A Letter for Paedophilic Priests
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- by Pope Benedict XVI
To Whom it may Concern...
As Christ's vicar on Earth, it is now my sacred duty to stamp out a sick practise which has sadly become widespread the world over. I refer, of course, to the large-scale protests against myself, the Vicar of Christ, wherever it is God's will that I travel. These protests are being caused by the minor revelations of a small number of priests abusing their position above their altar boys.
This is now the direst of emergencies, and requires immediate action. And not the kind of action that many among you are allegedly getting already.
After prayerful consideration with our most learned, ecclesiastical lawyers and Vatican publicists, I have prepared the following instructions which are to be read as the word of God, or at least the Apostle Paul.
edit All Paedophilic Priests Must Confess
As with all sin, a full and frank confession must me made for absolution. However, confessing to secular authorities is unnecessary. Ensure that you only confess to priests, who will hand down stern punishments reflecting the severity of your crime. These may include Hail Marys, remedial rosary bead twirling and making you promise not to do it again.
It may be that your confessor is also a sinner who has sipped improperly from the Fountain of Youth. If so, you are urged not to confess to him, lest you be tempted to exchange what are known as "grooming tips". Instead, find a priest whose morals with respect to children are above suspicion. For example; one who is conducting an affair with a married woman.
edit Serious Offenders will be Removed
Not removed from holy ordination, of course. For one thing, you know too much. Rather, we will relocate you to the greener pastures of another dioceese, where we pray you will prove more able to resist the charms of your younger congregates. Be warned, though, that we are now taking a stern view with these matters. My PR cannot be compromised. Repeat offenders will be obliged to go into semi-retirement, and prevented from ministering children, instead being called upon only for more appropriate tasks such as performing marriages and preaching.
We've found that many semi-retired ministers like to spend large amounts of time sitting idly in parks and childrens' playgrounds. Should you elect to do so, we request strongly that you refrain from wearing clerical clothing.
edit Marriage is Forbidden
Many made the suggestion that our priests would refrain from delivering special "services" to the boys, so to speak, if they were allowed to have normal heterosexual marriages like the priests in Protestant churches. But this is strictly prohibited. Too many of us have spent too many nights alone, with nothing more to comfort us than the caress of a misguided nun from one of those orders who are forbidden to speak, to permit others to access these pleasures now. Being a priest is about denying yourself, and just because it's regularly shown to be unrealistic doesn't mean that you shouldn't try.
edit The Church in a Changing World
Let us now consider the context in which this scandal (although it really is more of a beat-up, if you ask me) has occurred. Around the world, our great church is in decline as secularisation proceeds apace, and globalisation means that anyone can have access to any religion instead of being frightened into joining the same church as their parents. The Internet has made it easier to organise protests, and far harder to cover things up. A minor incident involving an amorous priest in Germany, to choose a random example, can instantly spark outrage around the entire world. Again, this has disastrous consequences for my public image. And if my public image suffers, then so does God's.
The correct response to these challenges is to ignore them and pray that things simply go back to the way they were. Amen.
edit Theological Clarifications
While the Church does its best to promote adherence to a common dogma, a few misunderstandings of God's Holy Scriptures appear to have spread widely. As the ultimate authority on all scriptural interpretation, I wish to rectify a few misunderstandings.
- The Bible says that he who thinks of another adulterously has already committed sexual immorality in their heart (Matthew 5:28). This does not, however, equate to "in for a penny, in for a pound," as some have attempted to argue.
- When we say that our priests are married to the Church in the same way Christ was, that does not imply that there are conjugal rights.
- Our regular World Youth Days are designed for young believers to travel around the world, breed the next generation of Catholics and then rapidly enter holy matrimony. They are not intended for our priests' convenience.
- The term "lay" is commonly used to refer to individuals who are not members of the clergy, and also to sexual intercourse. This is merely a coincidence.
- While my current office of Pope invests me with divine infallibility, the previous years in which I was directly responsible for dealing with this problem and elected to sweep it under the carpet were a mistake. Mea culpa.
edit Updated Papal Bull on the Child Abuse Problem
I hereby present my official considered thoughts concerning this problem. A vernacular translation is provided for those who have been negligent in their Latin since Vatican II, as well in other areas.
Noli tangere filios - Don't touch children.
Pergraviter dico, nam omnis populus offensi sunt propter quo nobis - Seriously, I mean it this time, because everybody is really pissed off with us.
Hic nequior est quam nostra tota venia peccatorum in medio aevo- This is worse than that whole indulgences thing in the Middle Ages.
Et necare illos qui nobis discrepant iam non congrua ratione - And putting those who disagree with us to death is no longer a viable option.
Quare non modo sacerdotes, masturbari in solitudine domi tuae sicut ego? - Honestly, why can't you priests just masturbate in the privacy of your own home like I do?