This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Tuesday, 31 May 2022

New disciple criticised

Galilee, 27 AD approx.

Criticism has come in of Our Lord Jesus's appointment of the American Judas McIscariot as a disciple. "This will end badly," said one commentator. "Judas is clearly not to be trusted. He is a friend of the aged criminal Tedus Obnoxius, he who dwelleth in a beach house on the Sea of Galilee corrupting the young. What's more, Judas has not been averse to a bit of covering up of sexual abuse himself."

McElroy

Judas McIscariot.

Judas has already caused division in the College of Disciples by campaigning for female deacons, supporting LGBT apostles such as St James the Least of All, and tolerating mass abortion as recommended by leaders such as Herod Bidenias.

Said St Salvatore, the former boss of McIscariot, who was not appointed to the College of Disciples, "That bastard? How ridiculous! We congratulate Judas on his appointment and we are confident that he will be a faithful disciple. Oh, and by the way, Salome Pelosi is an evil witch still needs some further instruction."

Judas himself was unavailable for comment.

beach house

The humble beach house of Tedus Obnoxius on the Sea of Galilee.

Sunday, 29 May 2022

Uncle Arthur gets his red hat

There will be dancing in the streets of Yorkshire tonight at the news that Batley boy Uncle Arthur Roche has finally been given a red hat by Pope Francis, if they can find one big enough to fit his head (Gammarelli are already preparing some XXXXXXL robes for the new cardinal).

Roche in a beanie

"Can you do this beanie style in red?"

From the humble beginnings where Arthur developed his hatred for the TLM ("We 'ad it tough. When I were a lad they made us go to Mass and it were all in Latin, and the priest wouldn't even turn round and smile at us"), he rose to becoming bishop of Leeds, where he was known for starring in a video nasty - a DVD sent round to parishes explaining that he wanted to close them.

But Arthur really became famous when he took over from Cardinal Sarah at the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in 2021 (he had been secretary since 2012, and everyone said that his dictation and typing were excellent). At the CDW he became responsible for sorting out the mess after Pope Francis had a bad fit and produced Traditionis Custodes as a way of trolling traditional Catholics.

Sarah and Roche

Harmonious days at the CDW.

Arthur was restrained from producing more video nasties showing how LGBT Masses and Clown Masses were really the way forward for modern Catholicism, but he did produce some Guidelines on the interpretation of TC that were even more deranged than Pope Francis had achieved:
* It is all the fault of traditional worshippers who have 
inexplicably become critical of Pope Francis since TC was issued.
* Even though TC was intended as a conciliatory way of getting rid 
of the TLM and its fans.
* Latin is a dead language, so Caveat Emptor 
and Quod erat demonstrandum! as we say in Batley.
* It is forbidden to advertise TLMs in the church bulletin.
* In fact attending one is a mortal sin, far worse than abortion
or LGBT stuff (which we rather approve of anyway).
* Liturgical dancing is encouraged, and I am available for
skating demonstrations for those churches equipped with ice-rinks.
* Can I have my red hat now, love*?
*A traditional Yorkshire way of addressing anyone from the pope downwards.

Napoleon and Roche

There is no truth in claims that Arthur Roche is ambitious.

There was more top trolling from Pope F when he announced the creation of 21 new cardinals. This stamps on the face of the Catholic Church puts his stamp on the future of the Church, and the other name to watch is Bishop Robert Walter McElroy, of San Diego, variously described as "Even worse than Cupich", "A great Sodano", and "Ted McCarrick's pal".

Are YOU an extreme liberal Catholic priest who has been inexplicably refused a red hat? If so email francis_trash@vatican.va with your CV, and we'll see what we can do next time.
* No previous evidence of competence necessary. In fact it's a handicap.
* Points are won by supporting LGBT issues, Nancy Pelosi, or the 
Synodal Path to cutting the Church into heretical pieces.
In next month's news - how Fr James Martin LGBTSJ became a cardinal.

