Dis is me, Eccles

Dis is me, Eccles
Dis is me, Eccles

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Eccles isn't made welcome in church

I gotta apollogise for this post as my secretarries, Ecclesiam and Ecclesiis, is both away todday, so there may be the odd typpo and spelin erorr that creeps into this post. I think we're OK so far, but figners crossed...

pumpkin priest

Fr Phil of the church of St Daryl the Apostate, at the Hallowe'en Mass.

On Sunday I went to Mass at the very libberal church of St Daryl the Apostate, takin with me my big bruvver Bosco - him wot is even more saved than Pop Francis - and my dere Anti Moly, wot is not at all saved and don't want to be. Bosco only goes along so that he can interrupt the preist by sayin "You is not saved, only I is saved," and Anti Moly just finds the church a conveneint place to slubmer peacefully once she has emptied her bottle of gin.

Eccles and Bosco

Bosco and me when we was kids. I is the one bein chaste.

So we gets into the church, and Fr Phil welcomes us at the door, sayin, "Ullo, Eccles, is you gay? If so, you gotta special welcome todday, cos that's what the Snyodd decided. Or if you is cohabitin and never got round to marryin, then Cradinal Nickles says that's wonderful, and he wishes all Cathlics was like you." I explaned that I is a saved pusson leadin a chased and cellybat lifestyle, though I got lotsa lady admirers on account of my handsome looks.

"And I gotta girlfriend," said Bosco. "She's called Camilla, and lives near the cemmetry. But she sleeps in the day time and only comes out a night."

"That's super," said Fr Phil. "We really values a vampair's lifestyle: they has a lot to contribute. I must invite her round for a bite one evenin."

vampire woman

Who is I to judge this lady's lifestyle?

"Now, how about you, Anti Moly? Is you perchance a lebsian? You is one of the few women round here whose name aint been linked with that of Bishop Keiran Corny."

My dere anti explaned that on the contrary, she had many years ago been deeply in love with a young Austrialan student called Goerge Pell, wot had jumped into a billaboing to avoid her unwanted attentoins. Later he became a preist, and is now a cradinal, but we is sure that secretly he regrets not tyin the knott with Anti Moly.

Pell and hitman

"Got that? If Anti Moly gets near, shoot on sight."

"Well you ain't no fun, is you?" said Fr Phil in disgust. "It's a two-way process, you know. If you wants the fatted claf and the lovvin welcome as a sinner, you gotta do some interestin sins wot we can admire. Remember the prodigious son's elder bruvver didn't get nuffink."

"I got into a fight wiv some nuns last night," said Bosco hopefully. "I was tellin them rotten critters they wasn't saved, when they started beatin me up. Wot's more, one of em nuns cut my leg up wiv a broken bottle, and I had to have stitches."

leaping nuns

Training for a re-match with Bosco next Friday night.

"You ain't been paying attentoin," said Fr Phil grumpily. "It was a Snyodd on the Fambly, and that means SEX. We aint interested in people what does greivous boddily harm, or shopliftin, or other non-sexaul sins. Now clear off, the lotta you."

I am the Archbishop of Westminster

With apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan, yet again, for a rewrite of HMS Pinafore. To be sung by a rather undisciplined cardinal, together with a chorus of admiring bishops.

Conry and Nichols

"... and I have no memory of ever meeting Kieran Conry."

I am the Archbishop of Westminster;
   And a good Archbishop, too!
You're very, very good,
And be it understood,
You're all splendid bishops too.
   We’re very, very good,
   And be it understood,
   We're all splendid bishops too.
While folk shudder, "He said that?"
I have got a big red hat,
So I know the Pope likes me;
Though my memory may fail,
I know how to spin a tale
And I never utter heresy!
   What, never?
No, never!
   What, never?
Hardly ever!
   Hardly ever utters heresy!
   Then give three cheers, and one cheer more,
   For the saintly Archbishop of Westminster!
Vincent Nichols and rubber fish

"You're cohabiting with a giant rubber fish? That's really splendid. Well done!"

