"How did it go with the altar boy?"
"Perfect! You could see the shame pouring over him."
"You preached the value of self-recrimination, I hope? That God never wants us to feel good about ourselves."
"Of course. His holy self-loathing has begun. This will be a good one! He truly wants to be an honest capitalist. So touchingly naive! The self-hatred will no doubt open the door to years of abuse."
"You too must maintain your morality."
"Yes, my bishop. I plan on hating myself later in a session of self-spanking and thrashing. My back will have fresh scars. It's great for horrifying the boys when I show it!"
"Good. We cannot profess the true word of God without a belief in our morality."
"Just so long as we don't say everything we know to be true!"
"Remember: what's one altar boy compared to God's church! Millions depend on us! We hold the world together, the glue for its sin. What is the world but an amalgamated expression of our individual lives? As we make our lives less inhabitable we make the world less inhabitable and vice-versa. It's not our Maker in whom the people believe, but us as His representatives. Ergo, supporting their belief in us supports their belief in God. Our image must be maintained for the greater good."
"Just like the President!"
"Same job, different religion."
"But I must also admit to impure feelings."
"Valerie Fallon! You see her last Sunday?? What a rack! Just one session with those legs and I'd be a new man!"
"You'd be a fallen man! Do not succumb to the pleasures of skin! Your very soul depends on it. You've got to hide your lust away."
"I promise to enjoy nothing!"
"Now tell me about our latest acquisition, that stockbroker of yours. Did he come again last Sunday?"
"Yes, your holiness. He betrays his clients in the most wicked of ways, leading them down the garden path, setting them up to be exploited. He secretly delights in the horror that is to come their way because of the trust they put in him. 'If they were honest they'd know I am dishonest. So they deserve what they get.' That is what he tells me."
"And you told him how to make amends?"
"Oh, yes. The checks get larger every week and I shower him with approval proportionate to the money. I told him to do a great wrong, do a little right."
"Excellent. Just make sure he never gets weak and tries to comes clean to his clients. He's right about what he says about dishonesty so affirm to him he's doing God's will with his deception - just as we are with ours. We should squeeze much funding out of him before we're done!"
"Where would we be without the misguided masses, sir?"
"The better question is where would they be without us! They'd find themselves without the Lord's approval. They'd be filled with woe and looking for answers. Sin is our business - and business is always good."
"Praise be to the devil Lord!"
"That just leaves us with one remaining issue: are you going to eat that last blueberry muffin over there on that plate?"
"Actually, yes. Been looking forward to it!"
"But you know it's more blessed to give than to receive?"
"Of course, your holiness. That's why I'm deferring to you to receive the blessing of giving to me."
"But the bottom line is my robes outrank your robes and I want that fucking muffin!"
"Not if I get there first!"
The two robed combatants lunged towards the prized muffin, wrestling one another with devilish fury until exhaustion overcame them as they lay heaving and out of breath on the sacristy floor. Suddenly, the bishop - the more aware of the two - started laughing out loud, disturbing his cohort.
"What is it? Why are you laughing? Someone might hear!"
"It just hit me as we lay here on the floor in our soiled vestments and petty desires that there's people out there who actually base their belief of God's existence on clowns like us!"