Lenihan’s Economic Sermon Flagellates Citizens, Just Like the Good Old Days

In an unexpected event, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan gave the sermon today at a cathedral in Dublin, excoriating the audience for their failures in bringing about the financial crisis, a speech that brought tears of nostalgia back to the eyes of aging Catholics listening in humble debasement.

Local priest Fr. William McCarthy unexpectedly stepped aside after the reading of the gospels and invited Mr. Lenihan to give the day’s sermon.

Parishioners were enthralled by Mr. Lenihan's old-fashioned fire and brimstone budget sermon.

Parishioners were enthralled by Mr. Lenihan's old-fashioned fire and brimstone budget sermon.

“At first I was a bit put out by this unexpected break with routine,” said one of the churchgoers, Mrs. Eileen Duffy (84). “It’s exactly that kind of tinkering with what’s right that has put the country in the awful state it’s in today. But once he got started it was like a return to the good old days, before the Church lost it’s backbone and started preaching about love and cuddles and all that New Age bullshit, if the Lord will pardon my harsh words.”

Mr. Lenihan is currently putting the finishing touches on a national budget with brutal cuts that will mean higher fees for students, reduced benefits for pensioners, significant reductions in public sector pay and personnel, and large bonuses for ex-ministers.

The difficulties in getting people to accept such a budget have caused him great anxiety, according to aides, but he has found a solution in a return to the traditions of the Catholic Church.

Speaking with tremendous gravity, Mr. Lenihan followed classic principles of the Catholic sermon, as outlined by the legendary Archbishop McQuaid, in first stating the problem with tremendous gravity before letting the people know they were at fault.

“Make no mistake,” Mr. Lenihan warned from the pulpit, gravely intoning words of such dire foreboding that it seemed Satan’s dark angels, the international bond markets, were pressing against the walls of the Church. “We are facing a critical period in our nation’s history. We have lived it up for too long, enjoying the ways of the flesh, and cheap credit, and abandoning the teachings of Jesus about fiscal responsibility.”

In the best Catholic tradition, Mr. Lenihan simultaneously offered menace, salvation.

In the best Catholic tradition, Mr. Lenihan simultaneously offered menace, salvation.

“And the cause of our hurts are those twin monsters, ambition and greed! In the past, were we not content with our lot? When Charlie Haughey and the Fianna Fáil good old boys were taking us to the cleaners in the 1980s, did we complain and whinge about it? No we did not! But we gave in to ambition and greed, the desire to have the things that they had just because they took them from us!”

“And I say, look not at the bankers for this country’s problems, for they are our prodigal sons, who have gone abroad to declare bankruptcy and will be back soon requiring tax-payer support, which we shall give despite your express refusal. Look not to the politicians, particularly those who were in government while the housing bubble was building and financial regulation was flouted, and who did nothing about it and in fact enacted policies to enable these things to be more devastating than they might have been.”

“No! Look to yourselves! Is there not one among you who has not had a credit card? Who has not taken out a mortgage? Ye sinners!” he cried with a face darkening like thunder, shouting as if he had to roar in order that his voice be heard above the sound of the seven horns announcing the apocalypse. “Upon your miserable heads will the Lord’s budget wrath come! And ye must bear that terrible burden as penance for your heinous crimes!

"You know who's at fault for all this? You."

"You know who's at fault for all this? You."

“The political class will, of course, require substantial renumeration for putting up with ye, as outlined in Paragraph 25, sub-paragraph 4 of the Budget.”

Mr. Lenihan finished to sobs of terrified awe from the huddled masses, who were humbled by his defence of them from the fire and brimstone of national bankruptcy, whose sulphurous odours they could almost smell in their nostrils.

Fr. McCarthy wept after the mass, saying, “God, that brings me back. You know, I realise now that what I love about the Church isn’t Jesus or pastoral work, but the desire to get up in public and bollock everyone for my sins.”

“If I’d known the way things would go in this country, I would have become a politician instead.”

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