Dis is me, Eccles

Dis is me, Eccles
Dis is me, Eccles

Friday, 22 August 2014

Liturgy for baptism with an ice bucket

The priest, the person seeking baptism, the wielder of the bucket, and the bearer of the video camera shall proceed into the church; meanwhile, a hymn evoking water, ice or snow may be sung, such as Good King Wenceslas.

Eric Morecambe

Probably not Pope Francis.

Priest: Who cometh here seeking the baptism of icy water?

Candidate: I come here so to seek.

Priest: And why seekest thou such a baptism?

Candidate: To increase awareness of ALS (or he may say "baldness", or "big noses", or any other ailment that afflicts mankind). Also, because I am too stingy to dip in my pocket and send cash to a charity.

Marvin

I'm used to being humiliated. I can even stick my head in a bucket of water if you like.

Priest: And who wieldeth the bucket?

Wielder: I do.

Priest: Dost thou promise to wield the bucket fairly, taking care that most of the contents fall upon the candidate? And wilst thou endeavour not to splash me?

Wielder: I promise this.

Priest: And who beareth the video camera? (Or he may say "mobile telephone".)

Bearer: I do.

Priest: And dost thou promise to place the fruits of thine efforts on Youtube, that all may see how wondrous are the deeds of the Candidate?

Bearer: I so promise.

At this point there may be a reading from Lamentations 3:54. "Waters flowed over mine head; then I said, I am cut off."

wine bottles in ice bucket

It is advisable to remove the bottles before proceeding.

Priest: Art thou ready to receive the icy water?

Candidate: I am ready.

Priest: Then let it be poured upon thee.

The wielder shall now invert the bucket, and the video camera shall "roll".

Candidate: Eeeek! Owwww! (Or he may use another form of words, such as "Yarooh!" or "Aaagh!")

Priest: Hast thou gotten a good "take"?

Bearer: This I have done.

Priest: Then the deed is done, so let us go forth in gladness.

Candidate: A-a-a-a-a-a-...

Omnes: CHOO!

The procession shall now leave the church, and the candidate shall seek a towel and dry raiment.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Eccles answers some burning questions

Dear Eccles, I read somewhere that it was possible to declare one's house a Galloway-free zone. How do I do that, and what are the advantages?

Galloway arrested

Sometimes our policemen are wonderful.

Eccles replies: A Galloway exclusion zone is generally considered to be a significant asset to a neighbourhood. Indeed, the value of your property may increase by up to 100% if the purchaser can be sure that there isn't a whining Hamas-supporter crawling round your living-room drinking the cat's milk.

To avoid an infestation of Galloways, you could hang an old shoe in your window, since Muslims consider old shoes to be insulting, and Galloways will tend to avoid them. Keeping pigs is another possible strategy, but these animals tend to think of Galloways as "unclean" and will probably be upset by their presence. In Bradford they discovered that inviting a few Jews to visit was extremely effective: despite his mighty rhetoric, the resident Galloway was reported to have disguised himself in a burka and fled to Scotland.


Dear Eccles, I am a pregnant woman, and very worried that my child may have Dawk syndrome. Could you advise me?

Dawkins and dog

People with Dawk Syndrome are often fond of animals. It's humans they can't stand.

Eccles replies: Dawk Syndrome is not usually a problem for the first 50 or so years of life: people with this condition can often live full and rewarding lives, for example by taking unskilled employment as professors of zoology.

In old age, however, we often see severe psychological problems develop: an obsessive desire for publicity, including the habit of saying nasty things in order to be noticed; a conviction that one is always right, even when the facts have shown that this is not the case; the habit of making gaffes ("unless you are a vegan (most Pro-'Lifers' are not) you are in no position to object to abortion"); and a total insensitiveness to the feelings of other people. It is tempting, if you think you may have a Dawk baby, to abort your child and "try again", but we cannot recommend that course of action. At any rate, the condition is much better understood these days.

Teenage Dawkins

Sometimes a 73-year-old will dress like a teenager.


Dear Eccles, whom are you likely to nominate for your "Catholic bishop of the year" award?

