This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Homosexuals and Christians through the ages

Some readers may have noticed that the relations between practising homosexuals and Christians (and, before that, the Jews) have evolved over time.

1712 B.C. Some people in Sodom and Gomorrah ask Lot to make a "gay cake" for them. Not only does he refuse, but the entire cities of the plane are consumed by fire and brimstone. This is regarded as a perfectly normal outcome, with the real problem being that Lot's wife is turned into a pillar of salt. The next day he goes back with his mother-in-law hoping for an encore, but it is not to be.

pillar  of salt

A wife's lot is not a happy one (happy one).

29 A.D. Christ points out that marriage is intended to be between one man and one woman, presumably realising that this is the "dream team" for producing babies. A few years later, St Paul and other disciples remind people that homosexual acts are really not a good idea, at least for people who want to be saved.

67 A.D. The Emperor Nero marries Sporus, a eunuch. He also has sexual relations with his own mother, and another same-sex marriage (this time in the role of "bride") with Pythagoras - not the expert on hypoteneuses - and he rapes a vestal virgin. Some of these activities are still legal in various parts of the world, although even Enda Kenny is not yet campaigning for all of them. Tell me he isn't...

Nero or maybe Enda Kenny

Enda Kenny gives a fiddle recital.

The Dark Ages. Not much homosexuality around, in fact not much of anything. Also, St Patrick expels the cakes from Ireland.

Medieval times. A typical conversation between monks: "Brother William, I think you have got beautiful legs. May I bake you a cake?" "These are wicked thoughts, my brother. Go and mortify your flesh with a cold bath." Problem solved.

The Time Meddler

Brother William gets cross with Brother Peter.

The Renaissance and Reformation. The fragmentation of Western Christendom isn't much to do with gay rights. Henry VIII ends up with six wives, all vaguely female. Martin Luther marries Katharina von Bora, although he is arguably the greater Bora. Queen Elizabeth I is too busy persecuting Catholics to find time for marriage.

1600-1950. There is no homosexuality until it is rediscovered by Alan Turing. He is also supposed to have had something to do with computers, codes and mathematics, although this is largely forgotten nowadays.

Turing machine

A Turing machine. Used for surfing the web, cracking German codes, and so much more.

1960s. Sex is not discovered until 1963 when Philip Larkin works out what it is. A homosexual version is legalised around this time - at least between consenting adults in private. Hippies, free love, Vatican II, Basil Loftus, Jimmy Savile, ... these are exciting times.

1990s. Everyone agrees that it would be silly to allow men to marry men, or women to marry women. What a hilarious idea!

laughter

Well, that's what it was like.

2010s. Everyone agrees that it would be cruel and wicked discrimination to forbid men to marry men, or women to marry women. The Christian churches mostly stand firm, although oddballs such as Giles Fraser, the Redemptorists in Ireland (overlooked by St Patrick in his snake-expelling days), or even Bishop "Dirty Donal" McKeown of Derry, decide that perhaps Christ didn't really know what He was talking about.

Dolan gives scandal

Cardinal Dolan at the St Patrick's Day Gay Pride march.

2015. Some people in Belfast ask Mr Lot to make a "gay cake" for them. When he refuses, they rain fire and brimstone on his shop, reducing it to Asher's. Most saved people go into hiding, but those remaining ask for a referendum on whether Christianity should be legalised. Watch this space...

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Relics of Diarmuid Martin go on display

Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth has confirmed that the relics which arrived at Southampton today pertain to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, and not, after all, to Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin, the parents of St Thérèse of Lisieux. Apparently, this was a "replacement item", delivered when the real relics were out of stock.

Diarmuid Martin

Archbishop Martin - his relics were delivered by mistake.

It is normally considered "bad form" to open the box and see what the relics actually consist of, but in this case an exception was made and it was discovered that what had been delivered was the lost backbone of Archbishop Martin. This was reported missing earlier today, when the good archbishop declared that, although he himself would vote against same-sex "marriage", he had no wish to stuff his religious views down other people’s throats. After all, it's not an archbishop's job to give moral leadership and guidance (ask Vincent Nichols!)

Bishop Egan has declared himself dissatisfied with the replacement item, feeling that the archbishop's spine is unlikely to be truly an object of veneration, nor indeed capable of working minor miracles.

backbone

Not a very sacred relic.