I do my best to sanctify you all –
   And with you we're quite content.
You're a witless load of fools,
But it's not against the rules
If you sin and don't repent.
   We're a witless load of fools,
   But it's not against the rules
   If we sin and don't repent.
Gay Masses in West One,
Are surely lots of fun,
They're events I'm pleased to see.
Folk say Kasper should retire,
But it's him that I admire,
And I never welcome Tina B. –
   What, never?
   No, never!
   What, never?
Well, hardly ever!
   Hardly ever welcomes Tina B. –
   Then give three cheers, and one cheer more,
   For the faithful Archbishop of Westminster!
Tina in Westminster

Well... hardly ever!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Plans for the 2015 Synod

We are privileged today to print an interview with Pope Francis. As is usual with papal interviews, no record was taken at the time, so it is being reported from memory. Moreover, my Spanish and Italian are rather weak, while the Pope's English and Latin are even weaker, so it is not clear that either of us knew exactly what the other was talking about.

Pope's facepalm

Oh ****! It all went wrong!

Eccles: So, Holy Father, in the words of the blessed Paul Priest, the 2014 synod was a complete farce, wasn't it?

Francis: Yes, we'll have to do better next year. I tried to manipulate the synod so that it would decide what I wanted, but in the end my more traditional cardinals ganged up on me. Well, I won't stand for it next year! I'm having all the locks changed, for one thing, and the Swiss Guards have orders to shoot Burke, Pell, Müller, Napier, etc. on sight if they try to climb in through the window.

Eccles: So, will Cardinal Kasper be running things again?

Francis: Well, if possible. By doubling his medication we may be able to stop him singing "I talk to the trees, that's why they put me away" during Mass. Also, we can lock him in his room at night to stop him wandering round the Vatican biting people in the neck. But it's not easy to make him appear normal.


"I shall deny that this interview ever took place."

Eccles: Any "new blood" appointments to the 2015 Synod?

Francis: Yes, seeing their reports on this year's synod, I am going to invite some journalists along - perhaps Austin Ivereigh, Cristina Odone and Fr Thomas Reese SJ. I was very impressed with their new ideas of what Catholicism should be about, especially my Jesuit friend - no unwanted "holiness" about him, just simple secular liberalism!

Eccles: Now, turning to the 2015 Synod itself, what decisions have you decided that it will make?

Francis: Well, we need to write a clause about our love for homosexuals, of course. I have asked Vincent Nichols to draft something, and it will be along the lines of "We believe that you gays are lovable, fluffy people, with good taste, great dress sense and a natural charm. Please come to our Masses, and bring your friends with us. We love you all, and want to get to know you - although not in the Biblical sense, ha ha, as we don't use that book any longer."

Noah's ark and rainbow

Making Genesis gay-friendly.

Eccles: And how about the divorced and remarried?

Francis: We've agonized over that, and decided that in the end the sacrament of marriage isn't really worth the effort. As Jesus Himself said to the Samaritan woman, "You have had five husbands, and that old dirty old lecher drunk in the armchair at home isn't your husband. He's the local bishop! But that's just fine by me!" See? Problem solved!

Fr Jack

The local bishop.

Eccles: Will Cardinal Dolan be attending?

Francis: Alas, no, it clashes with a Gay Pride march in New York; they've appointed him Supreme Obese Grandmaster of St Paddy's Rainbow Chasuble, so he can hardly refuse to attend.

Eccles: Holy Father, thank you for being so frank with us. It's great to see that the traditions of the Catholic Church are in such safe hands. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes, eh?

Francis: Er, about half past three, I think. Bye, Eccles!

ISIS offers to merge with Amnesty International

The Muslim organization ISIS (specialities: murdering unarmed women, children, journalists, taxi-drivers, in fact anyone who can't fight back) has offered a merger to Amnesty International (specialities: well, originally fighting against torture and unjust imprisonment, and now campaigning for changes in abortion law).

Amnesty-ISIS logo

A proposed logo for the new combined organization.

Said a spokesman for the Satanic State, Mr B. El-Zebub, "We really admire what Amnesty is doing. I mean, we're very proud of our record of killing the weak and helpless, but Amnesty is set to outdo us easily. We've been looking at abortion statistics, and we simply can't compete in terms of slaying innocent people."

His friend "Jihad Jimmy" was quick to agree. "I like killing defenceless people and biting the heads off small fluffy kittens, all in the name of Allah the Merciful, but massacring babes in the womb and calling this a human right takes cruelty and depravity to a new level. I'm all for it."


Brave Jihad Jimmy ran away in terror when this cat mewed at him.