Saturday, 21 May 2022

Archbishop does his duty shock horror

The Catholic world is up in arms today at the news that the blessed devout Catholic Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House of Representatives in the USA, has been banned from taking Holy Communion in the diocese of San Francisco. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone shockingly does his duty - where will this scandal end?

Clear off, Nancy!

Nancy is out of luck.

Now you too can tell Cordileone where to get off. Here is your "Justice for Nancy" bingo card.

Bingo card

Meanwhile other devout Demo-Catholics such as Biden and Occasional-Cortex were said to be "not at all worried" about their own positions. There is absolutely no danger that their own bishops will take any action.

Just remember that if you can't give your child the affluent lifestyle of an LGBTSJ New York Jesuit with a string of trashy books bringing in the loot, then the prolife thing to do is to kill him.

The last word, as ever, goes to Pope Francis. I wanted to write a parody, but the original cannot really be beaten:

Bono: Do women & girls play a powerful role in tackling the climate crisis?

Francis: In the Common home, we usually speak of Mother Earth, not Father Earth. This is very clear. Besides, as I told you a while ago, since that afternoon of the apple, [women] are in charge.

Pope and Bono

"Once upon a time there was a fading singer."

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

England needs a new patron saint.

Dear St George,

Bad news, I'm afraid. In the World Cup of Patron Saints of England you were knocked out in Round 2 (losing to Edward the Confessor and Edmund Campion). Apparently, in the modern world of patron sainting, there is no call for dragon-slaying. However, your martyrdom is much appreciated.

Yours sincerely,
Eccles (saved).

St George

"We were really looking for a multiracial transgender saint."


Anyway, the draw for the quarter-finals (held by Twitter poll) is as follows. The results will be posted here as we get them.

1. John Henry Newman 61.8% v Cuthbert 38.2%.

The old man with the ducks loses out to the young tearaway from Oxford.

2. Bede 38% v Thomas More 62%.

Being venerable was not as popular as being a man for all seasons.

3. Thomas Becket 60.5% v Edmund Campion 39.5%.

The turbulent priest defeats a later martyr.

4. John Fisher 51% v Edward the Confessor 49%.

Only 3 votes in this close contest, but the fisher wins the Fisher-King game.

Margaret Clitherow

Farewell also to Margaret Clitherow, the last female saint to drop out.


SEMI-FINALS.

1. John Henry Newman 36.7% v Thomas Becket 63.3%.

The last non-martyr drops out, although still led by a kindly light.

2. Thomas More 68.7% v John Fisher 31.3%.

The man for all seasons makes it an all-Thomas final.


THIRD PLACE PLAYOFF.

John Henry Newman 41.1% v John Fisher 58.9%.

FISHER takes the bronze!

FINAL.

Thomas Becket 36.2% v Thomas More 63.8%.

BECKET gets the silver medal, and MORE the gold!

Thomas More

Sunday, 15 May 2022

A good pope deals with China

Yes, it's another in that interminable series "How to be a good pope", intended as useful advice for those readers who will be ending up in the hot seat (Alitalia seat 1A, usually; sometimes, the Popemobile).

The story so far. You, Pope Fred I, are sitting at breakfast eating your ecumenical Quaker oats, when in comes the great Gonzo Aemilius, your personal secretary (typing speed only 3 words per minute, unfortunately) with some bad news.

"Holy Father, they've arrested one of your cardinals. Guess who?"

A tricky question: you think of Cardinals Betya, Maradona, Cocainepalm, ... which one is it? To your surprise it is Cardinal Tao of Hong Kong, an old friend whom you have been trying to avoid for the last 9 years.

"Fine, fine," you say, but you realise that some official reaction is required on your part. An official Vatican statement. Nothing too strong, as it might upset the deal you made which allows China to appoint its own priests from the ranks of the People's Secret Police. So no abusive words like "rigid" or "traditionalist", which in any case you save for members of your own flock.

