After a six-weeks long symposium of theologians and cardinals to discuss the sexual crises in the Church, Pope Benedict, or "Eggs" to his friends, has issued a Bull in which new decrees are laid out for the guidance of the clergy.
Cardinal Morone Abandonato, the Vatican's Press Secretary and fervent opponent of the Harry Potter novels, was charged with informing the laity of the ten major reforms. "His Holiness has certainly taken this Bull by the horns, so to speak," said he. "It will have far reaching effects in all our institutions and laundry bills.".
The Cardinal outlined specific reforms that will be put in place "subito". These are:
1. The burkah is to replace the nun's habit.
2. Membership of Opus Dei will be compulsory. Novelist and renowned plagiarist Dan Brown has been called in on an advisory capacity.
3. Self-flagellation is to be encouraged, particularly at Lent or on feast days of female saints, or whenever President Nicolas Sarkozy and his model wife Bruni visit Italy.
4. Penance is to be given a face-lift. Tougher measures against impure thoughts in other words. Nuns, novitiates and priests will be given a special calculator that will automatically record each and every impure thought that invades the brain so that a correct tally can be given and penances alloted with more accuracy.
Every monastery and convent will now have a boot camp as part of its structure where "the penitent can pay due remorse for his sins".
American Catholic chaplains have been flown over to supervise their construction and operation. But, they will be run by leaders appointed by Opus Dei. These will include retired colonels from Argentina's deposed Jorge Videla regime, priests who teach geography in Irish Catholic schools, and worshippers of the Indian god Ganesh.
Jorge has given his blessing from prison where he is currently being detained for crimes against humanity.
5. Televisions are to be banished from all institutions, and computers will no longer be allowed access to the internet.
6. Altar boys will exist no longer. The building of round churches to give them nowhere to hide had failed miserably.
7. Images and statues of The Virgin Mary and other female saints are to be remodelled along less attractive lines. "We are totally confident a more Oprah Winfrey, Elton John and Joan Rivers look - and less Paris Hilton - will work," explained the Cardinal.
8. The symposium favoured sublimation of the sex drive in the main, along established Freudian principles. Arts and crafts will be compulsory disciplines in all convents, seminaries and monasteries. "The market for Catholic paraphernalia is vast and thanks to animation movies growing rapidly. There is no reason why we cannot make the stuff ourselves, thereby killing one bird with two stones, so to speak. It will bring solace to the body of the Church and joy to Mr. Tedeschi, our bank's president. "
9. The Index Librorum Prohibitorum is to be re-introduced. First on the list of banned books will be Harry Potter. Then all sex magazines and of course videos. Hugh Hefner who has said that he hopes to be "made a saint" when he dies, has condemned this as an assault on democratic liberties. "It will get to the point that nobody's stash of Viagra will be safe any more," said he, from his hospital bed in Malibu where he is recuperating from his brief honeymoon with Crystal Harris. Doctors have said that: "He is very lucky to be alive. Although, we may have to run more tests."
10. Nuns will be allowed to become priests. But only excessively ugly ones of seventy-years old or over need apply.
Responses to the Papal Bull have been mixed.