Welcome to the church! Congratulations on your new position. You must be very happy. I'll just go ahead and give you a tour before you get started. Right this way through the big archway. Yes, the church is beautiful, is it not? Nice stonework. Great paintings. Of course, it's all for the glory of God, as you know. For this tour, we will start at the top of the church and work our way down. Not from the roof to the basement of the building, but rather the order in which the people here are in charge. I do not need to tell you who's at the very top. You don't come work for us without knowing that the pope runs the Roman Catholic Church.
The pope is a very busy man, so he needs many people to help him run the church. He cannot take care of all of the small details of every church in the world. The clergy is the name for all the different types of leaders in the Catholic Church. Members of the clergy have different jobs, depending on what kind of leader they are. For example, they may decide which of God's many lessons will be taught to the people and at what time. Or, they may help with the hiring and firing of leaders in the church. They take their coffee hot and their wine red.
Now, as much as it may hurt our hearts to say it, the pope will not live forever. He may be able to speak to God, but that does not make him a god himself. That's why we have these next workers. Cardinals are the most senior church officials. They are picked by the pope to serve because they have proven themselves to be great Catholics. It's their job to choose a new pope once this one passes away, though may he live another hundred years. I see that glint in your eye. Don't get any ideas about impressing them. You need to have worked for the church for a long time and be almost perfect to be chosen as the next pope. Many of the cardinals are all over the age of seventy, so make sure they get safely from place to place. Also, make sure their cloaks stay nice and red. Do not sun dry.
Now we come to the churches themselves. We call big groups of churches "dioceses." (Please do not laugh when one of the cardinals says this word. He has a lisp.) Bishops are the leaders who are in charge of the dioceses. It's their job to make sure things run well and that as many people as possible are coming into church. It's your job to make sure their white hats stay nice and starched so that they stand up straight.
And last, we have each of the churches. This is where the people go every Sunday to pray and listen to the word of God. Someone needs to be there to make sure they praying the right way and talking about their sins. No, that's not you. A priest is the leader of one church. Priests make speeches and then hand out a representation of the body of Christ as a piece of bread in sacrament. Make sure their speeches are ready to read and that they do not have any hairs in their noses before they go up to speak. People do not need to be staring up their priest's nose when they are supposed to be thinking about Heaven.
Got all that? The clergy are the big group of people who help the pope run the church. Cardinals, bishops, and priests are all part of the clergy. The cardinals are the second in line to the pope and will choose a new pope when this one dies. May that not happen for many years! Bishops run big groups of churches called dioceses. Each of those churches is run by a priest. You will learn what each of them needs in turn. Here is your mop. You can start on this floor. Cleanliness is next to godliness, after all. Any questions? . . . Do I love working here? Is the pope Catholic? (The answer is yes.)