Vatican City - An official statement from the Vatican was released on Tuesday announcing the Holy See's preliminary plans to hold a third Vatican council in the year 2962. Due to take place exactly 1000 years after the second Vatican council in 1962, early plans for Vatican III foresee possible changes taking place within the Roman Catholic Church.
"We are excited about these preliminary plans" stated Cardinal Benito Cuilasso, a spokesperson for the Vatican. We know that we are some time away from the actual date of this event, but in the Roman Catholic Church we think not in terms of today or tomorrow, but in terms of centuries for changes to take place.
Issues already slated to be discussed at the council include the possibility of delaying the subject of married priests until a fourth council can be convened, the question of whether or not Protestants can truly be saved, and the question as to whether or not Purgatory has ever really been an official doctrine of the church. Other issues that are still being examined are whether or not restrictions on eating meat should be reinstated for Fridays, the pay scale for priests, and possibly expanding church parishes to other currently "closed countries."
"Part of the difficulty of such a task as this is that one cannot predict the future" stated Cuilasso. "We know that some things will remain the same. Everyone will be wearing the same outfits, of course, and I'm sure the same furniture will still be here, but one cannot say what the world will be like."
Many have wondered, though, why the church is already looking forward to a third Vatican council when questions surrounding the the second council still remain.
"It's too soon for this" stated one priest who wished to remain anonymous. "Vatican II was only 45 years ago, and it's still being worked out even as we speak. I'm just very apprehensive as to whether we will be ready for another council in 955 years."
Others, though, see this as a step in the right direction.
"I'm glad we're thinking ahead" said Rev. Mark Anthony Hodges, of St. Isaac's Parish in Newport Beach, Virginia. "I really was expecting them to schedule the next council for sometime around the year 3500. I'm glad it's going to be sooner so that some of these other issues can be resolved more quickly."