"I know, let's have a synod," you propose. That solves most things. Will the Catholic Church declare itself "concerned" by these developments. Or will it get really tough and make a statement with words such as "anxious", "worried", "miffed", "upset" or even - almost a declaration of war - "ill at ease" or "fretful"?

We have designed the logo already!

No, there isn't time for a synod, and anyway, it would require a synod on synods to set it up. You get the press office to make the weakest statement possible. "We have heard that Cardinal Tao has been incarcerated in a rat-filled dungeon, awaiting torture by the Chinese Inquisition (proprietor, Xi-who-must-be-obeyed). If he is not released within the next 40 years, we shall be - if not actually disgruntled, far from being gruntled.*"

* Stolen from P.G. Wodehouse.

Your anger has no bounds. You cancel your lunchtime Chinese takeaway order of numbers 23 and 94 (sweet and sour bat, with Fauci noodles), and open a tin of Max Beans instead. That's telling them!

Sometimes a humble meal is the only answer.

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

Child sacrifices to be restricted

Peru, 1533.

There has been outrage among leading Inca celebrities at reports that child sacrifices in the Empire are now to be greatly restricted, and will be decided upon locally.

Inca sacrifice

The activities of "Planned Sacrifice" may now be severely restricted.

Opposition to the change in the law is being led by President Joe "devout" Atahualpa and the lovely Nancy Passthebotl, who see it as a threat to the woman's "Right to murder". Still, the Supreme Court of Judge Pizarro has now decided to overturn the traditional "Mom v Babe" ruling which has been the basis of sacrifice law for so long.

Pachamama

Pachamama - one of the Inca gods.

So far, nothing has been heard from the Vatican, neither from the Pontifical Academy of Sacrifice, nor from Pope Clement VII ("Clement the humble"), who himself is actually a devotee of Pachamama. Still, more serious Catholic sources are backing the new rules and we may see a major reduction in the number of sacrifices.

Laus Deo, if Archbishop Arfurocha still allows us to say that.

Sunday, 24 April 2022

World Cup of Patron Saints of England

A bit of a new venture here - usually we go for Bad Hymns, Bad Cardinals, Ugly Churches, Instruments from Hell, etc. (and some of these contests will be due for a repeat soon, as they were last held in 2018). But here we're going for something GOOD.

I have 32 candidates to be patron saint of England. All are English except George, Augustine of Canterbury, and Joseph of Arimathea. Will George hold onto his title, or will someone else be more popular? The Twitter poll begins tomorrow.

George and dragon

Very few of our entrants have slain dragons.

Meanwhile a plug for an old piece I wrote about St George.

Our candidates (did I forget anyone obvious?) are:
Aelfflaed of Whitby
Aethelbert of Kent
Aidan
Alban
Aldeberge of Kent
Augustine
Bede
Boniface
Chad
Cuthbert
Dunstan
Edmund
Edmund Campion
Edward, king and martyr
Edward the Confessor
Etheldreda
George
Gilbert of Sempringham
Hilda
Hugh of Lincoln
John Fisher
John Henry Newman
Joseph of Arimathea
Margaret Clitherow
Nicholas Owen
Odo of Canterbury
Patrick
Swithin
Thomas Becket
Thomas More
Wilfrid of York
Wulfstan
Newman

"A dragon outside, you say? On my way..."


N.B. It seems that the hashtag #WCPSE has also been used by the Western Canada Paranormal & Spiritual Expo, but I am sure they won't mind. They probably saw it coming anyway.

Thursday, 21 April 2022

Extreme Catholicism

Adapted from Katherine Denkinson's piece about Extreme Catholicism. We read it so you don't have to - you'd probably need a subscription anyway.

Jacob Rees-Mogg is a holier-than-thou [good phrase, eh?] Catholic of the extreme right. For example, his sons are named after saints! [Oops, I seem to be named after a saint too. Let's move on.]

Mogg

The Two Minutes Hate begins at 11.00.

