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"An Irish priest who has repeatedly stated he does not believe Jesus Christ was the son of God has resigned." — CNN, May 8, 2002

WAS JESUS GOD'S NEPHEW?
NEW SCANDAL ROCKS CHURCHES

Elders and Parishioners Knew About, Covered Up Heretical Opinions

Dublin, Ireland (SatireWire.com) — In a scandal that promises to rock Anglican and Catholic churches, the resignation Wednesday of an Irish priest who long-believed Jesus was not the son of God has led to angry accusations against dozens of fellow clerics who allegedly have been telling their parishioners Jesus was more likely the nephew of God, the second cousin of God, or in one case, just a close family friend.

Jesus Adopted?
   In New Orleans, La., parishioners say Father Dennis Bycewitz has been hinting that Jesus was adopted. Responds Bycewitz: "Maybe. I said maybe."

"I've kept this inside me for years, but growing up, our parish was led to believe that Jesus was somebody God knew from boarding school," asserted Padraig Mulroney, 38, of Dublin.

"Our priest says Jesus was God's daughter, Eunice, who only happened to look very masculine due to a recurring problem with hirsutism," said Mary Clarke, 54, of Galway.

Asked why she hadn't stepped forward until now, Clarke blushed. "Facial hair is such an embarrassing issue for girls," she said. "We promised to say nothing about it."

More startling revelations came from parishioners in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, who now claim the church has long covered up the problem. In one notorious case, a minister serving in Roxbury, Mass., during the 1980s openly told his followers that Jesus was the Duchess of Cornwall.

Instead of defrocking the cleric for his belief in the Duchess — who was then Princess Diana — critics allege he was quietly transferred to another parish, where church officials looked the other way when the singing of Agnus Dei was replaced by Elton John's greatest hits.

CNN poll

In light of the controversy, many churchgoers say they will now error on the side of caution when suspecting priestly transgressions. In Los Angeles, 29-year-old Julio Sanchez said his Episcopal priest has never actually stated that Jesus was not God's son, but he filed a complaint with diocesan elders anyway "because lately masses have ended with, 'In the name of the Father, His neighbor, and the Holy Ghost, Amen.'"

Accused members of the priesthood, meanwhile, have reacted by retreating into long bouts of introspection and prayer.

"I used to believe Jesus was the son of God, but now I think he was probably just someone God saw at parties," said Church of Scotland Father Martin Kilgore of Glasgow. "I know the church does not support me in this, and so I will petition for guidance to Saint Anthony, who I believe is the same man who comes to read my gas meter once a month."


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