Dis is me, Eccles

Dis is me, Eccles
Dis is me, Eccles

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Was he a tyrant or a devout Catholic?

This week saw a controversial Requiem Mass in Leicester, and the question on the lips of everyone who saw it was "Not a bad service, but was he a tyrant or a devout Catholic?" Certainly, the prevailing view among Catholics is that Vincent was a bullying dictator, who attempted to silence all opposition and brought shame on the Catholic Church with the wicked persecution of his enemies. But some people do hold other views.

Vincent Nichols

Detested tyrant or devout Catholic? You decide.

The somewhat eccentric Society of Vincent holds a contrary opinion, portraying its hero as a humble and kind man, who owned his own Bible, which he kept in pristine condition by the expedient of never reading it. They say that Vincent was a timid person, who wanted nothing more than to become pope, world dictator and manager of Liverpool football club. His first step was to fight for a total modernization of Catholic teaching on marriage to remove its old-fashioned "Christian" emphasis and bring it more in line with secular values.

Nichols and Thompson

Vincent attempts to bully a meek young journalist (unidentified).

However, the judgement of history is predominantly against Vincent. There are claims that he launched a persecution of Catholic priests unparallelled since the era of Queen Elizabeth, forcing the more paranoid of them to install "priests' holes" in their presbyteries. in case his henchmen came knocking at the door. Although he was simply the ordinary of the Westminster Diocese, and not a primate except in the zoological sense, he did not hesitate to interfere with doings in other dioceses over which he had no formal authority.

Vincent himself liked nothing more than having his photo taken, or being interviewed on radio and television; thus, it was all the more shocking when he attempted to imprison 500 priests in the Tower because they had written a letter to the Catholic Herald.

Richard III

Richard III - humiliated after his death by Vincent.

Said Richard III, a retired king and practising Catholic: "After my death I rested peacefully in a Catholic car-park for 500 years, before being dug up and moved to a Protestant cathedral in Leicester. They mocked me by giving me a funeral according to the rites of my evil great-nephew Henry. The Catholics, who should have known better, sent Vincent to say a Requiem Mass for me; he didn't even realise that Masses should be in Latin, but insisted on saying it in Vernacular (a Liverpudlian dialect). How did such an ignorant man ever become a bishop?"

Pope Francis and Nichols

"It doesn't fit too well, but your head seems to have swollen."

Sadly, Vincent's rule in Westminster was a long history of oppression. Worried that they were revealing too much about his activities, he denounced bloggers as "gossips", saying that they should have no place in the Church. He saw himself as a new St Augustine of Hippo, fighting the Donatists, when he issued a Reflection Document for Clergy on Marriage and Family Life that brought terror into the hearts of the faithful. History does not (yet) record his ultimate fate: did he die in a battle with the faithful and end up buried in a Catholic car-park? Or did he achieve his ambition of becoming Pope Francis II?

Vin ordinaire

Vin the Ordinary, described as a bitter red.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Is your bishop saved?

So 450 (saved) Catholic priests have written a letter to the Catholic Herald, saying, in effect, that they are OK with Christian teaching and don't want to change it. However, there are reports that some senior churchmen have been applying pressure against signing the letter; moreover, the notoriously publicity-shy Cardinal Nichols has rebuked them for communicating with the press, issuing them with a supply of bushels, under which they are instructed to hide their lights.

A quick calculation using my fingers and toes suggests that, if invited, three bishops would definitely have signed the letter, or at most five. The rest... oh dear. As a now-forgotten journalist called Damian Thompson once put it, "The Magic Circle".

Philip Egan

This is what a saved bishop looks like (Philip Egan).

It is time for a scientific analysis of our bishops, to decide whether they are saved or not. From Easter I shall keep an informal record of mentions of bishops (or at least the ones I notice) to see whether their actions are those of a saved or unsaved person. So Mgr Egan scored very well this week with his comments on abortion (against), same-sex marriage (against) and family life (for). He probably gets bonus points for upsetting Conor Burns MP.