So far Amnesty International has not issued any response to the offer from ISIS, but we understand that some of its supporters are very keen on the proposal. Having won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1977, Amnesty is already associated with some extremely dubious characters, some of whom are sympathetic to the new culture of mass murder. So a merger with ISIS is an offer that they will surely take seriously.

Madonna and Child

No longer members of Amnesty.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Ecclesol: a cure for memory loss in bishops

Does your bishop forget things, and make a fool of himself as a result? It can be embarrassing, can't it? Well, thanks to the new Ecclesol memory tonic, we have managed to help several bishops avoid potentially embarrassing situations. Here are some testimonials from our delighted customers!

Mr Forgetful

A bishop.

Cardinal V.N. of W. is a typical case. His amnesia was so bad that, when interviewed on the radio the day after the Extraordinary Synod closed, he had forgotten how he had voted on the clause about homosexuals - arguably the most contentious vote of all. Now, after a dose of Ecclesol he says, "I do remember now... but I'm not going to tell you!"

Bishop's move

"My forgetfulness led to my losing my house!" says K.C. of A. and B.

As Bishop K.C. knew only too well "It is best to be off with the old love, Before you are on with the new," (St Paul's epistle to the Arundelians). But sometimes the excitement of a new love makes you forget the old one entirely! Or even to forget that you are a supposedly celibate bishop! Says K. "I wish I'd taken my Ecclesol!"

kicking Michael Campbell

Bishop M.C. of L. gets a friendly reminder.

Some time ago Bishop M.C. of L. asked one of his blogging deacons to pause all posting on his blog so as to "allow for a period of prayer and reflection". Of course, what he had in mind was something like 40 Days and 40 Nights, the usual period for such activities. But then, seven months later, M. suddenly realised his error. "I forgot to tell him he could start again! From now on I'm taking Ecclesol memory tonic, to avoid a repeat of this blunder!"

a bunch of bishops

Ecclesol, we love you!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Final report of the Synod on the Family

N.B. Texts in red did not achieve the necessary 2/3 majority, but have been kept in the report just in case the Holy Spirit changes His mind next year.

Vin at synod

"I can't remember meeting Kieran Conry, but I know he's a good family man."

1. We've all had a jolly good fortnight's Synodding, and we particularly appreciated Signora Odone's scrumptious cakes.

2. Homosexual partnerships are great, so much more exciting than heterosexual ones in many ways; we can't see what all the fuss is about, really.

3. No women bishops; Bible still preferred to Koran; polygamy not on offer yet; but all Masses to be in Italian from now on.

4. The Anglicans are fine fellows, so let's do what they do in future. Why should we be any different?

Welby and Pope Francis

"Your arguments are very convincing, Mr Welby."

5. The Sistine Chapel is a great place for concerts, parties, liturgical discos, bar mitzvahs (Jewish), public floggings (Muslim), and hiring out for corporate events. Indeed, we're having some "my other cardinal's in a Porsche" stickers made.

6. From now on, everything said by Cardinal Kasper is infallible doctrine.

7. In the elegant words of St Louise of Mensch: if you're a remarried divorcee, it's wrong to take communion. Is that so hard to understand, dummy?

8. No Africans to be invited to future synods, they really don't understand Western secular culture. Cardinal Kasper never mentioned Africans. Any tape-recordings you have made are forgeries.

Cardinal Napier

Cardinal Napier gatecrashes the synod, disguised as a Yorkshireman.

9. Notwithstanding pressure from the BBC, Guardian and Tablet, we're still basically fans of Christ's teaching, and we think He got most of it right.

10. Raymond Burke is a nasty traddy and we hates him we hates him we hates him is making the Pope look foolish; he will be sent to sort out Arundel and Brighton the Knights of Malta.

Bergoglio and Burke

Even in his days as a chemist, Mr Bergoglio had it in for Mr Burke.

11. Let us now sing Lewis Carroll's moving "Cardinal Kasper song". The first four lines, at least, go quite well to the tune of "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind".

He thought he saw an Argument
That proved he was the Pope:
He looked again, and found it was
A Bar of Mottled Soap.
'A fact so dread,' he faintly said,
'Extinguishes all hope!' 

12. Notwithstanding the above, new Catholic doctrine will continue to be developed by the Pope by means of informal interviews of which no proper record is taken, or by telephone conversations to random people.

