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Catholic Church concedes:
"Maybe this is partly our fault"

- Children "dressed too sexy"
- "The answer is obvious - more celibacy"

In a series of decreasingly confident announcements, the Catholic Church has this week gradually moved towards the unprecedented admission that it should shoulder some of the blame for decades of clerical child abuse.

It's society's fault

"We're willing to be flexible about this", intoned Cardinal Desmond Connell yesterday, scratching his head in honest bafflement at the enthusiasm of so many to blame priests and only priests for the actions of priests. "If people are so convinced that this whole affair is partly the fault of the Church, I suppose we just have to accept that." "Other parties are not entirely innocent, of course," he added. "There are the parents who so foolishly entrusted their own children to people who we knew to be dangerous paedophiles. The police who failed to intervene based on the cast-iron evidence locked safely in our files. And let's not forget the malign influence of society in general, which is in sore need of a return to good Catholic values of chastity and unfailing honesty."

Is obvious

The Church has also issued new guidelines on behaviour to priests in reaction to the scandal. They reflect the new Church policy explained by Archbishop Sean Brady during the week. "The answer is obvious," he told reporters. "We need more and stricter celibacy among priests. In fact, no priest should at any stage allow any thought with even the mildest sexual content anywhere near his conscious mind. No, the best policy is to push such urges deep, deep down into the darkest regions of the psyche, where they'll be far happier playing with the other neuroses, psychoses and complexes." The Archbishop added that priests might want to channel such energies into more socially useful areas - "such as your work with children".

Analysis: Bashing the Bishop

The recent resignation of the Bishop of Ferns, Brendan Comiskey, over the mishandling of child sex abuse allegations has kind of rocked the country to its fairly indifferent core. The Evil Gerald assesses the impact of the bishop's move:

* Airline traffic recovers dramatically as Ireland is emptied of fleeing clergy hoping to build a new and better life in Thailand.
* Carriers offer special Kids 4 Free internet booking deals
* Altar boys will no longer have to wear dresses and sing in high voices as this can 'confuse' certain people
* Widespread perplexity as Sunday Times releases latest Fortune 500 list
* Catholic Church issues new circular to all priests, brothers and bishops to further repress their burgeoning and frustrated sexuality and to "keep it all inside"
* Clergy responds that this is difficult when the victim is only five and not that well developed
* His Eminence Archbishop of Dublin Cardinal Desmond Connell offers unreserved apology to all victims of clerical sex abuse and initiates sale of all church property to pay reparations
* Only messing!




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