New Pope: “Noah’s ark didn’t actually happen, neither did Adam and Eve – they’re stories”

Newly ordained Pope John XI has already lived up to his progressive billing with comments made at a press conference in Dallas, TX in his first visit to the United States.

“The Bible’s stories teach many extremely valuable lessons – selflessness, kindness, empathy and love – but the direct interpretation held by many across this country and others is dangerous,” he said, “It’s a serious threat to cultivating a progressive society where all it’s citizens are afforded equal opportunities for a good life.”

“It’s about time someone in my position stood up and said this,” he continued, “Noah’s ark didn’t actually happen, neither did Adam and Eve – they’re stories and it’s time our community accepted that and moved on”

John XI, who is from Oslo, Norway – a predominantly secular nation – gained notoriety in his home country by openly disavowing several parts of the Bible he deemed ‘barbaric’ and ‘ethics for the first century’.

He has also been a staunch advocate of evolutionary teachings and most controversially, stem-cell research and abortion, two items he believe ‘work for the betterment of our society, which is ultimately the church’s mission’.

His visit to the United States has already been marked with protests and demonstrations, mostly from Christian congregations who claim the new Pope is ‘tarnishing [their] holy book’ and are demanding his resignation.

Asked to comment on the protestors, the Pope responded, “It’s understandable. Our holy book has never been challenged or criticized publicly by a person of influence within the church so I’d be surprised if we didn’t upset people by doing it now. But blindly holding onto the teachings of a three thousand year old book while the rest of the world moves forward just isn’t going to do anyone any good.”

“It’s time we took a modern, critical perspective and started to become the type of positive icon I know this church can be” he said before thanking the reporters and leaving the podium.

Pope John XI continues his tour of the United States’ midwest over the next two weeks. Stayed tuned for continued coverage.