The story so far: disgraced bishop Kieran Conry brings wailing and gnashing of teeth to the happy people of Arundel and Brighton, when it is discovered that he is not just a harmless blockhead unable to get his head round the fundamentals of Catholic doctrine - as everyone supposed - but in fact a great lover in the best traditions of Don Juan, Casanova, James Bond and Bill Clinton (all Catholics, as it happens).
In Eccleston Square, they are refusing to panic.
However, questions are being asked. How much did Vincent Nichols suspect? How much did Cormac Murphy-O'Connor suspect? How much did Pope Benedict suspect? How much did Pope St John-Paul II suspect? Is there a cover-up going on, on a scale which makes Watergate seem like a storm in a teacup? Are we going to unearth some tapes of Cormac chatting to Kieran, complete with expletives deleted?
C: Kieran, who's that woman over there? She seems to know you.
K: [Expletive deleted]! Where can I hide?
With hindsight, everyone knew that there was something wrong with Kieran. Perhaps it started when, as a young man, he was given a copy of the famous "Wicked Bible" in which the sixth commandant was misprinted. Somehow, he never spotted the mistake. When he became a bishop, they took up his references - fifty women wrote in to say that they were not having an affair with him - and this was clearly strong evidence of his good character.
A favourite text of Bishop Conry.
Since he arrived in Arundel and Brighton, the liberal establishment has been generally supportive of Bishop Conry, ruthlessly attacking all criticism of his radical views. The forces of orthodox Catholicism were overwhelmed with a blizzard of strange doctrine from Tina Beattie, Timothy Radcliffe, the Tablet, Cristina Odone, etc. etc. At one stage, the Bishop of Lancaster was asked if he could gag ace investigative reporter Eccles, but to no avail. The truth was leaking out.
K: Mike, can you ask Eccles to stop blogging about me?
M: No chance, Kieran. He even blogs about me! Who's that woman waving at you, by the way?
Now is not a time to mock Kieran, in his darkest hour. One should not snigger at his manifold sins and wickednesses. One should definitely not giggle, chuckle, or guffaw when his name is mentioned - well, no more than usual. As for rolling on the ground laughing uncontrollably, slapping our thighs and shouting "RESULT!" ... no, even Damian Thompson would not go that far. As the Pope says, "Who am I to judge?" As Vincent Nichols says, "It ain't none of my business, guv." As Cormac Murphy-O'Connor says, "I was on another planet in the early years of the 21st century, and it was nothing to do with me." And as Kieran wishes he could say, "Can I have have my job back now, please?"
Kieran, who's that woman over there, waving at you?