Eccles replies: It seemed at first that Michael Campbell of Lancaster would walk away with the prestigious "golden cake" for his courageous suppression of the far-too-orthodox Protect the Pope blog, and his brilliantly confusing handling of the situation. As devoted supporters of "Mike the Knife" we must remind people that shouting "Pants on fire!" at bishops is rude and naughty, even if this exact phrase is not explicitly forbidden by canon law.

Recently, Kieran Conry has been coming up fast behind him, with his imaginative request for the dissident organization ACTA to hold meetings in his diocese, going as far as advertising them on the Arundel and Brighton website. Well done, Kieran! Give the Vatican a piece of your mind! Just think, in a few hundred years time we may be talking of Conryans in the same way as we talk of Lutherans!

Stop ACTA boy

Attacking ACTA? Not in Arundel and Brighton!

Monday, 18 August 2014

The Book of St Richard, Chapter 20

Continued from Chapter 19.

1. And Richard decided that the time had come to lay up treasure on earth, ignoring all warnings that moth and rust do corrupt.

2. Thus, following the traditions of L. Ron Hubbard and Sun Myung Moon, he set up a system of payments, whereby the faithful and somewhat foolish could give of their money to the Dawkins Foundation and buy Enlightenment.

3. Thus, Richard created six circles, and each circle was filled by progressively more gullible people.

4. Seven circles were there not, neither five circles, but six. And Richard was at the centre of all these circles, as was right and just.

Dawkins and his honey

$1000 annually for membership of the Glorious Circle of Honey.

5. And the first circle was called the Glorious Circle of Honey: and it commemorated Richard's great war against the forces of Islam, in which his honey was taken from him at an airport.

6. And those that paid to join the Glorious Circle were fed with milk and honey until they wanted no more.

7. Also, they were given the prestigious DAWKINS INITIATES MEDAL, and could write the letters D.I.M. after their name.

8. Next, there came the Wondrous Circle of Gallifrey, priced at two thousand five hundred pieces of silver per year, wherein the members were entitled to additional benefits, including a cup of tea with Mrs Dawkins, she that they called Lalla.

City of Death

Lalla explaineth her husband's writings to a disciple.

9. And the members of the Wondrous Circle of Gallifrey were awarded the DAWKINS UNIVERSAL MEDAL OF BRILLIANCE, and wrote the letters D.U.M.B. after their name.

10. Then (keep it short, please. God) there were four further circles of Hell Enlightenment.

11. The Noble and Imperious Circle of Blind Watchmakers, five thousand pieces of silver. Additional benefits, including one dinner a year with la famille Dawkins (Richard, Lalla and K9). Dinner cooked by Lalla, Richard promiseth to do the washing-up, and K9 walketh with thee in the streets of Oxford.

12. The Effulgent and Inscrutable Circle of Selfish Genes, ten thousand pieces of silver. Free admission to Dawkins's house once a week, and unlimited use of Dawkins's toilet, whereon he composeth his tweets.

13. The Lustrous and Ineffable Circle of Devil's Chaplains, twenty-five thousand pieces of silver. For him who reacheth this circle, Richard cometh to his house once a year to unblock the drains and do other odd jobs.

Dawkins and flowers

Richard demonstrateth his skills at flower-arranging.

14. Finally, there was the Supreme, Magnificent and Dreadful Circle of Deluded Gods, priced annually at one hundred thousand of those pieces known as "bucks".

15. And a mighty message was proclaimed: "If thou reacheth this level of wisdom, O mortal, Dawkins will bow down and worship thee - or at least worship thy money - and he will lick thy boots clean with his own blessed tongue."

Dawkins playing music

Dawkins serenadeth a member of the Supreme, Magnificent and Dreadful Circle of Deluded Gods.

16. And the multitudes spake, saying "Surely that man will do anything for money?"

To be continued.


The book of St Richard started here.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Westboro Baptist Church Ecumenical Events

My fellow saved Baptists,

This week sees a truly solemn occasion, the funeral of the actor Robin Williams. In a spirit of ecumenism we shall be sending representatives along to the event, with a message of condolence: "Burn in Hell you rotten faggot". As you may know, our researches have shown that Mr Williams led a double life as a homosexual club-owner, until he was exposed in a film called The Birdcage. Our investigations have also shown that he used to infiltrate himself into people's houses as a transvestite housekeeper - an activity specifically forbidden in the book of Leviticus.

