The Catholic church has once again found itself embroiled in scandal after a memo issued by the Vatican was leaked on the Internet. The memo was issued within hours of the tragic air crash in Smolensk which killed many senior Polish government, military and church leaders and urged members of the clergy to make full use of the once-in-a-lifetime money-making opportunity that had presented itself in Russia.
Whilst mainly aimed at Polish clergy the memo said that it was important not to forget other areas of the world, such as the United States and Europe, with large numbers of ex-patriot or 'hereditary' Poles who were 'ripe for the picking'.
"It is imperative that members of the clergy at all levels do everything they can to harness and sustain the, potentially short-lived, upsurge in church attendance that is likely to follow this event and to maximize the 'windfall' potential that we now have at our disposal'. God has, in his infinite wisdom, presented us with the chance to rebuild our financial reserve following the heavy burdens placed upon it by the child abuse settlements that have plagued us in recent years."
Ironically, given that the memo is now fueling yet more speculation about the activities of the Vatican, it continued by stating that "In addition to the potential profits that can be made, the current situation is the ideal vehicle through which we can divert attention away from the negative picture being painted by media allegations against the church and instead focus the attention of the faithful onto more positive aspects of the 'loving pastoral care' provided by our clergy".
The closing statements made in the memo highlighted the need for clergy to deny any link between God and the accident and to take steps to silence the voicing of any opinions supporting this view. "It is important that we distance God from any responsibility in the events which led up to the accident. Any doubt as to God's all-loving nature reflects badly on him and, by association, on the church itself potentially leading to a drop in revenue. Any such doubts raised by members of the congregation should be immediately addressed and steps should be taken to silence the guilty party using the standard 'bad things happen because people have free will' argument."
The memo also said that "Anyone refusing to accept this view could potentially pose a threat to the good name of the church, or cause other church members to question their beliefs, and they should be forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement under penalty of ex-communication."
When members of the media asked the Vatican to comment on the latest revelations Cardinal Homophobe, Vatican spokesman on equality issues, said "Once again, the media are trying to discredit the church through spiteful hate speak and a gross misrepresentation of the facts. Less than 5% of the clergy are capitalists, a figure which is actually much lower than the number in other areas of society."
When questioned about previous church attempts to hide and protect 'profiteers' the cardinal stated "The use of untraceable numbered Swiss bank accounts are simply indicative of the accounting practices which were prevalent at the time. There was no attempt to cover up any financial wrong-doing. It is completely unreasonable to expect us, as the moral guardians of society, to have known something that other members of society were unaware of."