Conclusion: We should not throw stones at people, but it is all right to throw bread rolls.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Cardinals quarrel over which television show to watch

More controversy has broken out in Rome at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, where senior cardinals have been arguing over which Vatican television station to watch in the evening, when they relax after a hard days synodding. As readers will know, there are two Vatican television stations, Vatican Trad and Vatican Mod, and they broadcast "Vetus" and "Novus" forms of the same television shows.

Sisterhood of Karn

The sisterhood of Karn, from the Brain of Morbius.

It is believed that the quarrel started when Cardinal Kasper decided to switch over from Vatican Trad, which was showing a Doctor Who story, The Brain of Morbius, starring Tom Baker, to Vatican Mod, which was showing a Matt Smith story about lesbian lizards. Apparently, he felt that the (chaste) order of the Sisters of the Sacred Flame, as featured in the Morbius story, was too old-fashioned, and he considered it to be nearly as bad as the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. In any case the sisterhood did not sufficiently respect the value of homosexual relationships, and they certainly showed no sign of being Tablet-readers.

It is reported that Cardinal Pell, who had been enjoying the Tom Baker story, went over to the television and switched channels back again - being a traditionalist he would not use a TV remote control - and the evening continued with bickering and channel-switching for several hours.

Brain of Morbius

The Brain of Kasper, said to be guiding the Synod.

The next evening, Vatican Trad was showing an old Sherlock Holmes film starring Basil Rathbone, while Vatican Mod was showing the modernist version, Sherlock. This time Cardinal Burke arrived first, and was comfortably seated in front of the Hound of the Baskervilles, when his enjoyment of the film was ruined by the arrival of Cardinal Kasper, who sat himself down and switched over to the Benedict Cumberbatch story, Sherlock, while asserting confidently, "Pope Francis prefers this version of the story, it's much more tolerant and merciful towards divorced, remarried, unmarried, or multiply-married families."

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson

Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, in a pre-Vatican II story.

In the end, it was decided to let Cardinal Napier - invited in as a token African - decide which television station would henceforth be the preferred medium for Synod 14, although at the time of writing his decision was not yet known. However, we have heard on the grapevine that Pope Francis himself is not interested in television, but prefers the humbler and simpler life of a radio-listener. We must wait a little longer to see whether he prefers modern programmes or more traditional ones.

goon show

Pope Pius XII was a great fan of the Goon Show (suitable for saved persons).

Thursday, 16 October 2014

In praise of Cardinal Kasper

Coo-ee, Wally-babes!!?? Your Eminence, I mean!!?? It's little Judy Piranha here, the Nun on the Number 6 Bus, Entertainments Officer (!!) at the Convent of Naughtiness!!?? First of all, an apology!!?? I was rude about you my previous post, but that's because I thought you were a nasty traddy, like most princes of the Church!!?? Now I see that you're a sort of Prince Harry of the Church, and you like a good time just as much as the rest of us, baby!!??

Kasper's puppet theatre!

The logo of the Extraordinary General Synod on the Family.

So, Wally, dear, you're right about those NASTY African cardinals!!?? We shouldn't listen to them!!?? They're probably CANNIBALS in their spare time, or they do VOODOO, and some of them are WITCH-DOCTORS of the Church!!?? What can they tell us about Christian teaching, eh??!! Don't talk to me about St Augustine of Hippo!!?? He was an African too, and he probably did tribal dances in the jungle!!??

Now, take your own country, Germany, Walter mein Herr!!?? Throughout the 20th century it led the world in morality, compassion, and justice!!?? Well, except for HITLER!!?? And even Hitler was a vegetarian - so no taking bites out of passing sheep for him!!?? The only wool he ever chewed came out of the finest carpets!!?? So shut your face, Cardinal M'bongo (memo, check name!!), we don't want to hear from you and your brethren!!??

Judy Piranha!

Judy Piranha gets tough with the Africans!!??

Western secular values are great, aren't they??!! We're told that it's the age of free love, with sex with whomever you want, whenever you want - but this is what the Catholic Church is MISSING!!?? We could learn a lot from the ANGLICANS here!!?? They don't feel they have to take any notice of what somebody in the BIBLE said about MARRIAGE and the FAMILY!!?? No, they're getting lesbian bishops now, and FUN all the way!!?? Or indeed, take the ATHEISTS!!?? They're TOPS on morality!!?? They must be - when did you ever hear Richard Dawkins announce that he'd sinned!!??

Kasper's puppet theatre!

Meanwhile, back at the Synod...