Of course, some bishops are hardly ever in the news. For example, we have never had occasion to mention Bishop Drainey of Middlesbrough on this blog. Indeed, I suspect that unless you live in the Diocese of Middlesbrough you may not have heard of him (and possibly not even then).

Terence Drainey

Terence Drainey. Nice chasuble, but saved status unknown.

How about an unsaved bishop? Well, to take a hypothetical example, suppose that a bishop stopped one of his deacons from writing a totally orthodox Catholic blog, and gave a misleading account of the whole affair? Would he not be in a state of sin (and unsaved) until he repented and that deacon's gagging was ended? No matter how many worthy deeds he did in the mean time?

Ugh. Let's have another saved bishop.

Mark Davies

Another saved bishop (Mark Davies).

So how can a bishop score points? Positive things are easy, but unfortunately rather rare: defend Catholic teaching, especially when it is attacked by MPs who really belong in the Goon Show; ban the Tablet; refuse to allow Timothy Radcliffe or Tina Beattie to speak on church property in your diocese; stick up for people who want traditional forms of worship; set up a fifty-mile-radius exclusion zone in which Paul Inwood's music is banned; you know, do all the things they taught you to do at bishop-school.

Negative things? Prevaricate about Catholic teaching; bully your clergy if they show signs of orthodoxy; encourage the Tablet; join in dodgy ecumenical services with Muslims and Hindus; invite dissident speakers; cosy up to ACTA... well of course none of the bishops would ever do such a thing.

Eccles and Vin

Eccles (L) watches a very senior bishop to see whether he is saved.

Naturally, other countries have unsaved bishops too. There are distressing accounts of Bishop Bootkoski of New Jersey giving the bootkoski to Patricia Jannuzzi, a teacher in a Catholic school who defended traditional marriage. Well done, bishop: Cardinal Dolan, the Grandmaster of the St Patrick's Day Gay Pride Parade, would be proud of you.

Bootkoski

"Show her the door, 44!" Bootcatholic calls out the Bingo numbers.

Rhino Marx in "A Week at the Synod"

It has been announced that the sole surviving Marx Brother, Cardinal Reinhard "Rhino" Marx, long regarded as one of the funniest of the team, is to star in a new film A Week at the Synod.

Rhino Marx

Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others.

The basic plot of the film is that Rhino takes the part of Rufus T. Moneybags, the chairman of the German Bishops' Conference. He has become extremely rich as a result of a dodgy "church tax", and wishes to declare independence from the Catholic Church, citing the precedent of the great Martin Z. Luther. This will enable the German church to become even richer, and make up its own rules, such as rejecting all the traddy Christian teaching about marriage and the family.

In the words of Rhino: "Please accept my resignation. I don’t care to belong to any church that will have me as a member."

Groucho and Chico

"There ain't no Sanity Clause for cardinals." Rhino with "Chico" Baldisseri.

Naturally, the repressive Roman Church, led by businessman Francis I. Pope, is opposed to the Moneybags "Go it alone" policy, but at the Synod Francis is told in no uncertain terms: "From the moment I picked up the Catechism until I put it down I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it."

Duck Soup

Time for reflection: Rhino and "Harpo" Kasper, the one with nothing useful to say.

Eccles verdict: the characters played by Marx, Baldisseri and Kasper are as ludicrous as any we have ever seen, but the plot is totally implausible. Watch out for veteran comic Tina Beattie in the "Margaret Dumont" role of the foolish old woman.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Salve, salve! Basil Loftus takes on the Gestapo

We have to thank Joseph Shaw for drawing our attention to the heroic words of Mgr Basil "Lofty" Loftus of the Catholic Times:

Like the Gestapo in the Channel Islands during the last war who had to admit that they couldn't make everyone speak German, but forced them to drive on the right-hand side of the road, that Congregation had, regretfully, to admit that it could no longer make everyone worship in Latin, but by means of an unintelligible translation it would force them to conform to an alien culture in order to demonstrate its own superiority.

Leclerc

"It is I, le cleric!" Basil Loftus reveals himself to an amazed audience.

