What if the Bishop said to his lawyers, “You’re fired. I’m going to hire private investigators instead and when somebody makes a claim against the diocese, if the facts line up we’ll pay up. If not, send ’em packing.”

What if the priest said to his priests, “Keep you pants on and sleep alone. That’s what celibacy means. If you’re lonely join the Knights of Columbus or a football team. Lots of people are single. They cope. Get over it.”

What if the bishop said to his priests, “Don’t be gay. What, are you going to do? prance around in some kind of rainbow parade wearing skimpy swim trunks? No. Don’t do that. And don’t have a boyfriend either.”

What if the Bishop said to the people, “Let me know if your priest isn’t keeping his vow of celibacy. A slip up and confession we understand. Living openly as a gay lover or with a concubine? Let me know. I’ll send the PIs to check it out. They’ll be fired and defrocked without any compensation.”

What if the Bishop said to his priests, “Make sure I do not prosecute and persecute any priests who are innocent. I’m here to protect and support the good guys and weed out the bad guys. You can call me on it.”

What if the Bishop said, “You want Mercy, Mercy Me? –listen to Marvin Gaye–No, not that gay.”

What if the Bishop said to his priests, “If you touch any child the wrong way, I’m going to call the police, but first I’m calling the kid’s father, uncles and big brother.”

What if the Bishop said to the unfaithful priests, “If you don’t want to be a priest anymore, let me know. We’ll laicize you and send you on a training course to get another job. I’ll write you a recommendation to work at Home Depot if you want.”

What if the Bishop said to his priests, “From now on the promotions are going to be upside down. If you work hard and the church grows we’re going to send you to a poor parish in the butt end of town. That’s where we need the good guys. The posh parishes in the suburbs can make do.”

What if the Bishop said to the people, “Some of the priests are losers who lost their faith long ago. Some of them are drunks and drug addicts. They’re going to be fired and retired. That means we’ll have a priest shortage maybe. So why don’t you write to me and let me know which of the married permanent deacons you think we should ordain? I’ll get dispensations from Rome to ordain them as soon as we can.”

What if the Bishop said the Chief Financial Officer, “I don’t give two hoots about the ‘assets of the Diocese’. If we owe victims compensation let’s pay them, and if we need to we’ll sell off everything–starting with my luxurious home. We’ll fire people if we have to. You’re first on the list. If the church is a poor missionary church as a result, so what? That’s when we’re at our best. Cut the tree back hard and the fresh shoots are stronger and it bears much fruit.”

What if the Bishop told the insurance people and the professional fund raisers to go grub for cash somewhere else? “We’ll have only the minimum insurance policies required by law and we’ll buy them from Knights of Columbus or some Christian group.”

What if the Bishop told the finance people, “Let’s get rid of the investment endowment schtick, sell our stocks and shares, invest in real buildings, real people and real work of the Lord and then live by faith.”

What if the Bishop told the people, “We’re not going to tell you how much money to give us anymore. Instead you give us what you think we’re worth. Then we’ll live within our means just like you have to do from week to week, and you tell us how to spend the money rather than the other way around.”

And what if the priests and the people said to the Bishop, “Thank you bishop. We love what you’re doing and right back at ‘ya. We’re going to keep an eye on you too. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.”