That Relativism post deceptionem is great, isn't it??!! No more whining about GOD, SIN, etc. (YAWN!!), but just those simple words from Alice in Wonderland: Everybody has won, and all must have prizes!!?? Or, in the language used at Vatican II: FROM NOW ON, DO YOUR OWN THING, GUYS!!??

Never mind Cardinals Burke and Hare (memo, check name!!) Of COURSE the Relativism doesn't reflect the discussion so far!!?? It isn't supposed to!!?? It reflects WHERE WE'RE TRYING TO GET TO!!?? And I know Pope Francis agrees with me!!?? He phoned me up at the convent!!?? "Judy, my dear," he said. "You're leading the way in naughtiness, and that's WONDERFUL!!??"

Caucus Race

The Synod's conclusion: Everybody has won and all must have prizes!!??

So it's hats off - well, wimples off, and indeed anything else off that you fancy - to Wally Kasper!!?? With him in charge, the Catholic Church is going back to the 1960s, where it truly belongs!!?? Byeeeee!!??

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Eccles hears some confessions

During my time in Rome, participating in the very Extraordinary Synod on the Family, I went into St Peter's Basilica, and sat down for a nap in a confessional - as one does. This turned out to be a bad move, as I dreamed that various people came and confessed their sins to me, mistaking me for a priest (perhaps the red biretta had something to do with it).

Not a good place to take a nap.

Clearly, I cannot reveal who took part in my Confessional dream, and indeed I will try not to give any clues away.

"Father, my Relatio post disceptationem was intended as a bit of light relief after a hard week's listening to oddballs, but people are taking it seriously. There are even lunatics such as that comedy Jesuit who works for the National Catholic Reporter - what's his name, Rees-Mogg? - saying that my little updates to Christ's teaching were the work of the Holy Spirit, almost as if there were some great battle going on between two Persons of the Trinity. I thought my little Relatio wouldn't fool anyone, but even the traddies think I'm serious. Some are calling me Erdő the Weirdo..."

"... and I've got this hilarious idea called 'gradualism'."

"Father, I've been told I need to go to Confession, but we scrapped that sort of thing when I was running Arundel and Brighton. Still, if you want me to confess something, I daresay I can think of something. Er, I was Jack the Ripper all along, also I shot President Kennedy, kidnapped Shergar, and persuaded Nick Clegg to go into politics. Also I am secretly a member of ISIS, a freemason, and a Guardian-reader. Oh, and I killed Edwin Drood. What do you mean, I'm making up confessions again? Well, it's not as if I had any real sins to confess, is it?"

"Also I impersonated Ed West."

"Father, I admit it. I suppressed the Protect the Pope blog, and pretended that I hadn't. Deacon Donnelly was starting to discover where the bodies were buried, and people were leaning on me to stop him before he got too close. Tina Beattie said she was being mocked: her students were playing 'Heresy Bingo' when she lectured, and throwing paper darts at each other behind her back. The burden of my sins is intolerable, and all I have been able to do since then is to wander round the diocese having my photo taken eating and drinking. Also, I copied Eccles's idea of writing a humorous religious blog, and now people can't tell us apart. There will be no further statement on this matter."

An Eccles look-alike.

"Father, it's a fair cop. When we made Conry a bishop, I had a pretty good idea what he got up to in his spare time. In fact I saw his little black book of telephone numbers - well, a big black book, really! Still, Kieran was one of the 'lads' and it seemed only fair to do him a small favour by giving him a job. Also, I tried to get Damian Thompson sacked from the Telegraph because of his perpetual sneering at me. But that's not a sin, is it?"

The queue for confession never ends.

"Hello, Father, you know who I am, the world's most famous atheist theologian and retired biologist. Of course it isn't logical to talk about Good, Evil, Sin, Confession, Forgiveness and Redemption, ha ha. But I have got myself into a small dilemma. Christianity - and the Catholic Church in particular - seems to be flourishing now, even though I spend 16 hours a day condemning it on Twitter with all the most powerful materialistic arguments at my disposal. So I turned to condemning Islam instead, and look what happened! Half of New College, Oxford has joined ISIS, after hearing me sound off about Islam on High Table, and even my wife Lalla seems to have filled her wardrobe with niqabs, hijabs, burkas, and so on; also, she keeps surfing the web looking for holidays in Syria. What am I doing wrong?"

"Was it something I said?"

