As reforms rock the foundations of the Catholic Church, a new online forum is rapidly gaining popularity among the clergy. Cardinal Confessions is an anonymously administrated Facebook page where the men and women of God’s house can give a shout out to anyone leading their thoughts to sin, or post a tirade, or simply air petty complaints. Typical confessions include, “I see you across the pulpit, lookin’ good in red,” “I want to be comfortable with my body but I feel like since taking my vows all I’ve done is gain Sunday mass, if you know what I mean,” and “Credo che il Cardinale Ghirlandaio potrebbe essere un Ebreo.”

With all the stress of maintaining humanity’s connection to the divine creator, the Men in Red have always found ways to blow off steam, from carving silly limericks into Vatican bathroom stalls, to the now-infamous Naked Easter Run. Cardinal Confessions is just the latest in a long line of stress relief tactics, but it seems as if it’s here to stay, with as many as 3,000 reported users. And it has generated a fair amount of gossip. Archbishop Aleghari, who wished to remain anonymous, confided, “I am seeing all kinds of posts about a red-haired cardinal who does shirtless yoga every morning. We are all knowing who this is about, there are not so many cardinals who do this thing. But who is watching him these mornings, eh? I would like to know.”

Who is on Cardinal Confessions and who is not? The entire body of the clergy is obsessed with cracking the mystery of each new confession. As of press time the Vatican is abuzz with speculation regarding one particular confession: “Even whilst being adored from my balcony, I find it hard to tell whether they truly love me, or if it’s just all about the hat and staff.”

 

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