Meanwhile, other prominent Irish Catholics have entered the "same-sex marriage" debate, including the silenced Red Emptyhead, Tony Flummery. Faithful to the Vatican's command Pone soccum in eo, O Antoni ("put a sock in it, Tony"), Fr Flummery has maintained a dignified silence, talking only to the trees and his pet rat, O'Connor. However, lacking any concrete guidance from Archbishop Martin, a man whom he deeply reveres, it seems that Fr Flannery will probably vote "yes" in accordance with Enda Kenny's wishes.

Enda Kenny

"Another text from Satan. What can he want now?"

The confessions of Isobel Brownlie.

Finally, in Northern Ireland, a related issue is the great "gay cake " scandal, in which Judge Isobel "hash" Brownlie came up with a remarkable verdict. Apparently, the Christian-owned Asher's Bakery was obliged to bake a cake which simultaneously infringed the Sesame Street copyright on the puppets Bert and Ernie, promoted a political slogan demanding (illegal) same-sex marriage, and went against their own consciences. A triple whammy, there. Later, Isobel Brownlie was said to have had second thoughts - well, first thoughts, actually - about her verdict and, despairingly echoed Pope Francis in saying "Who am I to judge?" Many readers of this blog will also ask themselves "Who is this idiot to judge?"

Judge Gavel Doozer

Judge Isobel Brownlie (or the nearest equivalent I could find).

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Have you sold your soul to the Devil?

Let me make one thing clear before we start: do not try this at home. Selling your soul to the Devil is a very bad idea, and is likely to lead to great inconvenience later on. Assuming that none of my readers has tried this, can we identify any people who have?

Obama and Kenny

I can't imagine what that photo is doing here.

Clue 1: People who sell their souls to the Devil will normally have got a good price. They will almost certainly be rich and famous. So, although we may think that Tina Beattie is beyond the pale, nobody is going to sell their immortal soul just to become a professor at Roehampton, so I think it's safe to assume that she is beyond the pale for other reasons.

The same goes for Michael Coren, who - we might think - has been renting his soul out on and off, on a time-share basis. But all that just to get a few newspaper columns and a TV show? I think not. Likewise, Fr Timothy Radcliffe hasn't managed to cut a deal - for who wants to sell their soul just to become the Vatican consultant on paperclips? Why, he hasn't even made it as far as bishop.

Radcliffe and Mephistopheles

"Sorry, I'm hanging on for a better offer."

Clue 2: People who sell their souls to the Devil will normally lead very evil lives. So someone in a position of great power, such as the Pope, Queen of the United Kingdom, or publisher of Spectator Health, Money and Life, will not be assumed to have made a diabolical deal unless they start acting in an evil manner. Despite what some bloggers say, the Pope is not that bad, although he seems to have good days and bad days.

Richard Dawkins, then? He's got a fairly good deal from life, becoming an expert on zoology, genetics, philosophy, theology, poetry, honey, etc. And all that without significant quantities of common sense. But a man who spends his declining years in howling at the Universe via Twitter is surely not getting a very good bargain, even if he does have a pretty wife from Gallifrey.

Clue 3: People who sell their souls are supposed to have all the women (or men, or whatever) that they want. So we can rule out Tony Blair after all, for, despite being rich, famous, powerful, evil, etc., he is saddled with Cherie. (That wasn't very gallant, Eccles.)

Cherie Blair

Phew! Proof that Tony Blair didn't sell his soul, after all.

Maybe, then, nobody has sold his soul to the Devil recently. Not Richard Branson, not Cardinal Nichols, not Russell Brand, not Enda Kenny. Well, maybe Enda Kenny. We'll see whether he wins that referendum...

Monday, 18 May 2015

Hopes fade for Michael Coren

Doctors monitoring the state of Michael Coren, the Catholic Evangelical Catholic Anglican Druid writer have expressed themselves as pessimistic about the possibility that he can be saved. Since swimming the Tiber for the fourth time (and becoming eligible for a Frequent Swimmer Gold Card), Mike has shown a distinct inability to laugh at his predicament, and - unlike the rest of us - is taking himself far too seriously.

Michael Coren

Cheer up, Mike!

We have made attempts to bring a smile to the face of Mr Coren (after all, he is supposed to be keen on "gay" issues). These include tickling him with a feather during his latest television interview, putting a whoopee cushion on his seat when he attended (Anglican) church, and reading out in a silly voice some passages from Why Catholics are Right. All to no avail, he's still Mike Misery-Guts.

