Thee Um Butlerum Itum Didium Est

You Latin III scholars have already worked out the translation, but for those who stopped at Latin I’s amo-amas-amat threesome, here you go: “The butler did it.” Remember, the verb always goes at the end of the sentence.

Here’s what Pope Benedict’s butler did: he leaked confidential papal correspondence to a journalist who released a book-length expose of the Vatican Bank and the general lack of transparency in the Catholic Church. The head of the Vatican Bank has stepped down. Into cement shoes.

A Vatican spokesman said, without apparent hint of irony, “The scandal put trust in the church and the Holy See to the test. That’s why we must confront them directly and not hide.”

He then outlined the Vatican’s plan to deal with the crisis in confidence. In the U.S., American nuns would be burned at the stake. The American Bishopric was authorized to raid the medicine cabinets and bedside tables of every fertile Catholic woman and confiscate contraceptives.

Asked by reporters if he was suggesting that Papaleaks was the first breach of trust in the church, the spokesman smiled slightly and asked if they’d tried the cannoli.

I am already lobbying for the butler to get the poll position on that sainthood fast track.

If you liked this article by Kate Clinton, a columnist for The Progressive magazine, check out some of her other pieces by clicking here.