PHILADELPHIA—Visibly aghast as he took the pulpit at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia to deliver a sermon Saturday, a horrified Pope Francis reportedly referred to the city as a “blighted abomination, forsaken by Heaven” and “humanity’s greatest sin against God.” “In my travels, I have seen countless examples of man’s inhumanity toward his fellow man, the most utter wretchedness, and the vilest iniquity, but in this place and in these people I see a darkness blacker than all the world’s evils. God has fled this town,” said the ashen-faced pontiff, recoiling in disgust from the assembled crowd while describing the Philadelphia metro area as “the only corner of Creation where the light of the Lord does not shine.” “The love of Christ falls upon us all, even the lowliest of the low—but not Philadelphia. Touch me not, for you are the unholiest of all that is unholy. I can offer no blessings here, where all that is, and all who are, are an affront to God.” After concluding his prepared remarks, the pope reportedly led the congregation in a prayer for God to rain cleansing fire and brimstone over the city and then salt the smoldering Earth so that no wickedness could ever again arise in its place.

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