Rosica and Kasper

Kasper has just stuck a "Kick me" sign to the back of Fr Rosica.

Contrast this with the demeanour of his Eminence, Cardinal Kasper, who has a somewhat perpetual grin. Wally Kasper's views are not very different from Mike Coren's, but he has managed to avoid donning the old life-jacket and plunging into the Tiber. Of course, some regard the Kasper grin as a sign of mania, but it's better than scowling all the time.

Kasper and Radcliffe

"So then his Holiness saw the sign and gave him a kick!"

Another smiler who makes the good folk at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith throw up their hands in disgust is Fr Timothy Radagast the White, who has been packed off to Rome as consultor to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. We were hoping that this was a non-job, designed to keep him out of trouble, but unfortunately Timmy Radish - who, like his namesake keeps coming back leaving a nasty taste - will probably consider that drivelling on about homosexual rights is the main purpose of Catholicism.

Rowan Williams and Radcliffe

"That's funny, I reject Catholic teaching as well."

So, Mike, why not come back again to the Catholic Church - it will get you a mention in the Guinness Book of Records, and as a Frequent Swimmer you'll get complimentary champagne and fatted calf! After all, your ludicrous anti-Christian views are already shared by some very senior types in Rome! Think about it, OK?

Friday, 15 May 2015

Britain’s leading lay Catholics

To celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Tablet, and the 25th anniversary of its ceasing to be a Catholic paper, we are printing excerpts from its list of Britain's leading lay Catholics - or, to be more precise, those powerful people who have done so much to make the Catholic church conform to Tablet values.

wicked witch

Hecate Popestrangler, ACTA Sturmbannführerin.

Hecate is the coordinator of the Midsomer branch of ACTA, and she has done more than anyone else to foster dialogue between the bishops and the rebellious laity. Comments about her work include "It's that old bat on the phone again, My Lord," and "Tell her to jump in the lake." A regular columnist for the Tablet and qualified liturgical dance instructor.

Ben Turpin

Adolf Herod, Amnasty International Infanticide Division.

Adolf, a pious Catholic, hides his light under a bushel. So much so that he is single-handedly responsible for changing Amnasty International from an organization that cared for prisoners into one which pushes for abortion. Dr Herod is also an influential member of the Catholic Youth in Asia campaign, which is pressing for a humane death for everyone over the age of 60.

Missy

Harriet Cyberman, Secretary of State for Cotton Wool.

Harriet is one of the most powerful Catholics in the country, and is said to have the Prime Minister's ear (obvious joke omitted). A keen proponent of same-sex marriage, equality, diversity, dexterity, elasticity, viscosity and toxicity, Harriet lives in Hampstead with her wife and three test-tube babies. She greatly admires Chris Patten.

Sid Vicious

Professor Sidney Vicious.

Professor Vicious is on our televisions most nights, whether it's as a guest on Strictly Come Chainsaw-Massacring or I'm a psychopath, get me out of here! Whenever the BBC needs someone to explain how Catholics are just like everyone else - and even believe exactly the same things - Professor Vicious, the Regius Professor of Astrology at Myra Hindley University, is there to oblige. His new translation of the Mass, with added expletives, is recommended by the Tablet.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Vincent Nichols conducts a Blue Mass

Following on from his controversial "Gay Mass" at Farm Street, in which he was ably assisted by his yes-man, the incredible Mgr Bottletop, Cardinal Nichols is now planning an even more shocking event, namely, a "Tory Mass". It is expected that many "out" Tories will attend, and that ++Nichols will preach a sermon stressing the role of "Mercy", without however insisting on the orthodox Catholic doctrine that Conservative acts are sinful (the doctrine of Purge-a-Tory). The Mass will take place in the Brompton Ora-Tory, the scene of many scandalous Tory masses.

Vincent Nichols in blue

++Vin forsakes his rainbow vestments for a Tory blue.

Traditionally, Tories have been regarded as in some way "second class" citizens, and the Christian churches have been blamed for fostering anti-Tory bigotry. For example, Canon Giles Fraser was given the prestigious "Bigot of the year" award for Toryphobia by the Tory Rights organization, BlueWall, after expressing the view that Conservatives should not be allowed to marry.

Gollum

"Toriesssss... we hates 'em, my precious!"

In Rome, the forthcoming Synod on the Family, Part 2, will be addressing the vexed question whether Tories should be permitted to take Communion in the same way as ordinary liberals and socialists are allowed to. For many, Cardinal Kasper's proposals, which would even include letting Tories marry in church, are a step too far.