Mrs Doutfire

Hell has a special circle for transvestite housekeepers.

Looking further ahead, we are starting to think of Christmas. Yes, it's the Panto season, and this year the Khilafa Players have promised us a real treat - Aladdin and his Magic Lamp! We shall be sending a party along to the first night at the Alhambra Theatre, and we're all looking forward to seeing Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the role of Widow Twanky. When he comes on we shall arise as one - though there may be as many as two of us - and burn down the theatre, for GOD HATES PANTOMIME DAMES. They stimulate unnatural carnal desires, don't they? Well, they did in Pastor Fred Phelps, bless his memory.

Les Dawson

A source of unnatural carnal desires.

Finally, we are already making plans for next Lent, when the Westboro Episcopalian Church, St Thomas Cromwell's, will be putting on a passion play. This is going to portray several EVIL characters, and so we shall be involved in the production in a generally offensive capacity. For example, JUDAS - although non-Baptists love him - was a ROTTEN SKUNK, so any actor who attempts to portray him on stage had better watch out. Worse than Judas was PETER - who some say was the first pope, i.e., a CATHOLIC, i.e., worse even than FAGS! When Peter comes on he'd better watch out for hisses, boos, and a shower of rotten tomatoes!

Actually, there's nobody here that we Westboro Baptists can approve of!

Death to the infidel! And that means anyone who wasn't in church this morning!

Jim Phelps (Pastor),
The Impossible Mission,
Westboro.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Devilodge bans the Gideon Bible

The hotel chain Devilodge has announced that it will be removing the Gideon Bibles supplied to its guest rooms, "in order not to discriminate against any religion".

Gideon Bible

Too discriminatory for Devilodge.

It is thought that they originally planned to replace them with copies of the secularists' Guardian Bible, written by Laurie Penny, Owen Jones, Giles Fraser and Simon Jenkins, but, thanks to the good folk at Scarfolk Council, we have come across some other books that will replace the Gideon Bible.

Muslims can of course ask for the Koran, but here is an alternative that can be requested by ticking the appropriate box when you book online.

Bomb-making book

For the more militant traveller.

Satanists, too, are welcomed at Devilodge, and here is a book for them.

Witchcraft book

A good read.

Finally, with Calvary-Chapel types, such as my brother Bosco, in mind, here is something for the Evangelical Christian.

Rapture book

Getting ready for the big day.

Thanks again to Scarfolk Council for some brilliant ideas.

Friday, 15 August 2014

What are my human rights?

QUAERITUR: What are my human rights? I have read recently that Judge Dedov, a comedian employed by the European Court of Human Rights, took the (minority) view that Catholic priests had the "human right" to remain priests, even if they disregarded the celibacy rule. Moreover, Michael Fabricant M.P. has just declared that homosexuals have the "right" to give blood. So is there a comprehensive list of rights anywhere?

Fabricant

Do I have the right to a silly mop of blond hair?

Professor Eccles answers: I once read a book by Simone Weil - clever lady - in which she argued that talking about "rights" was silly, and we should be talking more about "responsibilities". So instead of saying "I have a right to a silly mop of blond hair", we should argue "The NHS has a duty to provide me with a silly blond wig". Instead of saying "I have a right to give blood", we might say "The NHS (or Count Dracula, or whoever you wish to give it to) has a duty to accept this bottle of red stuff that I've brought in with me."

Tony Hancock and fat lady

"Cliff Richard might get your lot - that'd slow him down a bit."

Human rights have clearly changed over time: originally Ug the cave-man felt he had the "right" to food and shelter - but not necessarily the prime cut of mammoth or the most comfortable rock to lay his head on. The human right to watch Russell Brand on colour television never occurred to him (those were happier times). Even then he might feel he had the right to be a high priest and to participate in the sacrifices that were going on (mostly goats in those days, it seems).

After some thought, I have formulated the Eccles Principle of Human Rights. Human Rights are whatever someone else has that you want.

Clarkson and Mercedes

Jeremy Clarkson has a Mercedes Benz - so it is your human right to have one too!

It is clear that the Eccles principle will improve your life immeasurably. Want a seat in the House of Lords? It's your human right - frankly, the last few appointees seem to have been chosen at random, so you are probably just as suitable. Do you want to be a lady Catholic bishop? It is your right to reassign your gender as "female" (if necessary), and initiate a new career, bullying deacons and posing for narcissistic pictures - or whatever it is that bishops do.

