Sometimes, it is a relief not to be a clergyman, not to have to say, for the sake of politeness, what one knows to be untrue.
Anthony Trollope captured a sense of how many clergy must feel. In the Barchester Chronicles, when Archdeacon Grantly hears that Mrs Proudie, the manipulative, bullying wife of the bishop has died, he is unambiguous in his words:
“I wonder how he felt when he heard it?’
‘Of course he was terribly Shocked.’
‘I’ve no doubt he was shocked. Any man would be shocked.