Reverend Croggley Steinfast had done a grand job of ignoring the Pope. He had received fifteen letters from the Pope since the end of last week, all of them unopened and crumpled into a large ball Croggley enjoyed kicking around the empty church.
He had been mulling over the possibility of taking his church private, breaking off from the Vatican and going independent. He suspected the Pope knew, hence all the letters, but he didn’t care. By the time Pope Schneider had organised an inquisition to come and “persuade” Croggley to stand down it would be too late, he’d have his new religion all set up. He’d already had the signs made.
Croggley wasn’t planning on making another normal religion, they were too difficult to maintain. Persuading people to follow a new religion was just too much to hassle. Instead Croggley had decided to start up an insurance business, Sin Insurance. Pay a tithe to Croggley, have your sins automatically forgiven as they occur. No more confessions, no more Hail Mary’s or acts of contrition. A nice flat fee giving you peace of mind when it comes to your reputation with The Man Upstairs. This could make him a fortune.
That wasn’t all though. If the plan proved successful he even had plans to move into conversion insurance. Save your soul in case you are converted into the religion that God doesn’t subscribe to. People are stupid, they’d pay through the nose for that.
The only problem Croggley faced was getting himself set up before the inquisition arrived. He thought he could do it, the inquisition being notorious for their bureaucracy this time of year, but he had to be sure. The doors opened as soon as the signs were up, that’s how he wanted it. Enough clients would keep the inquisition away. Inquisitors have a good nose for faith, even the misguided variety, and they have an unpleasant reaction to it. Burns and boils, mostly. Strange breed, inquisitors.
Getting enough faith to do deter an inquisition would take time, however, especially without some tasteful neon signs advertising the business. If those builders didn’t arrive soon they would certainly not be getting any complimentary policies…