These remarks were made in secret by Pope Francis at a recent council of bishops. Please comment nicely!

My dear brothers in Christ:

All right, things look bad. We're losing more credibility every day. Hundreds of priests are being exposed as predators and sexual scavengers, and the whole world knows that we all knew about the problem for years. But let's not forget that our church was built on lies, and that our strength remains based in lies. Truly, my brothers, only lies can save us now!

The priests who caused all this trouble must be cut loose. But not really. Because you see, we all know the truth that must be kept hidden. And the truth is, the pedophile priest who preys on children is the backbone of the Catholic Church. Always has been, and always will be. Given what we demand, and the lies our faith was built on, how could it be otherwise?

Consider the obvious advantages of protecting pedophile priests and keeping them within our ranks. These men have a sickness they cannot control. They are frightened and guilty all the time. And they know that without the church's protection they could never survive for long. This kind of priest we can use. This kind of priest we can control. His loyalty is absolute because it is based on fear and on desires he himself cannot acknowledge or overcome. Within the church he is safe and can sin without consequences. Outside the church he is a dead man. This is the kind of priest who will remain loyal to the end. And I tell you frankly, my brothers, such men are too valuable to lose!

To illustrate my point, let us consider the idea – a most laughable idea, really, if you know the history of our church – of allowing men who desire women to serve as priests. How can we ever trust such men? The weak ones will use their power and position to prey on women from within the church. (This has happened often in the past.) The strong ones will simply defy us and leave the church to live openly with the women they desire. These men cannot be trusted. They have desires they are not ashamed of, and they are capable of gratifying their desires openly, outside the church. We cannot use such men, because we could never be certain that their loyalty was absolute. True loyalty is always based on fear and shame, my brothers. And fear depends on lies.

And I tell you frankly, only lies can save us now!

We must pretend to change the church, while fighting behind the scenes to make sure that nothing is allowed to change. We must keep the priesthood all male, and celibate, so that men will remain ashamed of their desires. Only men whose lives are dominated by shame can be made truly loyal to the church. We need to find these men and keep them close no matter what the public outcry. But we need to lie about it too.

Above all, we must continue to lie about the human body. We must continue to teach that all human beings are dirty and corrupt at birth, and that only the church can make them clean. Just as the Virgin Mary gave birth to a holy child, despite her ignorance and the inborn filth of the female body, so only our unclean church can give birth to holiness and purity. The more we priests sin in private, the cleaner we must appear in public. This is a lie that we must maintain at any price. If necessary, to save all the children from sin, some must be sacrificed so that our weak but loyal priests appear to be clean and pure in public.

In short we must lie as though our lives depend upon it. Only by destroying truth and the true innocence of children can we preserve the illusory innocence of our priests. But do not despair! A great American Catholic writer by the name of Mary Gordon once said that being a Catholic means knowing how to lie, knowing when to lie, and knowing who to lie to. We can rely on Catholics like Mary Gordon to remain loyal to the end, despite their occasional feeble protests. Deep down they still believe in us. People who are ashamed of their own bodies are willing to believe in anything.

Now let us pray.