What else does this hard-right Catholic do? Ah yes, he wishes people a Happy Christmas or a Happy Easter, in order to show how holy he is. Nobody ever wishes ME Happy Christmas, although, taking inspiration from A.A. Milne, I do have a shelf full of cards that I have sent myself! But I would never wish anyone Happy Easter, just in case they mistook me for a hard-right fascist Catholic!

So stop harassing people on Twitter by posting "Happy Easter" messages!

Mogg tweet

I have reported this as a hate crime.

Then Mogg votes against LGBTQSJ marriage, which has been a traditional way of life for the human race ever since the time of, er, the patriarch David Cameron. He opposes abortion too. Are there no limits to this man's holier-than-thou [spits] Catholicism?

Enough, Jacob! We know that you are a Catholic, you don't have to keep telling us by actually believing any of that stuff. Don't give us any of St Paul's Old Testament pearl-clutching horrors! [good phrase, eh?]

Phew! Do you know what he has done now? He has disagreed with the Archbishop of Canterbury's Easter message! Justin Wobbly knows that the true message of Easter is nothing to do with Jesus being born in a manger [memo, check what Catholics actually believe] but can be summarised in four words: BORIS BAD, KEIR GOOD! That's why the holy man (but definitely not holier-than-thou) preached a sermon about sending frightened refugees, fleeing the horrors of, er, France, to Rwanda rather than the Savoy hotel in London - or even the Ritz.

Welby preaching

"If Jesus had existed he would have voted Labour."

I could go on. In fact I am a few lines short, so I'd better keep ranting.

Ah yes, he doesn't like Black Lives Matter, that harmless organization which has done so much to make its members richer by looting and arson. Also he is part of a "War on Woke" - struggling in a hard-right manner to resist Critical Race Theory, the decolonization of teaching (2+2=4 is RACIST), and all the rest.

I think I've said enough. Jacob Rees-Mogg is LITERALLY Torquemada, burning people who refuse to send Christmas cards in April, and persecuting anyone who doesn't attend the Traditional Latin Mass [not sure what this is, but I think it's something to do with being nasty to people in Latin]. Don't trust his friendly Easter greetings!!

Friday, 15 April 2022

Jesuits ask us to drop the Bible

Following the enthusiastic reception of the Jesuits' latest idea - that we should stop reading St John's Gospel on Good Friday (apparently it causes outbreaks of antisemitism among the hard of thinking), they have decide to go the whole hog*.... oh...

*Sorry, not hog. Jews and Muslims don't eat them. Or vegetarians. Let's say "the whole cabbage".

... they have decided to go the whole cabbage and ban the Bible entirely.

Jesuit tweet

Jesuits - the gift that keeps on giving.

There are many parts of the Bible that are offensive and lead to "phobias" of various kinds. The LGBTSJ community - including many Jesuits - is not too keen on the bits where homosexual acts are described as sinful, and transgenderism as impossible. There are also lots of racial and religious problems: many people after reading the Old Testament develop a dislike of Philistines, especially big ones called Goliath; also, the Baal-worshipping community is deeply offended by the story of Elijah. "Of course our God wasn't sleeping, he was having a day off."

More generally, the ten commandments have been condemned by the murdering community, the thieves' guild, most of the population of Hollywood (adultery), and the Lawyers' Society (false witness). It does seem that the authors of the Bible refused to show mercy, compassion, tolerance, blah blah blah.

And some very prominent Jesuits have been seen in situations of idolatory.

Pope and Pachamama

Or so I am told.

So you can see why the Jesuits are really not too keen on the embarrassing bits of the Bible. Let St John (if it is the same St John) have the last word in the Book of the Apocalypse (Revelation):

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from these things that are written in this book.

Thursday, 14 April 2022

Elon Musk offers to buy the Catholic Church

Elon Musk, said to be the richest man in the world after Cardinal Becciu, has made a bid of $666 billion for the Catholic Church (hereafter abbreviated to Cather). In a letter to Pope Francis, Chairman of the Church since a 2013 boardroom coup, Musk said that the business was not thriving under its current management, and that changes were needed.

