Illustration for article titled Pope Francis Pardons Those Who Dodged The Draft During Crusadesem/em

THE VATICAN—Centuries after they evaded conscription for military campaigns to the Holy Land, Pope Francis officially pardoned all Christians who dodged the draft during the Crusades, sources reported Monday. “Although we certainly don’t endorse their actions, enough time has passed that these men should be granted forgiveness, and the remaining stigma on their descendants lifted,” said the pontiff, offering amnesty for the approximately 12,000 deserters who avoided the draft by either faking bubonic plague, falsely confessing sodomy, or fleeing north to modern-day Sweden. “It is now time to heal the wounds of history and make a fresh start, because continuing to harbor a grudge for nearly a thousand years benefits no one.” The pope went on to say that Christendom had in fact been strengthened by its current all-volunteer holy warrior army, which would undertake any future Crusades.


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