A kind-of follow-up to an earlier story I wrote for Weekly World News, “Praise the Lord, Get Valuable Points” in July 2005. I’m not sure of the exact date, but I believe it was sometime in early 2007:

© Weekly World News

VATICAN CITY – In recent years, the Vatican has turned to novel marketing approaches to help boost church attendance, including issuing the ‘Indulgence Card,’ which, when swiped on collection plate readers, earns worshippers valuable points towards getting into heaven (“Praise the Lord, Get Valuable Points,” Weekly World News, September 5, 2005).

“We felt that was all well and good for those of our parishioners who still inhabited this mortal sphere,” said Bishop Doyle Dane. “But we wondered: what could the church offer those who have left us, to help ease their journey into the next world?”

The answer is the RestEZ-Pass, which is being field-tested in Chicago.

“We simply clip it to the clothing of the dearly departed,” said local funeral director Cal Dukesbury. “When it’s time to go in whichever direction the Almighty has determined for you, the RestE-Z Pass is activated.

“The deceased is whisked straight to his or her destiny on an express lane, bypassing limbo, purgatory, and long check-in lines at the Pearly Gates and Hell.”

Father Joseph Mario Spumdilini, pastor of the Windy City’s Our Lady of Perpetual Rationality, is hoping the test is a success.

“It’s a comfort to know that when you pass on you can do so with a pass on,” he said.

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