February 8, 2021
Hello, this is the confidential Vatican Vaccine Hotline for Opus Dei members, I’m Bishop Capone. How can I help you?
Yes, this is XXXXXX. I want to verify that the Pope is advising his flock to take the COVID vaccine.
And the Pope is infallible, correct?
Well, yes. In this case, however, he is expressing his personal opinion.
But that opinion couldn’t contradict God’s wishes.
True. How can I help you, sir?
I plan to receive the vaccine. I know all vaccines carry a risk. Suppose, after I get the shot, I die? How should my family interpret my death?
That’s a complex matter.
I’m a devout family man. I would like my family to believe my death is part of God’s plan. They would take comfort from that. You see, if the Pope wants me to take the shot, and the Pope always speaks in accordance with God’s point of view, then my death would be a positive detail in God’s overall Design.
Yes, I see where you’re going with this. However—
I would be willing to make a sizeable donation to the Church.
Sir, you’re talking about an Indulgence. That practice has been outlawed for centuries. A person can’t buy his way into Heaven.
I’m talking about $150,000.
Excuse me, I misspoke. I meant $1,500,000.
Again, I mixed up the numbers. I meant ten million.
That’s very generous, sir.
Bishop Capone, I fully understand that money does not buy a man entry into Heaven. I would intend my gift merely as a sign of my loyalty to God’s Church. And to the Pope.
All I’m asking for is a promise that, if I die from the vaccine, the Pope will write a note to my family, assuring them that my death was part of God’s plan, and they should take comfort in that knowledge.
I will make an inquiry, sir. Of course, we’ll need a few details from you. Verification of your identity, recent bank statements, tax returns, that sort of thing.
No problem, Bishop. My secretary can forward all that information to you. While I have you on the line, I wanted to ask you about another matter.
What other matter?
I know the Church is major landholder. I assume you’re tracking property values across the planet. In this time of the lockdowns, those values are dropping precipitously. My companies are interested in purchasing what we call distressed assets. Especially, land. It would help us considerably if we had access to a comprehensive list of potential acquisitions. We would appreciate any assistance you could give us.
How much did you say you’re willing to donate to the Church?
We can arrange the gift in several ways. For example, suppose from your list of prime distressed assets, we purchase a hundred items. We lay out seven billion dollars in all. I would be prepared to donate 4.56 percent of that to the Church.
4.56 seems rather low. I’d be thinking more in the area of 12 percent.
I could go 6.2.
Eight. Anything more than eight would constitute an unconscionable burden. And for that eight, we would expect the Church to provide assistance. Recommendations to the sellers of distressed land to give us special consideration.
Let’s call it nine percent.
All right. Because it’s the Church, nine.
I’ll kick your proposal upstairs, sir. See how it flies. Meanwhile, I’m going to put you on hold and transfer this call to our Security and Banking Division. They’ll take your information and do a quick preliminary background check. By the way, our construction companies are operating at full strength. It’s possible we can negotiate a deal to build out structures on the properties you purchase.
Interesting. What sorts of structures?
We’re very much into warehouses these days. Storage and shipping areas for all sorts of products that can be ordered online. With the lockdowns, more and more people are buying what they need without having to venture outdoors.
I like it. I’m planning to take the vaccine next week.
Let me ask—are you in good health?
Excellent health. I run four miles every day. And I swim. I had a complete physical a couple of months ago. Passed with flying colors.
Glad to hear it. We would want our partners to remain strong. You might want to check out the official COVID death rates for healthy men in your age group. I have your Opus Dei file in front of me. You’re 46. The death rates are absurdly low. Miniscule.
Are you suggesting I should forget about taking the vaccine?
I’m not a doctor. But do you think God set up the world so that, one day, scientists would EXPERIMENTALLY inject a piece of RNA into eight billion people, on the hypothesis that this RNA would force cells of the body to manufacture a protein that RESEMBLED a protein from SARS-CoV-2…and then the immune system would swing into action and produce a response to THAT mimicking protein…thus preparing the body if and when SARS-CoV-2 actually came along? And the one person on the planet who was most passionate about this whole program was someone named Bill Gates? THIS was God’s Design from the Beginning?
I take your point, Bishop Capone. Thank you.
I word to the wise, pal. And now I’ll transfer your call.
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