of the Catholic Church is pandering to the lost sheep of the flock just to try to get a little attention on a day when all the attention should already be on the Catholic Church, the Holy Father didn’t agree.
“Jesus never said that the Church was only there for those who worshiped faithfully every Sunday,” Pope Francis reminded his detractors. “Jesus gave His life to save us all, even the ones who only pray when they desperately need something, or only go to Church on Christmas, or who have completely lost their way.”
“If chocolate gets them to return to Mass on Easter Sunday, they can have all candy they want because their souls need saving, too.”
When asked for a comment, the Easter Bunny assured this Modern Philosopher that he was totally on board with the Pope’s plan.
“Pope Francis invited me to the Vatican to talk it out,” Peter Cottontail assured me. “I feel horrible that I’ve taken a lot of the spotlight away from Jesus’ big day. That was never my intention. I was hired centuries ago by the Catholic Church to help make Easter more festive. It wasn’t supposed to be a regular gig, but something clicked, everyone loves candy, and the next thing you know, I’ve got songs and holiday specials written about me.”
The Pope made it clear that his Easter present would not have been possible without the Easter Bunny’s help.
“There was no way we could get our hands on enough chocolate Eucharists in time for Easter Sunday,” the Pontiff explained. “Thankfully, the Easter Bunny promised to use a little Easter Magic to make sure every Church in the world will have more than enough hosts to offer to worshipers this weekend. I, of course, have total faith in him.”
When I asked Pope Francis if he would consider other food themed offerings to pack Churches on future holiday weekends, he smiled and told me, “The Lord works in mysterious ways, but not all of them are food related.”
Easter is this Sunday. Check your local listings for an Easter Mass near you!
If you follow me on my blog and on Pinterest, I promise to put in a good word for you with the Easter Bunny!