Elon Musk

The new owner.

This is not the first time that Cather has faced hostile takeover bids: in the 16th century the entrepreneur Henry Tudor made an extremely savage takeover of its English business, "cancelling" many users. Similarly, the tycoon Martin Luther attempted to force the German branch of the Church out of business by setting up a rival platform. But this is apparently the first time that a bid has been made for the whole Church.

If Musk is successful, he is expected to sack the unpopular Chairman Francis, and install himself as boss, taking the title Pope Elon I.

Fancis and Kirill

"Takover or invasion, which do you want?"

What other changes are we likely to see?

I'm glad you asked me that. We are likely to see the return of several people who were effectively silenced by the antisocial medium - for example the notorious American Raymond Burke with his aggressive statements such as WE WONDER IF YOU WOULD BE SO KIND AS TO ANSWER A FEW DUBIA FOR US, HOLY FATHER? and many people who have infringed "Community Standards" by praising the Traditional Latin Mass.

The new Musk-run Cather is unlikely to waste any time on synods, and all the pressure groups that have so far exploited Cather to conduct such activities, such as the German Heretic Synod, the Deranged Feminist Synod, and the Jesuit LGBTSJ Synod, will be in breach of Cather rules.

We live in interesting times. Possibly.

Sunday, 10 April 2022

Entering on a sacred journey of becoming whole

Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, has signed a letter to Boris Johnson condemning Conversion Therapy for "trans" people. (Rowan himself was never very good at converting people, even to Anglicanism.)

Rowan Williams

The Archdruid of Canterbury (no, this is not photoshopped).

The letter contains the immortal sentence "To be trans is to enter on a sacred journey of becoming whole: precious, honoured and loved, by yourself, by others, and by God."

See, it's not just about denying the identity given to you by God, putting on a wig and high heels, and perhaps taking some weird drugs and/or having a few bits cut off. An archbishop has spoken, so the argument is over.

Or could it be a misprint for trains?

Many children aged about 3 or 4 play trains. Chugging round the garden saying "I'm a train. Choo choo!" is perfectly normal behaviour in kids. What can parents do if they have a "trains" kid?

Thomas the Tank Engine

A child (Thomas) after "trains" surgery.

Such children merely want to enter on a sacred journey of becoming whole (© Archdruid Rowan). Their parents should encourage them with "trains" surgery - remove their legs and have wheels fitted; feed them on coal; fit a little chimney to the top of the head. All this is available on the National Health Service, and it is only right.

Well, that's settled. People who have already adopted a "trains" existence have found their true station in life, and should not be converted to a "normal" existence - that would be going off the rails completely! With that slight edit, we agree totally with his Druidness.

Just a biological question to finish off. What does "non-binary" mean? Binary... 0 and 1... well, without getting too anatomically explicit here, your naughty bits vaguely resemble one or the other, don't they?

Sunday, 20 March 2022

The Book of Covidicus 24 - they think it's all over

Continued from Chapter 23.

1. Two years after the coming of the plague, it was decided that, after all, it was no longer slaying all the world, and had become much weaker.

2. No longer were the people asked to test themselves by waggling little sticks up their noses, screaming in agony, and then dipping the sticks into a mystic potion that could tell them if they were sick.

lateral flow test

Congratulations, my son. Thou dost not have the plague.

3. However the rich merchants of Phi-za were still hoping to deliver seventy times seven vixens to every man, woman, and child.

4. Also, the children of Bri-tain stopped discussing the grave issue of whether Bo-sis had eaten a cake on his birthday.

5. Yeah, even Keir of the Labourites no longer mentioned the question more than three times per day.

6. For in the east there ruled a mighty tyrant known as Pu-tin of the Russites, grandson of Sta-lin, great-grandson of Le-nin, and he attacked the land of the Ukrainites.

Putin and an icon

Pu-tin knoweth his Enemy!

7. And such was his madness that he threatened to use the weapons known as nu-clear if the children of Bri-tain, the land of EUgypt, or even the distant Americas decided to fight.