It is said that in a long-gone degenerate era the Anglican church was regarded as "The Tory Party at Prayer"; eventually, its leaders managed to reform it, removing the Tory elements as well as the prayers. The Catholic Church was more faithful to Christ's teaching that we should all join trades unions, vote Labour, go on strike, read the Guardian, worship the sacred Edstone of St Miliband, deface war memorials, etc. However, nowadays these Toryphobic attitudes are considered obsolete, and it is only in certain repressive countries such as North Korea, Zimbabwe, Iran and France that being a Conservative is actually illegal.

Margaret Thatcher in car

Margaret Thatcher is sent into exile for being a Conservative. Is a royal pardon imminent?

So, although we are usually harsh critics of Vincent Nichols's orthodoxy, his bullying, and his inability to get the date of Ascension Day right, we are going to stick our necks out here and say that in showing compassion to the most despised members of society, he is proving himself to be a true man of God. Wow.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Giles Fraser condemns the Re-election of Jesus

Palestine, 33 AD.

Gi-les Fra-ser, a Sadducee scribe, has expressed himself extremely dissatisfied with the recent surprising Re-election of Jesus of Nazareth.

Mad Charlotte Church

The Church of Charlotte was also dissatisfied.

Dr Fra-ser, known for his regular Take no thought for tomorrow slot for the Roman Empire Broadcasting Company, was writing his "Lost Canon" piece for the Guardian's The comments will make you free section. He pointed out that there had been three candidates for Re-election, namely, Jesus, Ed Dismas the Good Thief, and Nick Gestas the Bad Thief. (There were also candidates with less potential for salvation, such as Judas Isgalloway.)

Two Milibands

Dismas's brother demonstrates the Vulcan death grip.

It is thought that Dr Fra-ser was first disillusioned with Jesus when he came across His views on marriage: apparently, it was the bigoted "one man and one woman" model that he found unacceptable. Weeping copiously, Dr Fra-ser wrote how he was ashamed to be a citizen of the Roman Empire, and that he felt that the democratic system had failed the most vulnerable in society. He thought that God had got it wrong ("as He so often does"), and that the highly eccentric Russell Barabbas might have been right after all, when he told people to support nobody at all Ed Dismas, the Judaean People's Front.

A powerful message from Russell Barabbas.

Jesus, is of course associated with food banks (5000 hungry people were clamouring for a free meal at one point), and a somewhat hit-and-miss attitude to health care, as Lazarus and Jairus's daughter could testify. However, it seems that He has now been Re-elected for a long period, and it is not clear how Fra-ser proposes to resist his authority. Meanwhile, he admits, "I'm very Sadducee."

Sunday, 10 May 2015

How can I make my sermons less boring?

A week or two ago, Pope Francis ordained nineteen new priests, telling them to feed the people of God with heartfelt homilies rather than boring sermons. Since then, many priests have contacted me, asking "How can I make my sermons less boring?"

Pope Francis joking

"So I told him, 'I will not dance with you for three reasons. First because you are drunk, second because that music is not a dance but our national anthem, and third because I am the cardinal-archbishop of Buenos Aires.'"

Certainly many sermons are boring, but here are a few ways to make them less so, based on observation of the Holy Father himself:

1. Say something so confusing that nobody knows what you really mean. People will ask themselves, "Did he really say that we should all try and commit a few extra sins today?"

2. Insult your congregation. Call them "Sloth-diseased, acedic Christians!" or ""Querulous and disillusioned pessimists!" or the old favourite, ""Self-absorbed, Promethean neo-Pelagians!" There is a useful list of insults here.

3. Make an off-colour joke about mothers-in-law, or perhaps women in general. Try to avoid jokes about ethnic minorities, homosexuals or the disabled, as there are limits to what even a priest can get away with.

Alf Garnett

This is going to end badly, Deacon.

Apart from that, here are few tips about keeping your audience's attention. Start with something arresting, preferably about SEX, as this is a subject that occupies most people's minds most of the time.

POOR: "I think the sex life of the rhubarb plant is really fascinating."

WEAK, BUT BETTER: "The sex life of the three-toed sloth is one that carries a powerful message to Christians."

BETTER STILL: "You may have seen a recent television programme in which Professor Dairymaid McCauliflower told us that nobody ever had sex until the Reformation."

