The Catholic Church is faced with an aging workforce requiring a large pension bill, and a decline in young blood joining the ranks to bring in revenue. On top of that, they're paying out millions in legal fees and compensation to victims of those abused by priests.
So how is the Catholic Church able to afford its increasing spending while revenue is declining? Where is the money coming from?
The answer: red wine product placement.
Most worshippers don't even realize that the sacramental wine tasting during communion is a carefully constructed marketing message. In every mass performed by the Church there is a celebration and prime product placement for red wine during communion. This type of advertising works wonders. Red wine is the most-consumed drink by Christians worldwide. It's also the drink favored by pedophiles and sex offenders. (Side note, everyone knows our prisons are awash with illegal drugs like cannabis, cocaine, heroin, LSD and ecstasy. What is less well-known is that there is one set of prisoners that have never indulged in illegal drugs: sex offenders. Sex offenders only drink alcohol, primarily red wine. Does red wine lead to pedophilia and sex offending? It's hard to know, but certainly a possibility.)
Martin Longstrong, a leading expert on branding and marketing, discusses the priceless marketing value Catholic mass has for wine in his new book, Religious Marketing in the 21st Century:
"During mass, wine is served and held aloft at the most exciting and dramatic part of the whole performance, the climax of the show, you could say. And this is repeated, day after day, week after week, in countries all over the world. People love this show and continue to return every Sunday for more. When consumers' guards are down, they don't expect to be hit with advertising; most worshippers don't even realize that the sacramental wine tasting during communion is a carefully constructed marketing message. That is what makes this by far the most effective type of ad. And you can be sure there is some form of remuneration behind it."
Red wine keeps 'em smilin'!
The Church keeps its accounts top secret and has always refused to comment on questions relating to sponsorship money coming from the wine industry. So it's hard to nail down the specifics of any deals. However, we do know this:
In 1980's, when the Coca-Cola Company was on top of the world, they sent a huge delegation to the Vatican to pitch Coca-Cola as a replacement for red wine as the official beverage of Catholic communion. It was the first and only time the entire board of directors all met in the one place outside Coca-Cola HQ. The package they planned to present to the Pope is believed to be extremely substantial, but we will never know the offer because the Pope refused to meet with Coke. Dismissed the pitch before he even heard it. Hank Henderson, the CEO of Coca-Cola at the time, was fucking furious to say the least. Who the fuck did this Pope guy think he was! Nobody snubs Coke like that.
What followed became the stuff of legend.
The Coke board went out and partied in Rome like Caesar had just risen from the dead. They even popped out the original Coke recipe—the one with alcohol and cocaine—and hired every stripper, hooker, and escort in the Eternal City to indulge. The partying went on for seven days and seven nights. Coke brought carnage and chaos to the city like no one had seen before. Many people say this binge would later inspire Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's "Bunga Bunga" parties.
At some point during all the partying the Coke board lost the recipe of the current wildly popular Coke. They had taken the famous recipe to show off to the Pope and not thought to make a copy or record the recipe anywhere else. For years afterwards Coke struggled. Sensing weakness, Pepsi upped their game and Coke was forced to hire a team of experts to work backwards to reformulate the popular Coke recipe. Many Vatican insiders also believe that as an act of revenge against the Pope, Coca-Coke valiantly helped support clerical victims of abuse who otherwise did not have the financial means to take their case against the Church to court.
So what have we learned? Pedophiles' tipple of choice is red wine (think Michael Jackson and his "Jesus Juice") and don't ever fuck with Coca-Cola!