VATICAN CITY— Just days after condemning the legalization of recreational drugs as a “flawed and failed experiment,” Pope Francis did an abrupt about-face, endorsing any natural or artificial recreational substances that specifically “enhance the religious and spiritual experience.”
“My chief cleric brought me some revealing research,” the pontiff stated sheepishly. “It included a succinct history of substances that have been shown to induce religious ecstasy and help produce spiritual visions.
“Turns out drugs are part of God’s bounty, too,” he concluded.
The research was said to cover a wide range of historical examples, from Hindu sadhus who smoked a combination of pot and jimson weed to Mormon leader Joseph Smith’s alleged use of hallucinogens to induce religious visions, as well as early Christian and Jewish sacramental rituals in which cannabis was used.
While acknowledging that much of the research “skirts the boundaries” of conventional Catholicism, Pope Francis insisted that it was important to maintain an open, expanded mind.
“We must open our hearts and our spirits to any actions and experiences that bring us closer to God,” he explained, referencing Psalm 104:14-15, which suggests that “wine gladdens the heart of man.”
“Perhaps this will open similar doors for us,” said Francis.
“From what I have read and been told,” the pope added, “in some instances there is no God without drugs.”