Bob the Builder - note the striking resemblance to Kieran Corny.
The Catholic Church has finally come clean and admitted that Kieran Corny, the much-loved bishop of Arundel and Brighton, was abducted by aliens a few years ago, and replaced by a lookalike, Bob the Builder. Many will know Bob from his catchphrase Can we fix it? to which the reply is Yes, but we're not going to bother.
Some of Kieran's conduct over the last few years has been so absurd that many Catholics have exclaimed in disbelief "Is this man really a bishop?" Now, at last, their worse fears are confirmed, as it is revealed that an impostor was in place all along.
In happier times, Kieran Corny had a big following.
Most recently, Kieran launched an ill-judged personal attack on the outgoing pope, Benedict XVI. Said a critic, "He seemed to be totally unaware of a bishop's duty of loyalty and obedience. He was acting in the egotistical way that one might associate with Ed Stourton, Tina Beattie, or any of the other people linked with that rag, the Tablet."
Ian Paisley (Lord Bannside). "I find the Tablet too harsh in its criticisms of the Pope."
Bob, the Kieran Corny lookalike, has set himself up as the Antipope of the South Coast in recent years. One of his main criticisms has been that decisions concerning the worldwide Catholic church have been taken centrally in Rome, rather than being left to local potentates to decide for themselves. "What's the point of being a bishop if you can't define Catholicism to suit yourself?" he is supposed to have said. However, the Vatican is still refusing to recognise the SSPB (Society of Sussex Pope-Bashers).
A recent portrait of Kieran Corny.
Whether explaining how the Pope should have run the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, attacking Cardinal O'Brien on the issue of same-sex marriage, or simply moaning about Archbishop Roche's new translation of the liturgy ("In Sussex we don't say 'consubstantial' - we say 'being of one thingie, whatever'"), Bob Corny has a track record of ticking off his superiors.
"It's all Greek to me," says Bob.
So it was with a brilliant sense of irony that Corny was appointed head of the Magic Circle's department for Evangelisation and Catechesis - after all, the Catholic church is bound to evangelise much better if it is known to be full of dissenting bishops, and of course these are just the sort of people one would want to be catechised by.
Bob Corny is also Brighton and Hove Albion's star left-winger.
Still the truth is now out: the holy and learned Kieran Corny has been abducted to the planet Tharg, and meanwhile Bob the lookalike has been bumbling around Arundel and Brighton. We should have realised sooner.