The world was stunned last week when God, creator of the universe and grand overseer of all that is, was, and ever shall be, announced a revision to the covenant he holds with mankind, which will prevent anyone from suing the church for sexual abuse suffered at the hands of priests.
Said God of the changes: "This is a serious problem. Every week -- practically without fail -- somebody sues the church because a priest has sexually molested someone, robbing their child of innocence and sentencing him or her to a life of crippling emotional problems. What this means for me is that every week I'm having to spend some of my very valuable time going into court, and I'm sick of it. So from now on, if a priest molests you or your child, you can't take us to court. You'll have to just deal with it yourself."
Criticism of the changes to God's Terms of Service were sharp and numerous. Many suggest that God has gone too far, simply because he can, and that his roughshod treatment of the species he claims to hold above all others is a terrible disgrace. Others have renewed calls for a viable alternative to God, insisting that if he had some real competition he wouldn't be so cavalier about mistreating all of creation. The Better Business Bureau is currently investigating the logistics of filing a complaint against the Supreme Being, but was unable to offer any specific information as of the time of this writing.
A group of 50,000 protestors gathered to march in front of God's majestic billion-acre mansion in the upscale Heavenly Acres housing development just outside Malibu yesterday, calling for the Almighty to rescind his sudden and unavoidable edicts. After turning each of the protestors into a pillar of salt and shattering each pillar with his celestial palm before snorting the man-salt with his enormous nostrils, God said: "I'm not saying I like the defiling of young boys and girls, that's not it at all. I just don't like having to spend all of my time in court. All those lawsuits are such a time-suck."
Responding to calls for God to stop priests from sexually abusing their congregation instead of trampling on the civil liberties of the entire planet, He just sighed loudly, rolled his eyes and said: "This is much easier for me."
Priesthoods the world over are applauding God's move, saying that this bold change will finally clear a path for the church past the broken spirits and bodies of the infants and youths whose lives they've ruined forever, allowing them to ignore the frivolous accusations and charges -- however true they may be -- and finally get back to doing God's Good Work. "It's really the only thing holding us back at this point," said Archbishop O'Malley of Boston.
Legal critics of God's unilateral revision of the conditions upon which humanity must interact with the Almighty point out that since there's no way to cancel the covenant on our end, it should be considered null and void. "A legal contract is one entered into willingly and freely by both parties; since God has simply decided to impose this document on us all with no prior consultation, through force of will and capricious use of his many deadly powers, we should be under no obligation to follow its dictates." said Judge Edna Habernathy, shortly before being struck dead by eighteen bolts of lightning.
While many would agree with the legal assessment, God does not.
"The people who say that my sweeping changes violate some legal or ethical standard are factually incorrect. It's that simple. You can cancel the covenant on your end: if you disagree with my solution of granting an irrevocable safe harbour for the actions of a corrupt priesthood in perpetuity rather than lifting a single heavenly finger to alleviate the torment of young children who did nothing whatsoever to deserve the pain they will experience until the day they die, you can 'opt out' of my covenant by telling me so the next time you pray to me. Once I receive your cancellation request, I shall cast you into a lake of fire to writhe in hellish torment for all time. This clearly satisfies legal and moral standards."
This marks the first major change to God's covenant with man since 2007, when He added a clause which prohibited athletes from claiming that He is on their side during a given game under penalty of crippling injury. An earlier change was made in 2004, when he instituted a penalty of herpes to anyone praying for a good parking space at the mall.