We are in the early 1960s. It is over 1500 years since the Romans left Britain, but still the hated Catholic Church attempts to force its people to worship in Latin. Luckily, as seen in the television series Salve, salve! there is a heroic resistance movement in which Lofty is a key player.

Hated and feared by all is a theological consultant by the name of Josef Ratzinger of the Gestapo, whose main aim is to suppress the use of "vernacular", a language spoken by everyone, and insist on Tridentine rites that nobody has ever been able to understand.

Herr Flick

The hated Herr Ratzinger of the Gestapo.

Resistance to the Nazis is centred on the Vatican II café, where Lofty the pianist plays a selection of his favourite Catholic songs, including "It ain't necessarily so," and "Imagine there’s no Heaven." These are later expanded into hard-hitting heretical articles for the Catholic Times satire page.

Vernacular is a difficult language to master, and Lofty's own preferred translation of the Mass, which begins with "Good moaning!" is clearly defective in some respects. Moreover, his style is based less on "Listen very carefully I shall pray this only once" than "Don't bother listening to me now, I'll be saying the same again next week, or maybe something sillier."

Basil Fawlty

Mgr Basil "Don't mention the war" Foltus.

Unfortunately, Lofty gets crazier as time goes on, and it obliges his listeners to put cheese in their ears if they wish to maintain their sanity. The war against the hated forces of Latin continues, and victory is by no means assured.

The Timothy Radcliffe road show (with added Inwood)

Are you planning a Catholic event? Are you worried that it may be too Catholic? These days we've got to be more inclusive, and we need to include Catholics of all shades of opinion: Protestant, atheist, Muslim, ... We don't want to give the impression that being a Catholic is anything to do with what you believe in, as if Catholics somehow rejected liberal secular values! Luckily we've got just the speaker for you - Fr Timothy Radcliffe!

John Allen Jr and Fr Timothy Radcliffe

Timothy Radcliffe (R) with John Allen Jr, a poor homeless man.

Fr Radclife, once ludicrously tipped to succeed Basil Hume as Archbishop of Westminster, is known as a dissident from Catholic teaching on sexual ethics. Actually, I'm not sure what else he's known for, as dissidence seems to keep him very busy. A president at one of the infamous Soho Masses, a man who recommended the film Brokeback Mountain, a man who rejects the Church's teaching on homosexual relations - yes, he's just the man to make your Catholic event more liberal. And here are some examples!

flames of Hell

Flame 2 - a "yoof" listens raptly to Fr Radcliffe,

Consider Flame 2, then. An event for the "yoof" of today, or middle-aged men pretending to be "yoof-ful". With special yoof-ful guest, Cardinal "I don't think the midterm report was a mistake" Tagle, a hero of the Extraordinary Synod, and just the cardinal to invite if you think Burke is being too, er, serious about his faith. Radcliffe was there, too, as a man who knows how to inspire the yoof!

Daniel Radcliffe

A yoof-ful Radcliffe.

Now pop over to Vaughan House, near Westminster Cathedral, and listen to Fr Timothy give a Lenten talk on Tolerant and Free despite being Catholic? Subtext - don't let Catholicism get in the way of your liberalism. Are there no limits to this man's ubiquity? Incidentally, Cardinal Nichols, don't think we didn't notice that all four speakers are male Catholic priests - no women priests, not even a Tina Beattie. You sexist trad!

Radcliffe mug

I went to Vaughan House, and all I got was this lousy mug.

The Radcliffe roadshow continues, and unless you've bought one of those tee-shirts listing all his gigs you may not be able keep up with the man. However, the best is still to come. Over at Arundel and Brighton they're celebrating the 50th anniversary of the diocese, as we have mentioned before.

Many of us were hoping that Timothy Radcliffe would be the next bishop of A&B - after Cormac and Kieran he would have kept the comedy tradition alive - but it was not to be. Mgr Richard "Tiger" Moth, Bishop of the Forces, will be the next occupant of "Conry Towers" in Pease Pottage. That leaves a vacancy of course, and if they were to change the name to "Bishop of the Farces", then I would be happy to write a testimonial for Radcliffe.