Galloway and Hamas

You too have the right to participate in a Dr Who tribute act!

Correction: as we went to press, we learned that you do not have the human right to express your opinion if it offends atheists, liberals, socialists or terrorists. Sorry about that.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Vicky Beeching comes out as a rock singer

In a very frank interview with the Independent newspaper, the Christian lesbian, Vicky Beeching, has finally admitted what people suspected all along - she is a rock singer.

Vicky Beeching

Frankly, the guitar was a bit of a give-away.

Said one commentator, "It's true that her recent behaviour had been giving some concern, but we assumed that she was simply in pain, and that it was a cry for help. Now we discover that, in fact, she was singing."

There is still a fierce debate among Christians about whether rock singing is compatible with being a Christian - and traditionalists condemn it entirely. No explicit prohibition by Christ is recorded, but there are severe doubts over the claim by more liberal Christians, such as Giles Fraser, that when Christ called Peter "The Rock" he was inviting him to go out and sing to the world.

St Peter

Peter receives the keys (C minor and A major).

Vicky Beeching is a high-profile Christian, and it is possible that her admission may make rock-singing more acceptable among religious people - although of course there have been earlier cases of Christians coming out as rock singers, ever since Graham Kendrick was outed in 1963.

Graham Kendrick

An early advocate of Rock Lib.

Still, rock singer or not, it is clear that God will still love her. Remember, it's "hate the song and not the singer".


In other news, today is the day that so many British teenagers get their A level results. As is traditional, we show some young sixth-formers jumping for joy after receiving their grades.

women priests

Good news, girls?

We are very glad that these charming young girls are so happy, but we should remind them that in former times the receipt of A level results was received in a much more dignified manner.

Neville Chamberlain

I'm off to study history at university!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Is the Church of England like ISIS?

There has been an angry debate between Joseph Shaw and Geoffrey Sales over the question whether the best way to understand ISIS is by studying the Church of England. As usual, it is left to Eccles to rule on this matter.

The dreaded CofE flag (to interpret this, reflect a little).

We do have some anecdotal evidence. Said Mrs Enid Shavius, 84, "I was sitting peacefully at home, when a dreadful man knocked on the door and said he was the 'vicar'. Before I knew where I was I was offering him a cup of tea and listening to his readings from the collected sermons of George Carey. When I woke up, he had disappeared, taking my ginger biscuits with him."

the Dean

If you see this man, do not invite him in for tea.

Said another witness, Colonel John Vendimus, 76, "I was disgusted to see one of those Anglican women in the street, dressed in the sort of ridiculous costumes that they are encouraging them to wear these days. I didn't give my life in the Boer war to see women being degraded in that way."

women bishops

Anglican women wearing a degrading and unbecoming costume.

Finally, Miss Maureen Latin-Mass, 55, complained that an aggressive woman came round to her house, demanding "something for our jumble sale - it's in aid of the Anglican Church's Mission to Seafarers". She had to give the woman an old scarf, a pot of turnip jam and an unwanted copy of The God Delusion before she would go away.

Long John Silver

The Mission to Seafarers did well this year.

So there we have it - evidence that the Anglican Church has a policy of systematic extortion and repression. Just like ISIS, in fact.

Worshipping dead fish

There is a possible interpretation of the Bible that says that Jesus came into the world to supply us with dead fish. This viewpoint is held by the Episcatorian Church, part of the Anglercan Communion; for them the feeding of the five thousand on bread and fish is a central part of Jesus's ministry, together with the events after the Resurrection, when He advised His disciples how to catch fish and then prepared them a fish breakfast cooked on a fire of burning coals.

Raphael painting

A miracle involving fish.

Prime Minister David Cameron is of course a man of strong religious convictions, and, although he does not speak often of this, a pious Episcatorian. His trip round the fish-markets of Portugal at the time of Armageddon has been widely mocked (including, regrettably on this blog), but he was merely undertaking a pilgrimage in accordance with the tenets of his deeply-held piscine faith.

Cameron and fish-shops

A dedicated fish-worshipper visits some holy shrines.

