A lawsuit brought against Pope Benedict by an unnamed US man in Milwaukee was today the source of much merriment in the Vatican legal department.
"I can't believe the naivety of this guy." laughed Paula Otherwun, a senior Vatican lawyer. "He genuinely seems to think that Pope Benedict was serious when he said 'the Church will continue to do all in its power to investigate allegations and to bring to justice those responsible for abuse'."
When we asked why it should be naive to expect honesty from the head of an organisation proclaiming itself to be the 'guardian' of morality, Ms Otherwun was quick to respond.
"Are you kidding me? The church didn't get where it is today through being honest. I mean, lawyers haven't exactly got the best reputation in the 'truth' department, but we can't hold a candle to these guys. They've been in the bullshit game for more than 2,000 years."
To drive her point home, Ms Otherwun showed us one of the new 'trendy' handouts being issued to address the shortage of young people wanting to join the priesthood. Entitled 'So you want to be a priest?', the list of 'qualifications' was simple enough, there's only one, - Must be able to tell unbelievable stories whilst keeping a straight face and the appearance of 100% sincerity.
"If this is the requirement to become a simple parish priest then think what it takes to become the number one priest in the world!" continued Ms Otherwun.
We regrettably had to agree with her assessment and admit that the likelihood of there being any serious response from the Vatican to the Milwaukee legal team's request was very small indeed.
In closing, Ms Otherwun made one last point, "In any case, given the church's current troubles, expecting Rat singer to provide documents revealing information about paedophile priests would be like expecting a Rottweiler to give you a hug on the way back home from the vets after having his balls cut off."