Tiger Moth

"Tiger" Moth prepares to land at Pease Pottage.

But we digress. One of the stars of the Arundel and Brighton mega-party is a certain Fr Radcliffe. The best is yet to come, though, and this is a reason why you definitely mustn't miss the fun.

Radcliffe Infirmary

Help is at hand for those who've had too much Radcliffe.

As reported by Men Are Like Wine, Paul Inwood has written a Jubilee Mass for the Arundel and Brighton event. Apparently Lady Gaga was unavailable. As a Lenten penance I decided to listen to the first few tracks. Going into the wilderness of the Inwood, that's the sort of thing I do so that you don't have to.

Track 1: Gathering Song. What do you mean, you didn't know the Mass included a gathering song? To be fair to Uncle Paul, it's not too bad, if you like "socially relevant" songs that only mention God as an afterthought. Still, the tune is a little banal, and the use of irreverent-sounding chords sounds as if Uncle Paul wasn't paying attention in his basic harmony classes.

Track 2: Gathering Chant. Here I started biting the carpet. "Prepare the way of the Lord, Moo-oo-oo, Moo-oo-oo"??? Well, that's what it sounds like. Listen to it yourself, if you don't believe it. These wordless noises don't really work. Same tune as in 1, with extra moo-sic.

PARATE VIAM DOMINI

Shouldn't that be "PARATE VIAM DOMINI MOO-OO-OO"?

Track 3: Kyrie. Not too bad, really, although it doesn't sound spiritually nourishing, or even particularly original. He even uses the traddy Greek words. Could we have misjudged Uncle Paul? No, of course not.

Well, I think I've suffered enough Inwood, so I'll stop there.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Television show threatened after star involved in "fracas"

The future of the popular show "Pope Gear", also known as "Catholic Church", was in doubt today, after its star was involved in a "punching incident". According to reports, Jorge Bergoglio aimed a punch at an assistant producer, Dr Alberto Gasparri, after he was rude about his mother.

Pope Francis test drive

A scene from "Pope Gear". Jorge test-drives yet another weird car.

This is not the first time that Jorge has been involved in controversy. Many will remember his time in Argentina, when he managed to offend the government by attacking their same-sex marriage bill as a "‘move’ of the father of lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God." Still, most Pope Gear fans supported him over that incident, feeling that his remarks were theologically correct even if not politically correct.

Pope on bus

Another stunt. A bus full of bishops races through the streets at 100 m.p.h.

However, nearer to home, Jorge has been associated with a string of gaffes that have been less easy to defend. His use of the term "self-absorbed, Promethean neo-Pelagians" offended many people who did not expect to hear such language on a family show. Then again, some old ladies were upset by his description of the European Union as "A Europe which is now a 'grandmother', no longer fertile and vibrant."

popemobile

A bad role model? Jorge has been criticised for hardly ever wearing a seatbelt.

The show has also been accused of sexist attitudes by some critics. "Professor" Tuna Buttie (© Faith in our families), Director of the Digby Stuart Research Centre for Health, Money and Life Religion, Society and Human Flourishing, is a long-term critic of "Pope Gear", apparently because its main presenters are male. However, she has never really understood what is expected on the show, and it has been suggested many times that she would be happier with another programme such as Eastenders, where abortion, same-sex relationships and divorce are considered more acceptable.

Tina Beattie flower-arranging

"Here I am, a professor, and they ask me to teach flower-arranging," complains Tina.

So what of the future? Will Pope Gear continue with another presenter? The late Raymond Burke-Star, the BBC's motoring correspondent and presenter of Tomorrow's World, has been making a comeback recently, with a highly successful UK tour. Will he take over the sedes calida? And if he does, will Jorge start a new show, or join his predecessor in retirement?

Raymond Baxter

Raymond Burke-Star, the thinking man's motorist.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

The Bishop of Lancaster's blog

Going Deeper Into Our Lenten Journey!