Episcatorians sing many of the modern hymns that Anglercans love, such as "Follow me, follow me, leave your home and family, Leave your fishing nets and boats upon the shore" and "If I were a butterfly, I’d thank you Lord for giving me wings, ..., If I were a fish in the sea, I’d wiggle my tail and I’d giggle with glee", together with modified versions of more traditional hymns, such as "Be still, my sole" and "Hark! The herald angelfish". They generally conclude their service with the traditional "The piece of cod which passeth all understanding".

angelfish

On the side of the angelfish.

I hope that this clarifies the situation, and will put an end to malicious comments about David Cameron along the lines of "Why is he totally ignoring what ISIS is up to? Why doesn't he ask for a recall of parliament? Why does he make even Obama look good by comparison?" Our pious Prime Minister will pray for peace in the way he knows best, by visiting yet more fish shops, and he will leave the military aspects to Pope Francis, who is even now planning to drop an elite force of "Magic Circle" bishops in Iraq.

Monday, 11 August 2014

What is a traditionalist?

The often-excellent Fr Dwight Longenecker has recently got himself into a bit of a pickle over a post Traditionalists Reject Divine Mercy, which in its original version appeared to give the impression that all Catholics calling themselves traditionalists believe exactly the same thing. In fact, pace* Fr Dwight, there are at least three sub-species of traditionalist, and here is a short guide.

* traddy Latin expression meaning "with peace", here meaning "with due deference to".

Pope Pius I

Pope Pius I (2nd century A.D.). Accepted by most trads.

Traditionalistus Sedevacantus. These are the extreme trads, who do not accept any pope since Pius XII (or Pius X, or possibly Pius V; one of the Pii, anyway) as being legitimate. They have severe reservations about the "modernistic" Tridentine Mass, preferring the Sarum Rite, although some prefer to celebrate the Whitby Rite dating from A.D. 664, in which "Yorkshire" Latin (lingua ebagumsis) was recommended. Some theories you may hear from T.S. include the notion that Pope St John XXIII was replaced by the demon Telbat, just before he summoned Vatican II, and that the next Pope - "who will come from a Minster to the West" - will be the last before the final Armageddon, the great battle between Conservatism and Liberalism.

Marcel Lefebvre

Archbishop Lefebvre looks on in horror as a giant puppet walks up the aisle.

Traditionalistus Nonvaticanduensis. Next on the scale we have a variety of traditionalists who reject parts of Vatican II. Bishop Fellay, the head of SSPX, has said that his team accepts 95% of the teachings of Vatican II, which is not a bad score: an A* grade, surely? Of course nobody has ever read all the Vatican II documents (739 pages of fine print, as contrasted with 42 for Vatican I and 179 for Trent), although we are all waiting for the movie, which will star Stephen Fry as Hans Küng and Kermit the Frog as Basil Loftus. The documents have titles such as Decree concerning the sacred pastoral dogmatic constitution on the apostolate of the renewal of priestly mission through the divine ministry of the ecumenical activity of social communication with the laity, which roughly means Kick-starting our priests.

T.N. will of course only attend a Latin Mass, regarding the Novus Ordo as - at best - inferior, and - at worst - invalid. Although they accept that Pope Francis is the legitimate pope, they tend to dislike him so much that he might easily be the Beast of the Apocalypse in a white suit.

Orthodoxy

Flamenco dancing in church? At my age?

Traditionalistus Orthodoxus. These are the most numerous, and in fact tend to be totally orthodox Catholics who see no point in changing things just for the sake of change. They may well prefer the traditional Latin Mass for its universality, purity and beauty (enabling them to focus on God rather than worrying about whether they will catch a loathsome disease from young Ernie Grotchet in the Kiss of Peace); still, they accept that the Novus Ordo is a totally valid way of worshipping.

They have no particular quarrel with Vatican II itself (after all, if you look closely, you find that it stressed the importance of Latin). However, they go for the "hermeneutic of continuity" approach, and therefore believe that the so-called Spirit of Vatican II - motto "Anything Goes" - is just a snare and a delusion leading to liturgical dancing, clown masses and banal hymns such as Shine, Jesus, Shine. Often, they prefer Pope Benedict XVI's approach rather than Pope Francis's, but they console themselves with the thought that the Holy Spirit never promised that all popes would be supermen.

