The Vatican has announced today that to tackle the problem of Catholic priests being given the come-on by pre-pubescent choirboys in revealing robes, choristers will now be required to wear the more sober burqa traditionally worn by Muslim women.
‘I think we all accept that in hindsight, the customary cassock and surplice probably hasn’t done priests any favours,’ said Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi today. ‘Those flowing robes, allowing mischievous boys to flash their innocent, winsome smiles on vulnerable priests, have much to answer for in the systematic corruption of the priesthood. These honest, red-blooded celibates often have to carry out their holy work in extremely testing circumstances – even Jesus might not have fared so well in the desert had the devil had access to a trainee monk’s habit.’
A Vatican study shows that over time the average drop of the chorister’s robes has reduced, with many now clearing the floor by as much as two or three inches, enough to provide the attentive onlooker with the occasional eyeful of ankle. The study also found that 91% of priests felt choirboys were ‘asking for it’ by dressing in such a provocative way, a suspicion confirmed by many also being involved in the under-age drinking of alcohol during Mass.
The introduction of burqas for choirboys is just one of a number of proposals to combat allegations of priest-taunting by organised choral gangs. The Pope has personally approved a policy of moving on victimised priests to other dioceses known for the ugliness of their children, and the Catholic church is introducing a new back-to-the-floor programme in which priests will spend time volunteering with groups involved in tackling similar problems, such as Scout leaders and PE teachers.
However, the launch of the new choirboys’ uniform has not been without its problems. The first batch of burqas had to be recalled after a choirboy allegedly gained access to design consultant Cardinal Ottaviani and ‘insisted’ on the garment having a couple of ‘Holy Communion holes’ to allow for the admission and evacuation of the body of Christ. ‘It is another example of what we are up against,’ sighed the Cardinal. ‘But rest assured, the chorister in question has been taken in hand as part of our new disciplinary regime. I wouldn’t be surprised if he can’t even bring himself to sit with the others on those hard wooden pews tonight.’