ScrappleFace: Vatican Spins Off U.S. Catholic Church: “(2004-04-20) — In one of his first official moves, Pope Benedict XVI today announced that the Vatican would ‘spin off’ the U.S. division of the Roman Catholic church, but retain a 49-percent stake in the new entity, called R.C. Lite.

The partial divestiture of its holy-owned subsidiary comes as a new CNN poll reveals that 74 percent of U.S. Catholics say they’re more likely to follow their own conscience than the teachings of the church.

R.C. Lite will elect its own leader to the largely ceremonial post of New-World Pope. Thorny moral questions in the new religious sect will be decided by Internet polling, the results of which will provide non-binding guidance to church members.

To counter Pope Benedict’s dogmatic conservatism, several church sources said America’s leading Roman Catholic politician, Sen. John F. Kerry, D-MA, is considered a shoo-in for the New-World Papacy.

‘We need a pope with nuanced ideas,’ said one unnamed U.S. Bishop. ‘He needs to be a uniter, not a divider. He can’t be afraid to change his deeply-held convictions in light of shifting public opinion. He must be courageous enough to keep his beliefs separate from his behavior and decision making.’

If Mr. Kerry accepts the R.C. Lite leadership post, insiders say he will assume the name Benadryl XIII.” — Scott Ott