BEST, BUT A BIT PERSONAL. "The sex life of Sally Bercow is really fascinating."

Sally Bercow

We are not sure what is happening here.

Apart from sex, other subjects that your audience can identify with include football (for some), pop music (but try not to describe Elton John as a "promising youngster"), and what was on television last night.

You may also want a gimmick tailored to the subject of your sermon. If your subject is "I am the vine", then bring a vine in with you and wave it, just in case your audience has never seen one. If it's "Money is the root of all evil", tear a five-pound note in half (you can still use it afterwards), to symbolize your rejection of the material.

Bottley of wine

Kate Bottle (Anglican) explains the Miracle at Cana.

Anyway, you get the picture. Avoid all mention of dead people, such as Aquinas, Luther or Newman. Only very clever people have heard of them, and it violates the last and most important rule of sermon-giving, or public-speaking in general: WHEN IN DOUBT, DUMB DOWN.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

A remembrance service for departed politicians

I am the re-election and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were rejected by voters, yet shall he live, peradventure to return to the world by a by-election, or peradventure to enter the heavenly House of Lords. Failing that, to be blessed with directorships, consultancies, and other means by which the world poureth out money on the otherwise unemployable.

Man that is elected to parliament hath but a short time to serve, and causeth a lot of misery by his meddling. He cometh up, and is cut down, like a flower; he fleeth as it were a shadow, and never continueth in one eternal government.

Three polticians (two of them also walking dead) remember the fallen.

Forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God, in his wise providence, to take out of parliament the souls of our deceased brothers, we therefore commit them to the dustbin of history; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, toast to toast; looking for a general re-election on the last day of the new administration.

We remember in particular the following brothers who have been taken from us:

Edward Edwin Edgar Edmund Balls, he whose testament to the world, "Ed Balls", is forever remembered in "Ed Balls Day". Although his cutting off leaves the House of Commons emasculated, may the holy day of April 28th (or, if the bishops choose, a convenient Sunday nearby) ever be used to remember him; yeah, even when his works have faded into history and the deficit is no more.

Ed Balls, clad in robes of white.

George Saddam Felix Galloway, many times winner of the "most obnoxious man in politics" award. Well, the less said about him, the better. May he be granted seventy-two virgins in Paradise, preferably Jewish ones.

Possibly the last we shall see of George Galloway. I'm an optimist.

Vincent Nijinsky Cable, dancer extraordinaire and politician ordinaire, he who was unplugged before his time; and Mark Lemming Reckless, of whom we never heard until he decided to sing a new song to the Lord, which proved his undoing.

And there are many others, mostly dressed in robes of red and yellow, whose names are already forgotten.

I heard a voice from Heaven, saying unto me: Write, From henceforth blessed are the dead who are thrown out: for they rest, and we have peace from their foolishness.

"Mwahahahahaha!" Sometimes the undead come back to haunt us.

The priest is asked NOT to mention wailing and gnashing of teeth, even though there is a lot of this going on in BBC interviews, etc.

[At this point Messrs Cameron, Miliband and Clegg will lay wreaths at the eight-foot "Edstone". Mr Cameron will endeavour to stop giggling, before departing to visit some more fish markets. Mr Miliband will trip and fall, before leaving to seek spiritual advice from the Venerable Brand. Mr Clegg will depart in a taxi with the rest of his MPs.]

liturgical dancing

Life goes on: Theresa May teaches liturgical dancing to a group of new MPs.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

A saved person goes to vote

Holy water? Check. 
Rosary? Check. 
Crucifix? Check. 
Missal? Check.
Thurible? Check. 
Right, it's off to the polling station I go.
Addams family

So, guess which one I voted for?

In fact, I got to vote twice today, once in my own right, and once to cast a proxy vote for a family member who had fallen down some stairs and sprained his ankle. He gave me explicit instructions how to vote in both the local and general elections, but he added a request that I adorn his ballot paper with a rude and naughty poem about Ed Miliband. Apparently, this would not invalidate the vote, but I didn't fulfil that request. Maybe that puts me in breach of electoral law? I don't know.

Fr Ted and Nicola Sturgeon

An unfortunate (double) lookalike. Fr Ted and Nicola Sturgeon.

It was a glorious day as I walked along the street to the polling station. I passed a yellow sign telling me to vote Lib Dem, then a red one for Labour, and a blue one for Conservative, and a green one for, er, Green. No UKIP ones, as it happened. Surely they couldn't all be right? No, of course not.