The true roots of Lent lie in Lancaster. We remember the trials of Deacon Donnelly in the wilderness, where he was sorely tempted by a heartless bishop. Hang on, that can't be right. Let's start again.

A new start. It is a year now since the deacon entered into a voluntary period of prayer and reflection on my orders, and many people are wondering how long his exile - which we described as a voluntary pause - will last.

You will be my witnesses

"You will be my witnesses... unless Michael Campbell says otherwise.

My friend Eccles has kindly provided me with the "Eccles scale" by which you can judge the personality of a bishop by the length of the sentence he imposes on his clergy when other bishops are leaning on him to do something.

One week's pause. "A week is a long time in religion", as the saying goes - think of Holy Week. A kindly sympathetic bishop could ask his deacon to take a week off, and then resume his defence of the faith.

Forty days and forty nights. Lent is a time for sacrifice and reflection. I myself will be visiting the poor: some nuns have invited me round for tea and cakes, and we all know that they have a vow of poverty! Also, they make exceedingly good cakes! After forty days of meditation, a wise bishop would be ready to join his deacon in defending Catholic doctrine, and pfui! to the Magic Circle.

Bishop Campbell and some nuns

Visiting the poor!

Three months. After silencing his deacon for three months, a bishop needs to get him blogging again, or he (the bishop) will be regarded as a cruel taskmaster.

One year. This is getting beyond a joke. In the eyes of many the bishop is no longer a "cruel taskmaster" but a a "hard-hearted dictator".

Seven years. By then I will have retired to somewhere comfortable, preferably with lots of tea and cakes. The new bishop - unless it is someone bizarre like Timothy Radcliffe - will be only too pleased to see what Deacon Nick has to say.

Forty years. On my 112th birthday I shall make every effort to see that Deacon Donnelly's Protect the Pope blog is up and running again. Trust me, I'm a bishop.

Cardinal Burke

Cardinal Burke is in town!

It has been reported that Cardinal Burke is in the Liverpool area, and I expect that he will want to make a pilgrimage to Lancaster, in order to visit a truly holy man (me). Ray Burke has said that priests should not sue bloggers, and I am fully in agreement with this. In my view, they should report the bloggers to their bishops for silencing, excommunication, and possibly chastising with a rope of knotted cords. It is probable that Cardinal Burke will wish to discuss this with me, so I look forward to seeing you, your Eminence. Change trains at Preston.

Sultan of Lancaster

This sign should help you find me, Cardinal.

Some spiritual nourishment. The prophet Nathan came to King David, saying "There was a rich powerful man, who wrote a 'Bishop's blog' with a vast readership which was sometimes almost in double figures.
Then there was a poor man who wrote a humble blog that had only a few thousand hits per day.
The time came when a sacrifice was demanded, so the rich powerful man took the poor man's blog and destroyed it."
David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, "As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die!"
Then Nathan said to David, "Thou art the man!"

Nathan and David

Nathan confronts David. Makes you think,eh?

And finally. Don't think I haven't noticed that Deacon Donnelly has been writing a nasty personal attack on Cardinal Kasper and Cardinal Baldisseri in the Irish paper Catholic Voice. That's not going to please my friend Vincent Nichols, I can tell you! The deacon attempts to confuse the issue by using words like "paratheke" (who does he think he is, Fr John Hunwicke?) but it's a blog in all but name. Will nobody rid me of this turbulent deacon?

various Campbells

The Campbell family. Spot the bishop!


Postscript. Cardinal Burke came to tea, but he was very cross with me!

But Cardinal, it was a purely voluntary suspension...

Saturday, 7 March 2015

ISIS and IRA unite against Cardinal Dolan

After Cardinal Dolan made the assertion that ISIS is to IRA as Muslim is to Catholic, both ISIS and the IRA have united in condemning his words.

Dolan and baby

A fascinated baby stares at a dummy.

Said Seamus O'Ballyclava of the IRA, "These words of Dolan's are despicable. We are a peace-loving organization that shoots people rather than decapitating them. What's more, all we want is a united Socialist Ireland, and we are not in the least interested in Catholicism."

