In a startling new development in the ongoing revelations of sexual impropriety, Father Peter O’Fiall of St. Thomas the Dubious Roman Catholic Church in Rochdale, claims that he ‘was touched by God’ many years ago.

“When I was 15, one day I was alone in my bedroom reading some interesting articles about racing car drivers in a magazine when I felt something that I had not experienced before. At first I thought it was my mother, which was quite a shock as she disapproves of, um, racing car driver magazines so she does, but when I turned round, there was no one there,” he told The Rochdale Herald.

“It was only later that night that I realized that I had been touched by the hand of God.”

Members of St Thomas’s congregation have had similar experiences. Mary O’Hara, 51, a celtic hatmaker, claims that God touched her ‘in a special way’ when she was 14. “I was very confused at the time. I was a late developer and my devil’s pillows had only just started to blossom but as soon as I felt His hand upon me, my confusion vanished and I cried out in ecstasy.”

Miss O’Hara claims that He still touches her, and when asked where, she said that it was mostly in church on Sunday. “Sometimes though it is when I am having trouble sleeping. He is probably often busy because once or twice the Virgin Mary is with me instead.”

The Herald was stunned to learn that this has been going on for many years. Were people like Father O’Fiall and Mary O’Hara encouraged to speak out? “Well of course I bloody spoke out and still do every Mass,” said the reverend Father. “Only I don’t think anyone is listening, too bothered thinking about how some so-called celebrity failed to get through last night’s Strictly Come Bollocky Dancing, I shouldn’t wonder.”

Miss O’Hara, sadly, feels that she is to blame. “I confess my sins every Sunday,” she says, “and I’ve been saying the same thing for years now.”

The Herald asked Father O’Fiall whether he considered in the light of revelations concerning politicians and media personalities he should report this inappropriate behaviour to the authorities.

“What the feck are you on about?” he said.