Monday, 13 October 2014

Catholic Church endorses a Dalek lifestyle

We have reached the half-time point of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, and the two teams have left the field to eat their oranges and have a pep talk from their managers (we won't mention the unseemly incident of the two captains, Cardinals Kasper and Burke, exchanging punches on the way to the changing-rooms).

To mark this stage, a provisional preliminary draft interim preprint "RANDOM WIBBLINGS" has been issued, setting out the Synod's conclusions so far. Apart from the insertion of the word "not" at certain key points, it is likely to be become the basis of an infallible statement of Catholic doctrine by Pope Francis, probably around tea-time tomorrow - at least if you believe the Tablet and the Daily Mail.

screaming pope

Pope Francis wishes he'd never called the Synod in the first place.

The Synod took evidence from several families leading a Dalek lifestyle - this generally involves attempting to dominate the entire Universe, while exterminating anyone who gets in the way - and the general mood was sympathetic. It was felt that there was no place for the hardline traditionalist attitude esposed by Dr Who, and that instead the Church should value the Dalek orientation, with the inherent qualities of aggression, sadism, cruelty and ruthlessness. The key point is this: "Daleks have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community: are we capable of welcoming these creatures, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities?"


Essential nutrition for those attending the Synod!

It is hoped that Daleks will adopt the principle of gradualism (Christ spoke of little else), and move slowly from a lifestyle of mass-exterminating to one of more limited exterminating. Certainly Daleks should be allowed to take Communion, as indeed should remarried divorcees, active homosexuals, atheists, Muslims, Cybermen, Tina Beattie, cats, dogs, goldfish, and indeed any other creature that shows an interest.

The conclusion is clear: it would be unreasonable to demand any particular code of conduct, least of all the adherence to Christian teaching.

Dalek aloft

A Dalek is borne in triumph through the streets of Rome.

Further reading: Pope Francis baptises a Dalek.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Bitter disagreement at the Synod

Reprinted from the Tablet, in the days when it was a religious newspaper.

Whitby, A.D. 664

After a week of fierce debating, the Extraordinary Synod on the Date of Easter and the Monastic Tonsure, called by King Oswy of Northumbria, shows no signs of reaching agreement.

Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey - damaged when the debate got out of hand.

It is clear that there are two strongly-divided parties to the discussion. First, there are the traditionalists, led by "Saint" Wilfrid, who wish to calculate Easter on orthodox Roman lines; second, there are the modernists, led by Colmán, Bishop of Northumbria, one of the discredited "Magic Circle" of English bishops who prefer to go their own way, keeping to the Ionan tradition. Following a request from St Damian the Spectator, the debate has also been extended to include a discussion of monastic hairstyles. In the end, the decision will be made by King Oswy.

Oswy of Northumbria

"Who am I to judge?" asks King Oswy.

So far the Synod has heard evidence from a number of families advocating disordered lifestyles: some celebrate Easter at Christmas, some celebrate it twice a year, and some do not celebrate it at all, regarding it as a nasty traddy feast, far inferior to pagan festivals such as the Blessing of the Inwood. Cardinal Kasper has suggested that these people should be shown Mercia, although it is difficult to see how this could best be done.

The situation is worse in the far south of the land, where it is rumoured that Fr Steven the Fisher has abolished Easter altogether, replacing the Light of Christ with Endless Night, while Dame Tina the Beater describes the whole concept of Christianity as male-dominated, and proposes a radical women-only alternative. There are even reports of extensive heresy in the kingdom of Arundel and Brighton, where Bishop Kieran the Scandalous has resigned in disgrace.

Worzel Gummidge

Kieran the Scandalous has let himself go a little since he resigned.

Moving onto the secondary subject of the synod, namely monastic tonsures, many have been annoyed by the comments of "Baldy" Sseri, recommending a complete shaving of the head; still less do they approve of his exhortation, "Come unto me and ye will be shaved". For those, such as St Damian, who judge a man on the quality of his hairstyle, the tonsure is an abominable fashion to which they can never subscribe in good conscience.

monk with tonsure

Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. (2 Kings 2:23).

We shall continue to bring you regular reports from the synod, as we follow the team of great minds wrangling over the future of the Church.

Ven. Bede the anachronistic.