Said Jihad Jimmy of ISIS, "These words of Dolan's are despicable. We are a religious army, similar to your own Salvation Army. We're not very good at shooting, so we throw people off the top of high buildings and remove their surplus heads. What's more, we are deeply religious Allah-fearing people, and we throw our shoes at Cardinal Dolan."

wellie throwing

"Here comes Dolan!" Three Irishmen adopt Islamic customs.

Both: WE HATE DOLAN.

Said Seamus, "You know, Jimmy. This could be the start of a beautiful friendship between us. I think we could learn a lot from you. Tell us more about decapitation."

Said Jimmy, "Brother Seamus, you may be an infidel, but you're our sort of infidel! How can we get away with murder by becoming involved in a 'peace process'?"

stockbrokers in balaclavas

When terrorists become respectable.

Ecumenical negotiations continue.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Sex-selective murder is not prohibited

In the UK, we have traditionally taken a dim view of murder. Of course, the law has always recognised exceptions: when the killer's life is in danger, or someone else's, then killing may be allowed (the self-defence plea). Moreover, murder on health grounds - assisted suicide - is not usually prosecuted as it would not be "in the public interest". You're not interested in the fact that old Mrs Goggins was bumped off, are you? Well, you've no right to be.

Mrs Goggins

"I don't need any assistance, thank you very much."

Still, things have drifted slightly since the 1960s, and it became necessary to clarify whether one was allowed to bump someone off on the basis of their gender (sex). Having Auntie Moly around the house all day long drinking gin is such a nuisance, and I would have preferred an uncle, with whom I would have had more in common. He would probably have helped with the garden too. Auntie Moly's presence is damaging my health, indeed you might exaggerate 100 times and say that my life is in danger. So I can murder her, right?

WRONG. The law forbids this. Or does it?

Yvette Cooper

"Legislation isn't needed," says Yvette Cooper.

Yvette Cooper ("the only woman with Balls" as a rude joke has it) thinks that legislation to clarify this matter would be a bad idea. As explained by Tim Stanley, the arguments against making sex-selective murder illegal are:

0. It's already illegal, but we mustn't say so, as that will stop 
people from doing it.
1. Using the word "murder" isn't in the spirit of anti-murder 
legislation.
2. There are faults specific to each sex, e.g. men are lazy and women 
are garrulous (or vice-versa) and so, er, this is a bad idea.
3. Stopping murders may cause people to murder, in frustration at not 
being allowed to murder.
4. It stigmatises the "murdering community".
Jack the Ripper

Jack the Ripper. Chose his victims by gender, but don't stigmatise him!

So, no change there, then. Murder remains mostly illegal, even though everyone's doing it. Murder on the basis of the victim's sex is also illegal, but we mustn't say so. And in fact, the law will probably turn a blind eye if you try it. British justice - the finest in the world!

Are you being radicalised?

After the startling revelation that Jihadi John's real name is Mohammed Emwazi - and not George Galloway after all - we must each ask ourselves "COULD THIS HAPPEN TO ME"?

Mo Emwazi

Little Mo. Bad breath, not potty-trained until he was 15, ugly, but otherwise normal.

Little Mo was, by all accounts, a saintly boy who hardly ever pulled the wings off butterflies or stuck pins in frogs. However, all the other kids mocked him, and so it was natural for him to grow up to be a serial killer and sadist. Still, some say that his personality changed when he ran into a goal post - a clear sign that football can be a radicalising influence.

We have this tribute to Little Mo on the authority of CAGE, one of the few apologists for terrorists to have charitable status. As Lord Carlile so profoundly puts it, CAGE needs to make clear they reject murder. Apparently, this is something the Charity Commission insists on (except, arguably, in the case of the BPAS). Even the National Trust has decommissioned all its weapons of mass destruction.

CAGE

CAGE fighting is not as glamorous as you might think.

So if CAGE could give us 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence, it would be much appreciated. Permanent silence would be even better.