The election literature gave me a clue: "Joan Tharg cooks a delicious baby for her dinner. Fred Barg helps a constituent raise the money to send his granny off on a surprise trip to Dignitas. Alex Warg explains lesbianism to the St Vincent's Primary School Reception Class. Mohammed Xarg raises £5,000 for ISIS." I was beginning to suspect that all my candidates were grossly unsaved.

swingometer

The "Savedometer" for analysing the swing between saved and unsaved candidates.

In the end I did find one candidate who was slightly saved (let's say, more saved than Professor Tina Beattie but less saved than Bishop Mark Davies), and voted for him. However his leader is definitely a very unsaved person. My only consolation was that my vote could only make a real difference if the majority in my constituency was 0 or 1. But it's not a happy day for a saved person.

As the old story has it, we shall have three possible hymns to choose from tomorrow:

Now thank we all our God.

O God, our help in ages past.

God moves in a mysterious way.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Cardinal Nichols shocks the world

Vincent Nichols, Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, the so-called "Pope's fruitcake", shocked the world today by celebrating a totally orthodox and traditional Mass. Said one eye-witness, "I came to Westminster Cathedral expecting to attend one of his famous 'gay' masses, but he used the traditional Latin liturgy, and even seemed to understand what most of it meant."

Vincent Nichols

Vincent Nichols rejected the traditional "Farm Street" vestments.

Apparently, as a concession to the cardinal's Liverpudlian roots, the communion anthem was Anfield's Numquam ambulabis solus*, but otherwise there were no innovations. Said our eye-witness "I was expecting to hear a reading from the epistle of Tina Beattie to the lost people of Roehampton, or perhaps Michael Coren's Catholics, dontchahatem? or even selections from the Timothy Radcliffe Bumper Book of Heresy, but in fact we had nothing but orthodox Catholic doctrine throughout."

*Use Google translate or ask Fr Hunwicke, if you don't understand this.

Michael Coren

Cruel words about Michael Coren.

Things became even more shocking at the communion stage, when a homosexual couple was told that they could not take communion. "We had just said the bit about 'Domine, non sum dignus', when the cardinal interrupted with, 'That means you, buster. Clear off!'"

Vincent Nichols concluded the Mass by processing down the aisle to the bookstall, where there were huge piles of unsold copies of the Tablet. "By the powers granted to me as a Prince of the Church, I banish thee to the Pit from whence thou came!" he cried, and sure enough a mighty wind blew up and swept all the copies of the wretched publication back to the depths of Hammersmith. "Result!" shouted the Cardinal, this being the traditional way of concluding the Rite of Exorcism.

Cardinal Burke congratulates Cardinal Nichols on his performance.

Said Deacon Nick Donnelly, a prominent retired blogger: "This is dynamite! Thank goodness that Bishop Arnold and Bishop Campbell caused my blog to be voluntarily shoved down my throat! I wouldn't have known what to say!"

Late news: Vincent Nichols is said to be feeling unwell.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Cardinal says that Jesus had two heads

The Vatican's logo for the Jubilee Year of Mercy is proving controversial, as it is based on a new theory of Cardinal Kasper ("the Pope's jester") that Our Lord had two heads.

logo

Sr Wendy Beckett writes: What a delightful painting this is. We see a two-headed man on skis, wearing an unusual scarf.

Although the Dicephalist heresy is already embodied in pagan culture, and expressed in sayings such as "Two heads are better than one" (or the Orwellists' "One head good, two heads better"), it is certainly unsupported by scripture and tradition. Cardinal Kasper's revival of this heresy is distinctly worrying, and we are waiting for Cardinals Burke, Pell, Napier, Sarah, etc. to give definitive guidance on the matter.

Zaphod

St Zaphod of Beeblebrox (St Z): so holy that he grew a second head.

We did interview Cardinal Kasper, but he was having one of his less coherent days, and told us in no uncertain terms that he himself had seven heads, like the dragon in the Apocalypse. We made our excuses and left.


IMPORTANT. Some readers of this blog have questioned whether its author is really as saved as he claims to be. However he has now installed an "Ecclestone" in his garden, which should put the matter beyond doubt.

Ecclestone

The Ecclestone.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Cormac doesn't deserve the treatment he's getting

Adapted from the Catholic Herald.

By Peter Stanford.

