In the wake of continuing revelations regarding sexual abuse by priests and growing antipathy toward its pro-life/anti-choice stance on abortion, the struggling Catholic Church, unable to sustain a full staff, has laid off the Holy Spirit, long considered an integral part of the Church's signature Trinity.
"We had some tough choices to make,' said Bishop Patrick Carl. "We would have liked to maintain the entire Trinity, but we unfortunately felt it wasn't feasible to do so at this time."
Some have speculated, too, that the much-publicized sexual abuse scandal played a key part in the Church's decision to terminate the Holy Spirit. While the Holy Spirit was never convicted or even accused of any wrongdoing, common wisdom is that the Holy Spirit, without her consent, impregnated the young Mary, a virgin, who ultimately bore the now-famous divine child, Jesus Christ.
"No one's willing to come out and say it flat out," commented outspoken non-believer Richard Dawkins, "but based on all accounts, it sounds like a clear act of rape by the Holy Spirit. Given all that's been going on, it only makes sense that the Church seeks to distance itself from such sexually predatory behavior."
The Church denies that concerns about sexual abuse had anything to do with its decision to lay off the Holy Spirit, insisting that it was purely a matter of finances - as well as market research. The former Trinity has now been scaled back to a Dvine Duo: God (the Father) and his son, Jesus, a tweak the Church feels will appeal to many.
"It has the advantage of being easier to understand," said Bishop Carl. "People get the father-son dynamic, but the spirit aspect got a little hazy."
In the interest of attracting younger spiritual seekers, the Church is also considering a comic book series and/or animated film featuring the Divine Duo.
Pope Francis has announced that while the Holy Spirit may continue to move people, it will be doing so independently, not on the Church's payroll.
"We wish it the best," he said.