Now, are YOU being radicalised? Did your mother tell you to tidy your bedroom when you were a child? Did the girl/boy/camel you invited out to the pictures tell you that you were a boring toad smelling of urine? Did the bus-driver refuse to stop when he saw you? Did it rain yesterday? Do you think that Britain's foreign policy is a disaster (actually, this is a perfectly normal point of view)?

Jihad John

The Satanic State's Jihad Johnnie models a burka (don't ask why).

These are all danger signs. Are you thinking of changing your name to Crusading Chris, Fighting Freda, Warring Wally, or Holy Smoke Moly? (Of course you won't use the name Mohammed, as nobody will take you seriously.) Have you been looking up Ryanair flights to the Levant (nearest airport Beirut, then hitch a lift)?

Of course, this post is mainly addressed to our younger readers, especially the more stupid of them, but the "call" can come at any age. Even 80-year-old ladies have a role to play in the Satanic State, if they are vicious and sadistic enough. After all, murdering hostages doesn't require much skill or strength.

Hell's Grannies

Hell's Grannies - Teresa, Michelle, Joan and Erica - head for the Middle East.

Now, if you feel you are being radicalised (what we used to call "p*ssed off with life"), we urge you to take it gently. Start by campaigning for a party that wants to turn Britain upside-down, such as the Greens, or Respect, or the Monster Raving Loonies. If this doesn't satisfy your radical ambitions, you could try studying the works of great thinkers such as Russell Brand, or Giles Fraser. Nothing too aggressive. Got that? Great.

God threatens to sue Fr Rosica

From: Messrs Tort, Tort, Malfeasance and Tort, barristers and solicitors.

To: Father Tommy Rosica of the Salt and Vinegar Corporation.

Dear Father Rosica,

We have been retained by God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit (hereinafter referred to as the Trinity) in relation to various of your public pronouncements that have been judged to be false, defamatory, or both.

This is a preliminary notice, and our clients reserve the right to require your soul of you and send you to the Lake of Fire, without the necessity of any further warning.

These are some of your public statements to which we take exception:

Rosica tweet

Defamatory.

In particular, you did insult the Mother of Christ by describing the Holy Family of Nazareth as "irregular". Apart from charges of blasphemy, with which our clients will proceed when you reach the Day of Judgement, we should point out that you are bringing God the Son's Church into disrepute by trivialising the principle of Verbum Caro Factum Est, and you are undermining our clients' teaching on marriage as an indissoluble bond made between a man and a woman.

Rosica tweet

Disgraceful.

Furthermore, you did label Cardinal Burke and his associates, by implication, as "dissenters", for upholding Christian teaching. This again may be regarded as a direct attack on our clients in Heaven, who have incurred serious damage to their reputation and the probable loss of many souls as a result of your careless words.

Moreover, you did threaten a harmless blogger, Vox Cantoris, with legal action after he made critical comments about your activities. This also undermines the ChristianTM principles in which our clients have an interest. We are prepared to argue in court that the legal maxim of Loftus Hereticus Toleratus - whereby a well-known comedian can persuade some people to take him seriously no matter what he says - does not apply in your case.

Trinity

Our clients are waiting to hear from you.

Your offences are all the more culpable, as you appear to be in a position of power and influence in the Vatican, and thus your words may be construed as carrying some sort of official endorsement from our clients. This you have never obtained, and although you have on several occasions attempted to address our clients by means of prayers, you have taken no notice of their response.

sock

In short, our clients demand that you put a sock in it, Rosica.

Yours truly,
Nina Tort.


BREAKING NEWS. The Trinity's solicitors are also writing to Cardinal Baldisseri, concerning the theft of copies of a book authored by five senior cardinals, which was sent to all participants at last year's Extraordinary Synod on the Family. The book, "The New Testament", by Cardinals Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Paul (with additional material by some trusted colleagues), was a complete answer to the fantasies of Cardinal Kasper. It is suspected that Cardinal Baldisseri wished to hide this book from synod participants, many of whom would not have read it.

Cardinal Baldisseri

"The New Testament? Never heard of it!"