8. Although the rich merchants of Phi-za promised to produce a vixen that would conquer all radiation as it done the great plague - maybe not the first time, and not the second time, but surely the seventy times seventh time.

9. And all the children of Bri-tain had to do was to waggle little sticks in their noses to discover whether they were emitting the ray that is gamma.

10. In which case, they would simply have to self-isolate in a concrete bunker for forty years.

Sainte Bernadette du Banlay

Concrete bunker Sainte Bernadette du Banlay

11. And the children of Bri-tain cried out, "Oh no, not again! They want us to wear masks as well!"

12. So the monks who wrote the mighty books of Brexodus and Covidicus wondered whether it was time to bring this one to an end and begin a new story.

13. But should it be named The Book of Numbskulls or something else?

To be continued in some form or other.

Sunday, 6 March 2022

From Russia with Hate

The scene: KGB Headquarters, Moscow. In walks agent 666, "licensed to kirill", Vladimir Mikhailovich Gundyayev, code name Patriarch Kirill. He gives dear Miss Moneyrouble an affectionate greeting, and she tells him that "V" wants to see him.

"Ah! Agent 666, I've been waiting to see you, " says V, who is sitting, as is customary, without a shirt on, supposedly to impress the peasants with the near 70-year-old's virility. "Sit down, and have a vodka martini. Stirred but not shaken, wasn't it?"

Kirill

The name's Kirill. Patriarch Kirill.

Kirill is too polite to contradict V - or rather he knows that it would be unwise. V goes on to outline the plot.

"You've been a reliable agent ever since you joined us in the KGB in good old Andropov's day. I remember your joking that too much writing subversive literature would make your Andropov! Remind me what you've done since."

"I've been underground for 40 years now, Comrade V, rising gradually in the Russian Orthodox Church. We recruited Dr Nyet and Bishop Ernst Stavrovich Blofeld, and then took over the SPECTATOR organization..."

"Yes, yes, well done, 666."

Billy Connolly

Kirill again, only without the fancy dress.

"Now, as you know, 666, the Ukrainians have invaded Mother Russia, and we are at war. It is your job to bring the entire Christian world onto our side. What can you do?"

"No problem, V. I will make a speech describing our enemies as 'evil forces' and saying 'we must not allow dark and hostile external forces to laugh at us'. I pinched that from one of Pope Francis's sermons about the Latin Mass."

"Yes, yes, we are certain to win the propaganda war. President Macron has already phoned me three times in order to surrender. But I am worried by Pope Francis. He broke with tradition and invited himself round to the Russian Embassy for tea."

"I see: there's a serious danger here, supreme commander. What if Pope Francis comes out on our side? Then the whole Catholic Church will be against us!"

Kirill and Francis

"You have trouble with rigid neo-Pelagians? Why, so do I!"

"I think we're safe until his next aeroplane interview, 666. But keep up the good work. By the way does that cross on your hat really turn into a guided missile? I must compliment Q."

Not to be continued. I hope.

Eight torture instruments

The quarter-finals of the World Cup of Instruments in Hell went as follows:

Bongo Drums 52.9 v Didgeridoo 47.1

Synthesiser 32.5 v Kazoo 67.5

Tambourine 64.4 v Recorder 35.6

Spoons 20.2 v Vuvuzela 79.8


So we move on to the semi-finals and it's time for some pictures.

Bongo drums

versus Tambourine.

Kazoo

versus Vuvuzela!

Results will be posted here as we get them.

SEMI-FINAL 1
Bongo drums 51.9 v Tambourine 48.1

SEMI-FINAL 2
Kazoo 27.8 v Vuvuzela 72.2

THIRD PLACE PLAYOFF
Tambourine 27.5 v Kazoo 72.5
BRONZE MEDAL FOR THE KAZOO.

FINAL
Bongo drums 32.2 v Vuvuzela 67.8
GOLD MEDAL FOR THE VUVUZELA, SILVER FOR THE BONGO DRUMS.