Friday, 10 October 2014

A lucky escape for Pope Francis

Pope Francis today declared himself "delighted" that the Nobel Peace Prize had been awarded to Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Statyarthi, rather than to himself. For several months he had been hotly tipped to become a Nobel Laureate, following in the steps of such peaceful people and organizations as Barack Obama, the EU, Al Gore, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Jimmy Carter, Yasser Arafat, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Henry Kissinger, Le Duc Tho, Pope St John-Paul II, Stephen Fry, The BBC, First Great Western Trains, Ryanair, Gerry Adams, Nicholas Parsons, and Adolf Hitler. But in the end he escaped.

Pope Francis laughing

Pope Francis puts a brave face on his disappointment.

Said a spokesman, "Pope Francis has made heroic efforts to broker peace in the Catholic Church between the Tabletistas and the Catholic Herald People's Front (and their sister organizations in Rome, the Kasperites and the CDF), even to the extent of calling a special synod so that weirdos and misfits of every description could have their say. It would have been sheer cruelty to have awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize, which, with the exception of Bl. Mother Teresa, is generally reserved for politicians and lunatics; it's definitely not intended for people who are pro-life, or in favour of traditional ideas of marriage! Nobel was Swedish, you know - the country of 'free love' and all that..."

Obama playing golf

Barack Obama, Golfer, Nobel Laureate, and not much else.

Commentators have also observed that, if Pope Francis had been given the Nobel Peace Prize, then he would have felt obliged to reciprocate by canonizing Alfred Nobel, who was the inventor of dynamite and an arms manufacturer (he owned Bofors). Some Catholic commentators feel that this might be a step too far, especially since no miracles are yet attributed to St Alfred, beyond that of regularly turning bozos into international treasures by awarding them prizes.

Bofors cannon

They don't like it up 'em! A Bofors cannon keeps the peace.

However, as we have reported elsewhere on this blog, the 2013 Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to God, for His "God Particle", and pious Catholic Louise Mensch, author of "She gave up Corby for love" shared the 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature. So it's only Peace that has eluded the Catholic Church.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Graduality, or how to be saved the easy way

Thanks to the Synod on the Family, the idea of graduality, also known as gradualism, has come back into fashion. The basic idea here is that we are none of us perfect, but hey, we don't need to be, at least not yet!

Moses and 10 commandments

Beginners should start by trying to obey just one commandment.

Find the Ten Commandments a bit of a challenge? Well, pick one of the easiest to obey, and start with that. This is what I have decided to do, and so now I give you the ECCLES PLEDGE: I promise not to commit murder. Or at least, not very often. This leaves me with more time free for other sins, such as coveting my neighbour's donkey, stealing, or bowing down to graven images.

Anti Moly

Eccles's Anti Moly is very pleased that Eccles has pledged not to murder her.

Of course, for some people, even giving up murder is too ambitious. As Cardinal Kasper says, we should show compassion even towards those who have chosen a serial-killing lifestyle. If - like so many of my readers - you are a serial killer, then may I respectfully suggest that you start by cutting down a little? Say one murder a month? I believe that you can buy little sticky patches to put on your arm, which give you all the stimulation of serial killing, without actually having to go out and commit the sin of murder.

Likewise, if you are given to adulterous affairs, bishop, then the gradualist approach is to progressively reduce the number of marriages you break up, until you are down to one at a time, or even none!

St Augustine

St Augustine of Hippo: "Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet!"

Now, how does this work for people who are divorced and remarried? Will they gradually be admitted to communion? Well, the first time they approach the altar steps they will be condemned by the priest in thunderous tones: "BEGONE! ADULTEROUS VERMIN!" Then the next time, the priest will say "Oooh, you are awful, but I like you!" but still refuse them communion. Until eventually the priest will say "Well, what's the odd sinful lifestyle between friends? Probably, Jesus was only joking! Come and join in the fun!" Thus our separated brethren are ACCEPTED once more.

Or they could give up their second marriage bit by bit. They might start by sleeping in the garden shed, to avoid the temptations of the flesh. Eventually they could return to their previous spouse: this could be awkward if he or she has remarried, but, hey, it is better to have three in a bed than only two, if it's the wrong two.

Snow White

Thou hast had seven husbands... even if they are on the small side.

Well, I hope you have found this little guide to gradualism helpful. Next week, we explain how a compulsive bower down to graven images can gradually repent, so that soon they simply give graven images a polite nod when they pass them in the street. Thus, according to my brother Bosco, they will have done almost all that needs to be done to assure Salvation.

Even cardinals can be saved

Even cardinals can be saved.