There's a touching scene in Tony Blair's newly published memoir An English Spring. It is May 1994, and Labour leader John Smith lies dying. The then Shadow Home Secretary, Anthony Blair, is ushered in to say a final goodbye. "John Prescott will have to take over this job," says the dying Smith, whose mind is already wandering. However, the message is relayed back as "It's all yours, Tony," and the rest is history.

Cormac and Blair

Cormac Murphy-O'Connor is admitted into the Labour Party.

Tony Blair faced several challenges during his time in power, not least Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor telling him he wanted to join the Labour Party. The news came as no great surprise, he says. "He'd been a bit of a leftie for twenty-five years, and his conversion had been expected for a long time. Cormac's getting a bit of a bad time now, without even the usual twenty million pounds and a string of luxury mansions to console him in his old age, and I feel sorry for him. He made many mistakes during his time at Arundel and Brighton - oh, and at Westminster too - and ever since then, come to think of it - but he doesn't deserve the kind of treatment he is getting. Well, actually he does, really."


Adapted from the Spectator.

The Heckler: why does Damian Thompson have to be so rude?

By Sir John Eliot Gardiner.

Damian Thompson is talented almost beyond measure. He is the leading Bach expert of his age, or indeed any age, but is also equally at home with Gladys Mills. His stupidly-named Orchestre Petit Gâteaux et Crème Anglaise has notched up one triumph after another over the decades. At 53, Damian is at his artistic peak, the author of numerous books and articles, and you have to wonder: is there anything this man can’t do?

The answer is yes. One art eludes him: good manners. He's perhaps the only Telegraph blogger to have had his own comment on his own blog deleted by his own moderators, when he described a sensitive female commentator as "You spiteful cow!" He told another "I will not be lectured to by you, Mrs Farrow." Then again he had a blazing row with the normally-timid Peter Hitchens, storming out and knocking over a blind little old lady in the corridor.

Peter Hitchens and Damian Thompson

Clash of the Titans!

Many geniuses have been bad-tempered - think of Beethoven, Evelyn Waugh, even Pope Francis - and Damian’s friends think all this is unfair. Although he is generously endowed with self-esteem, he is not a monster like George Galloway. He inspires deep affection in some colleagues. Belatedly anxious about his image problem, he now says he has "mellowed". That may be true, but there is plenty of mellowing still to do. "I said 'hello' to Damian on Twitter not that long ago," says one award-winning saved blogger, "and he stared through me as if I was a parlourmaid."

Friday, 1 May 2015

Westminster Abbey becomes a mosque

As reported by the Anglican writers Cranmer and Ruth Gledhill, Westminster Abbey has been moving steadily Mecca-wards, with prayers describing Mohammed as a "prophet" - without the usual adjective "false" - and "the chosen one" - about which Christ might have had something to say. However, all is now explained with the news that Westminster Abbey is to be converted into a mosque. From now on the Dean should be referred to as Imam John Halal, er, Hall, although he will now have the option of choosing a more Islamic name, such as Abu Hamza, George Galloway, or simply Jihad John II.

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Mosque, before some necessary alterations.

It is expected that Imam John will call the faithful to prayer every morning by shouting some suitable message from one of the towers of the mosque. Suggestions here include yelling the great religious hymn "If I were a fuzzy wuzzy bear, I'd thank you Lord for my fuzzy wuzzy hair" at bemused passers-by, or possibly a simple message of invitation such as "There are tea and halal biscuits being served in the Giles Fraser Chapel." Since Westminster Abbey will be a "Liberal Muslim" mosque, we do not expect to see any signs of radical Islam, although the Teenagers' Radicalization Group will continue to meet on Wednesday evenings. Indeed, Canon Jane Sinclair will continue as a "Lady Imam", although naturally she will need to wear a burkha.

Westminster Cathedral

Will Vincent Nichols follow suit at Westminster Cathedral, which already resembles a mosque?

It is thought that the explanation for the change from Anglican (well, originally Catholic) Abbey to Islamic mosque may be linked to the promise from Labour leader Ed Miliband that "Islamophobia" will be made a crime if he wins the forthcoming general election. Christians, of course, enjoy no such protection.

radical Muslims

Fighting against Islamophobia!


This week's brain-teaser: a homosexual couple goes to a Muslim baker's demanding a "same-sex wedding" cake. When the Muslim proprietor refuses, they sue him. Is he guilty of homophobia, or are they guilty of Islamophobia?