An Open Letter to the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland From Yeshua ben Yusuf, aka Jesus the Christ

Hello boys,

I was perusing the Irish Examiner yesterday and noticed that you’ve told reporters that you’re concerned that, thanks to all the corruption in what you call “the church”, there soon may be no priests left in your country.

Well, so what’s so bad about that?

I mean, seriously guys: who ever gave you the right to “represent” me in the first place? I never did. Priests and I never got along, if you recall.

As a matter of fact, I left pretty explicit instructions that nobody was to make a religion out of me after I’d moved on. Didn’t you get them?

No? Well, that’s strange, because I told that scruffy scribe who made an ass out of himself by jotting down what I said all the time: Look, the Sabbath was made for man – man wasn’t made for the Sabbath. And don’t call anyone holy, because only God is holy. You have only one father, and he’s in heaven, right? And certainly not in Rome, of all the godforsaken places.

Okay, I guess nobody told you this stuff, or maybe you don’t read your Bibles, or something. But here it is, guys: I wasn’t bullshitting when I said that the kingdom of heaven is within every person who draws breath. It ain’t in a bloody communion wafer. Every man, woman and child has the gift completely. It wasn’t taught to them in catechism: it’s part of the living fiber of being human.

So where does that leave you guys?  I mean, what the hell do you think you’re doing, anyway, pretending to know me better than I know myself? Or claiming to “represent” me, and the kingdom of love?

Let me correct that word, first of all: it sure as hell ain’t no “kingdom”. No kings are allowed in there; or popes, for that matter. It’s kind of hard for that kind of ego and hierarchy to strut around a dinner table when somebody’s asking you to pass the spuds.

No, that “kingdom” bullshit was another one of those fables you guys cooked up behind my back. My word for God’s way was “a realm of eternity”: a different reality, with nobody on the top or on the bottom.

Do you get it?

Probably not. I tried sneaking into one of your cathedrals the other day and got asked to leave.

When Dad and I yanked the mask off your church bosses and showed the world the kind of filth that you serve, we were doing you all a big favor, you know. It’s too bad you’re too panicked about your pensions right now to see the priceless chance we’re offering you.

I mean, do you really think all those child-raping clerics are standing so naked like they are now, because of some big fluke? Do you really think we’re that impotent?

Uh uh. It’s all in the game plan. And here’s why: this is your big chance, fellows, to come back into the human race.

Your “church” is finished, and die it must. Its stench is so putrid that even I couldn’t deal with it anymore. I mean, forgiveness is one thing, but Jehoshaphat! You guys never seem to learn! So Dad figured, and I had to agree with him, that enough is enough.

For one thing, you’ve all gone a bit batty. Take that guy who calls himself a “cardinal”, Sean Brady: the other day, he actually offered to install glass confession booths in all your churches. I mean, what is that?

I figure this is your chance to find some recovery, boyos. You’ve got to get sane. Do something worthwhile, for a change. Maybe rename yourselves Clergy Anonymous, or something. Live your lives. Find a bit of romance. Go and get laid, if you haven’t already.

You know, after that little crucifixion farce we staged to throw off the Romans, and Mary and the kids and me shipped off to Gaul, Judas came to me and warned me, “You know how people are. Some schmuck is going to start up a big operation called the Yeshua Temple or something, and make a ton of shekels off your name. So go find a lawyer and get yourself copyrighted, pronto.”

Maybe he was right. But hindsight, hell, it’s like prayers: easy.

The point is, all the Temples eventually rot and collapse, from the inside out. Dad and I are just giving yours a little nudge. The only thing you guys should fret about now is, who are you going to be today, and tomorrow, when all the smoke clears?

Just do yourselves, and me, a big favor. Don’t look back at Sodom and Gomorrah. Remember?

Good luck to you,



Yeshua ben Yusuf is a homeless man and a suspected terrorist who dropped out of seminary and was arrested once for disrupting a church service. He has never held a stable job. The authorities are seeking knowledge of his whereabouts.