Thursday, 24 February 2022

Fr Thomas Reese SJ decides to forgive God

As "inspired" by this.

I forgive God. I hope others can too.

By Fr Thomas Reese LGBTSJ.

Thomas Reese

I see God as a holy but flawed individual who did the best He was capable of.

I first met God in 1994 when I had been a Jesuit priest for 20 years. We Jesuits are well-known for our many achievements in the realms of science, but it is only rarely that we turn our attention to religion. For example, there are the medieval scientists Jacobus Martinus, who was the first person to build a rainbow bridge; Jorgeus Bergoglius, the engineer who worked on rigidity; and Arturus Sosus, who invented the tape-recorder. So it was quite a surprise for me when I first learnt that it was possible to be a Jesuit and also to believe in God.

At the end of my first prayer, I asked for God's blessing — because I sensed I was in the presence of a divine being. But I also knew I was in the presence of a creator who, as Judge Eternal, had done irreparable harm to the church. There were scores of theologians, professors and priests who had been led to believe that they had sinned in some way, generally by disobeying Divine Commandments.

Ten commandments

Controversial propaganda, used to attack my friends.

God's problem was that He treated theologians as if they were graduate students who needed correction and guidance. As a result, my last question to the Lord was, "Do you ever worry that you may be judging too much?"

He laughed and responded, "What a silly little man you are."

My own difficulties with God began shortly after I became editor of America Magazine, a journal of propaganda published by U.S. Jesuits. I wanted to make America a journal of criticism, explaining where God was wrong, and why the Bible should be rejected.

For years we had to contend with adverse reactions from God. Not just lightning strikes on the office of America, a voice thundering REPENT! down the chimney, plagues of boils and frogs, but even criticisms from self-styled authorities such as Pope Benedict.

lightning strike

The America offices.

I tried to make America the top journal of dissent, inviting moderate Catholics such as Cardinal Kasper to tell us where the Church had gone wrong, and even asking Cardinal Burke along so that other contributors could mock him point out where he was wrong.

However, it was clear that God was unhappy with the magazine, and it was time to go. Later, the election of that chap from the St Gallen Mafia lifted my spirits a little, as I realised that I was not God's only critic.

God has not asked for my forgiveness. He probably still believes that what He did to me and to numerous theologians was the right thing for the Church, but I still want to forgive Him.

In short, I see God as holy but flawed. He did the best He was capable of. For all of us, that is the best we can say. In the end, finally, only WE can judge.

Saturday, 19 February 2022

AI takes over the Catholic blogosphere

Paying people to write spiritually nourishing content is so old-fashioned. I produce my stuff without being paid, and even the Jesuit America Magazine only pays peanuts - which is quite appropriate as its writers are an army of monkeys with typewriters.

We have stumbled across an AI program that will do the tedious writing bit for us. Its address is https://narrative-device.herokuapp.com/createstory in case you want to play with it. You give it a couple of themes, and it does the rest. Thus: "Pope Francis" and "Pachamama" gave me this:

Pope Francis was in a good mood as he walked into the Amazon rainforest. He had just finished a speech to the crowd of indigeneous people who lived there. "Pachamama," he called out to the goddess of the earth, "thank you for the generous gift of this land. I vow to protect it and to always be grateful for your blessings."

That could be taken straight from Where Peter Is and nobody could tell the difference, especially if it went on to explain how Pope Francis was totally right.

Pope and Pachamama

As an homage to Damian Thompson, let's give it "Arthur Roche" and "ice-skating".

Arthur Roche was an accomplished ice-skater. He had won many awards and was a member of the best ice skaters in the country. One day, he decided to try out for the national team. He was nervous but hopeful. He skated his best, and even though he didn't make the team, he was proud of himself.

This looks like something from the old Telegraph blogs, or possible the Catholic Herald. Next, what can we say about "Dr Faggioli" and "beans"?