Superman

Not Pope Francis... or is he?

One could go on, with an analysis of watered-down Catholicism: does a fondness for Walk in the Light mean that you automatically subscribe to the weird views of Tina Beattie? If necessary, we can advise you.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Am I bringing joy into my life?

Having seen Pope Francis's ten tips for bringing joy into one's life, I thought I'd see how well I was doing, and, in cases where there was room for improvement, who I should take as my role model. If anyone wants another ten tips, then look here.

Pope Francis tips

Attempt all of these.

1. Live and let live. I'm not very good at this, frankly. When I read of massacres in Iraq (for example), I do start getting annoyed, even though strictly speaking it's none of my business. Perhaps David Cameron (last seen staring at dead fish in Portugal) is a good role model for this one.

2. Be giving of yourself to others. I'm writing this blog, am I not? This is my mission to the slightly-saved, that they may become more-saved. I think I get a mark here.

3. Proceed calmly in life. Yes, I've read Desiderata too: Go placidly amid the noise and haste, etc. Yup, I'm fairly calm and placid.

Eccles coke

Not going to lose my temper, but it was an Eccles cake I ordered.

4. Have a healthy sense of leisure. As the saying goes: sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits. Is this healthy? Obviously the Holy Father isn't recommending sloth, is he? It's having a healthy sense of work that I find difficult.

5. Sunday is for families. Ha ha ha, every day is for families, especially when you have an aunt who keeps running out of gin and ekes it out with anti-freeze and toilet-cleaner.

6. Find ways to employ the youth. Anyone who makes approaches to youth, saying "Would you like to earn some money, little girl?" is likely to end up being questioned by the police. For similar reasons, I suppose, boy scouts no longer offer a "Bob-a-Job" where they would clean the car, cut the hedge, walk the dog, tidy the kitchen and cook dinner, all for the sum of 1 shilling (5p). So I fall down dismally here. Who is my role model? The Guardian, which employs Owen Jones (age 8)?

Bob-a-job

... and the Guardian is looking for a left-wing feature-writer.

7. Respect and care for nature. Yes, on the whole. Respect, rather than reverence, or worship. So I bow to cabbages, but do not genuflect in front of them. I retrieve lost-looking spiders from the bath, and put them in my aunt's bed. Yes, full marks here.

8. Stop being negative. No, I won't! Ah... that was a trap, and I fell into it. All right. From now, I'm just a boy who cain't say "NO", so my role model is Oscar Hammerstein II, who wrote these words for Oklahoma!

Oklahoma!

I cain't say No!

9. Respect other's beliefs. This is a toughie. Where do we draw the line? Atheists? Muslims? Satanists? Mormons? Baptists? Perhaps I get half a mark for ecumania here, as I get on rather well with some (but not all) Catholics, Anglicans and Baptists, for example. Perhaps we need to look to Cardinal Nichols, who offered flowers at a Hindu altar. Cardinals are never wrong.

10. Work for peace. This is one I understand, and appreciate. How sneaky of the Pope to slip in something Christian at the end!

Eccles verdict

The Verdict.

The Fall and Rise of Damian Thompson

I have long watched the career of Damian "blood-crazed ferret" Thompson with interest - indeed I contributed to the comments section of his "Holy Smoke" Telegraph blog as "Eccles", the brother of the idiot "St Bosco", until I was banned. Then I contributed again as "ThisIsNotEccles" - but the moderators were not fooled by my subtlety and I was soon banned again. Later I was cunningly "Incongito" - this was in the days before I got a secretary, Ecclesiam, to help me with the typing - but that didn't last long either... Anyway, the blog you're reading would probably not be here, were it not for my response to the activities of Brother Bosco on Damian's blog.

BOSCO

Supporters of Bosco protest at his banishment from Damian's blog.

As I have recorded elsewhere on this blog, Damian's blog was originally full of religious news and discussion, hence the nickname "Holy Smoke". Later, however, a distinct dumbing-down was noticed, especially after Damian started to write a Saturday column in the Telegraph. Less frequent were the references to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor or the Ordinariate, and more frequent the mentions of cupcakes, custard, the pianist Gladys Mills, and the actress Noele Gordon. Occasionally, there were snippets of religious gossip, such as the plots against the Nuncio, and the prediction that Fr Alban McCoy would become the next (Catholic) Bishop of Leeds. This event has yet to come to pass.

