“If it becomes public knowledge that Jesus had a penis, the whole basis of our faith will be undermined,” a senior Vatican official has confided to The Sleaze. “That’s the real threat posed by the Da Vinci Code – not the fact that Our Lord had sexual relations and sired children, but that in order to do such things he must have possessed a fully functioning wang! There’s no way anyone is going to believe he only used it the once! They’ll start imagining him doing the most disgusting things with it – buggery, indecent exposure, even whacking off over porn mags during his forty days in the desert!” So anxious is the Church to guard this secret that it is prepared to employ extreme measures to try and silence anyone delving into the mystery of Christ’s bald headed bandit, as investigative journalist Tim Pollax recently discovered. “I was just sitting down to watch the telly the other evening, when the front door burst open and these two priests walked in,” recalls the thirty two year old freelance reporter, who had been researching a story about the rediscovery of a ‘lost’ Leonardo Da Vinci painting which allegedly portrayed the Messiah naked. “Before I knew what was happening, one of them had my arms pinioned behind my back whilst the other one fondled my testicles!” Before leaving, the men in black cassocks warned Pollax to cease his investigations into the painting, or suffer dire consequences. “They threatened that next time they’d wank me off. The bastards also warned me that it would be pointless telling the authorities about them – nobody would ever believe that Catholic priests would sexually molest someone,” says Pollax, who quickly learned that he was not the only person involved with the investigation who had been put through such an ordeal. “One of the art historians involved in authenticating the picture told me that he’d been similarly confronted by a pair of priests. He strongly suspected them of being members of the Opus Dei – he was put across the knee of one and given a bloody good bare-arsed spanking!” Both the painting and the expert subsequently vanished. Nonetheless, despite being forced into hiding, Pollax remains determined to complete his investigations. “There’s no doubt in my mind that the Vatican has been suppressing this painting for centuries – just what are they afraid of?” He asks. “What is it about the prospect of a full-frontal nude Christ which frightens them so much?”

According to theological experts, the perplexing question of Jesus’ sexuality has been vexing religious scholars for the past two millennia. “The key problem is that whilst conceding that Christ was half divine and half man, the Bible gives no guidance as to which bits were which,” explains Dr Kenneth Yarble of Stockport College of Divinity. “For several centuries there were two main schools of thought: one held that Christ did have a normal penis and genitalia, but didn’t use them; the other contended that the area between his legs constituted part of his divine area and would, therefore, be composed only of shimmering light.” Whilst debate raged between these two camps, a third, more radical, theory began to emerge. One that postulated not only the existence of a Holy penis, but also that it was fully functioning. “For these scholars, Jesus’ penis became a symbol for the virility of the whole Christian religion; penetrating the psychological armour of disbelievers and spiritually seeding them with faith,” says the academic. “For them, the idea that Christ had a penis he chose not to use implied impotence on the part of Christianity – hardly an image to instil confidence in potential followers – whilst the absence of a mortal penis made him unearthly, remote and very difficult for mortal congregations to identify with.” Drawing inspiration from the First Century Gospel of St Fanny – a text long suppressed by the established church and denied inclusion in the New Testament – the proponents of the divine dong (known as the Priory of Priapus) began to popularise a new image of Christ; as an earthly, lustful man of the people. Not surprisingly, this did not find favour with the Church’s hierarchy. “The authorities had always had reservations about the theory, believing that the existence of a functioning penis and its possible uses would rob Jesus of both dignity and mystique. Besides, if it admitted the possibility that its own Messiah partook of the pleasures of the flesh, then it could hardly forbid its congregation from doing the same thing,” muses Yarble. “By embracing a text frequently dismissed as pornography – St Fanny’s ‘Gospel’ has Christ performing miracles with his penis, including curing Mary Magdalene’s mouth ulcers – the Priory of Priapus sealed their fate!” A schism in the Catholic Church was threatened when the pro-Priory Marcellus II (sometimes known as Marcellus the Masturbator) ascended to the Papacy in 1555. However, his death after only twenty two days (following a marathon wanking session in honour of Holy Week), left the way open for the traditionalists – in the form of Paul IV – to seize the Papacy. “In 1557 Pope Paul IV ruled that, as the Bible made no specific mention of a penis, Jesus’ nether regions should be considered divine,” says Yarble. “All naked pictures of Christ were banned and the very mention of Jesus’ penis was made a blasphemy punishable with excommunication.”

However, some sceptics have cast doubt on the idea that the Church’s great secret is simply that Jesus possessed a penis. “Come on, surely they’d be using for recruiting drives: ‘Convert to Christianity and be blessed with an Almighty schlong like Our Saviour’?” contends Reginald Cannon, author of Evangelical Erections: A History of Ecclesiastical Erotica. “They’d be shouting it from the rooftops – telling everyone that you can make both the heavens and the earth move if you take the sacrament! Face it, if Jesus was well-endowed we’d be worshipping in the Church of the Holy Horn in front of huge penises instead of crucifixes!” Cannon – who claims to have seen the ‘lost’ Da Vinci nude of Christ – believes that the real secret the Vatican is keen to conceal is that Jesus was actually hung like a gnat. “That could be a real turn-off in conversion terms, especially for the ladies,” he says. “The fact is that, since the 1550s the Vatican has systematically tried to cover this up by retouching any paintings depicting Christ, particularly at the Crucifixion, to ‘fill out’ his loincloth! Several ‘heretical’ nude studies of Jesus – including one depicting him and the twelve apostles naked in a Turkish bath – were destroyed completely. Only the Da Vinci nude, which was kept hidden for centuries by followers of the Priory of Priapus, survived, and it clearly shows Christ’s member as being of below average size!” Cannon believes the Church has a moral duty to come clean about Jesus’ old man. “Such an admission would help normalise the smaller penis – for years those of us less well endowed have been ridiculed and made to feel ridiculous,” he declares. “Jesus clearly showed that size didn’t matter when it came to miracles!”