Dr. Faggioli was an odd man. He loved beans. He loved beans so much, in fact, that he would eat them every day, no matter what. Some people found his obsession strange, but Dr. Faggioli couldn't help it. He loved beans.

James Martin book

"Father James Martin" and "bridge" are the heroes of our next piece, which is simply a news item.

Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest, was on a bridge over a river when he saw a man who appeared to be drowning. He jumped into the water and pulled the man to safety.

It may even be true - who knows? Next, a horror story combining "Austen Ivereigh" and "pope".

In an age when the papacy was rocked by scandals and just as the Church was losing its grip on the hearts and minds of its followers, a new pope was elected. His name was Austen Ivereigh, and many people were excited to see what he would do to restore the Church's reputation.

Ivereigh pope book

Pope Francis dreams of his successor.

And we'll give "Pope Francis" and "Latin Mass" the final word. Somehow, I think our correspondent has got his wires crossed:

Pope Francis has called for the return of the Latin Mass, the traditional Catholic Mass which is celebrated in Latin. Many Catholics are excited about this change, believing that the Latin Mass will help them connect more with the Church's history.

Well? You heard it here first.

Thursday, 17 February 2022

Pope Francis goes on the attack

Pope Francis has finally decided to clamp down on undesirable conduct in the Catholic Church.

Cindy Wooden reports

That's telling them!

When asked to give more details of the sort of bullying he was referring to, the Holy Father mentioned the case of an unnamed senior archbishop who was trying to stop Catholics from celebrating the traditional Latin Mass. "The fat pasta-filled buffoon is telling bishops to restrict the TLM and drive it underground," he growled. "I can't imagine where he got the idea!"

But it is not just bullying that Pope Francis objects to. "I am shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you, to learn that idolatry has been taking place in Rome itself!" he went on. "Some very foolish people have been worshipping the demon Pachamama (some even claimed that she was just another manifestation of the Blessed Virgin Mary!) If I find the people responsible, they'll end up in the Tiber!"

Pachamama

Roundly condemned by Pope Francis.

"I am also disgusted when I hear what is happening in China," he continued. "Some idiot came to an agreement that the Chinese could appoint their own bishops and persecute Catholic priests. Then when Cardinal Zen came to discuss the situation, he refused even to see him! What does he think he's playing at?"

"I saw reports that someone had slapped a poor Chinese woman who simply wanted to talk to me! This violence against women must cease!" he thundered. "All in all, the general administration of the Vatican is a DISGRACE. German synodal paths! Financial scandals! Toleration of the gay Mafia! Bullying the Order of Malta! It has got to STOP, do you hear?"

Austen and Jimbo

"All sorts of undesirables think they can get in to see me!"

But all is not lost. Pope Francis has promised to institute a full enquiry into the shocking state of the Vatican hierarchy, with a reporting date not later than 2062.

Wednesday, 9 February 2022

The World Cup of Instruments in Hell

Or should that be Instruments From Hell? If you go to the "other place", which of course the highly-saved readers of this blog probably won't, what do you expect to hear?

vuvuzuela

"Welcome to Hell."

This started off as a battle between accordion-haters and guitar-haters, but it soon became clear that there were many other instruments that people didn't want to hear. So let's settle it with a World Cup (then, when we have the 2nd World Cup of Bad Hymns later in the year, we shall know what instruments to play the winners on).

bagpipes

Scotsmen love this. Others, less so.

Here are the nominations so far (apologies if I missed any). If you have others, then please leave them in the comments, or as replies to the Twitter tweet advertising this.

accordion
bagpipes
clarinet
didgeridoo
(electronic) organ
(electronic) piano
fiddle
guitar
harpischord
kazoo
recorder
spoons
tambourine
triangle
ukelele
vibraphone (also known as vibes, 
   but not the good vibes that Pope Francis wants)
vuvuzela
washboard
We'll start when we reach 32 (a convenient number), or whenever I think we've got all we're going to get.

guitar mass

As recommended by the Spirit of Vatican II.


Addendum: We now have 32 nominations and will kick off tomorrow.