Pope Benedict XVI today outlined the most radical shake-up of the Catholic Church's diktat on celibacy, in an attempt to stem further outbreaks of child abuse by priests.
Pope Benedict XVI: "Not automatically wrong"
The Pope yesterday signed a letter allowing priests to be in possession of a copy of the Sun newspaper "for moral enhancement purposes" in the hope of gradually acclimatising them to the fact of breasts, and that the breasts themselves aren't inherently "evil". Senior Vatican advisors claim that first removing the fear of mammaries will lead to an appreciation of women, and thus an acceptance of "a priest's own perfectly normal sexual appetites".
Previously, the Catholic Church has advocated a strict policy of sexual denial for priests, with no acknowledgement that members of the clergy we capable of sexual desire.
And thine own parts shall not existeth, following thine pledge to Him, and if thy looketh at an unclothed woman, and think licentious thoughts, He shall smite thee with all His might. However small boys are just fine, so long as no-one finds out.
Pope Alexander IV, Papal Directive 14323, c. 1400
The letter goes on to state that, once realised, those sexual feelings can be exorcised by a mixture of chants, immersion in ice-cold salt water and beatings.
Psychologists welcome the relaxing of the rules, but caution that simply luring priests into previously forbidden behaviour and then viciously punishing them might be counter productive.
Dr. Dennis Carty, a Professor of Psycho-Sexuality at University College, Dublin, said "Well, one can see that His Holiness is trying to gently lead the church into a position where it is recognised that priests are basically human, but there's strong pressure from religious traditionalists to pretend that they are magic fairy-beings who have no sexual feelings or genitals. This is what is sometimes known as "irreconcilable differences" or " a complete disaster". Still, when you believe in made-up superheroes ruling the universe in the face of all known evidence to the contrary, we should count ourselves lucky there's only isolated outbreaks of kiddy-fiddling, and not wholesale chaos".