McCoy

Damnit, Damian! I'm a doctor, not a bishop!

Finally, however, Damian parted company "amicably" with the Telegraph, as we have recorded already; Jason the Mekon, ruler of the Treens of northern Venus, was brought in to dumb-down the newspaper further. Luckily Bryony Gordon and Bill Gardner, formerly of the Brighton Argus - and who better to write about Dull and Boring Day? - are still there to back up the few grown-up writers remaining at the Telegraph, such as Tim Stanley and Tom Chivers.

cupcake poster

Gardner of the Argus's greatest scoop.

So what of Damian? Of course he was still doing casual journalism for the Catholic Herald and the Spectator, but otherwise he was alone in the world with his collection of 10 million CDs, his Gladys Mills piano, his royalties from the Fix - soon to be a major blockbuster starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz - and a significant pay-off from the Telegraph.

Golden Cupcake

Damian received a substantial "Golden Cupcake" from the Telegraph.

Well, a few weeks later we learned that Damian had been given a real job at the Spectator. Of course, he had to begin at the bottom, as the tea-boy, but we all have to start somewhere, and the senior Spectator staff appreciated having their tea poured out by someone who could talk knowledgeably about Wagner, custard, Islam and of course Catholicism as he helped them to sugar. Promotion was inevitable: like the chap in H.M.S. Pinafore who "polished up that handle so carefullee, that now he is the Ruler of the Queen's Navee", we could sing about Damian, "At making tea so good an operator, that now he is an Ass. Ed. of the great Spectator". An Ass. Ed. is nothing to do with donkeys, but is an Associate Editor, which is a very grand position indeed.

Spectator tea party

Cristina Odone is called in to help Damian interview a new tea-boy (R).

So the story has a happy ending, and Damian is blogging on religious matters again at the Spectator's Coffee House - or Custard House, as it is to be renamed. In-depth articles are appearing:

Bravo, Justin Welby! Much better than Rowan Williams! (even Anglicans get it right sometimes, eh?)

Fr Jean-Marie Charles-Roux - the priest with the William Hartnell hairstyle (ah, comments on hairstyles make me nostalgic for the old Telegraph days) and

Even the atheist left realise that Richard Dawkins is a bigot (a bit of an open goal, that one).

Ad multos bloggos, Damian. Will I be allowed to comment on your posts though?

The Abbot of Amboise, a lookalike of Fr Charles-Roux.

Nuns on the Bus sent to Iraq

Sr Christine Frost is the Catholic nun who single-handedly defeated ISIS in East London by tearing down an Islamic jihad flag, where the Police, the British Army, and all the Queen's horses and all the Queen's men dared not venture.

Will Crooks estate

Now safe for policemen once more.

As a result, Barack Obama has decided to deploy the famous American "Nuns on the Bus" in Iraq, as the force most likely to send ISIS fleeing in terror. Said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, President of the USCCB, "We have long wondered what's God's purpose was for the Nuns on the Bus. They call themselves Catholics, but they reject so much Catholic teaching that most of us think of them as a wacky Protestant sect. I don't know about the Muslims, but they sure terrify me."

nun with gun

"Make my day, Galloway! We won't do things the Allah-way!"

It is thought that several busloads of nuns will be sent to confront ISIS. Said General Sister Simone Campbell, their leader, "We have long wanted the opportunity to put men in their place, and where better to start than with the sexist homophobic anti-liberal men of ISIS? By the time we've finished with them, we'll have them wearing burkhas and doing the cleaning and flower-arranging in their mosques, where the ecumenical Muslim-Catholic services will be taken by liberal female mullah-priests who don't wear traditional vestments of any kind."

NUN

The sign of "NUN", used to show support for the nuns.

It is thought that President Obama has offered the nuns more modern transport than the clapped-out buses to which they are accustomed, but these have been firmly rejected by Sr Simone. "It's too late now to call ourselves the Nuns in the Jeep, or the Nuns in the Tank," she says. "Anyway, our marching song, The nuns in the bus go drone drone drone, would have to be rewritten."

nun on bike

Britain's belated contribution: one nun, on a bike.