This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Friday, 13 December 2013

The Pilgrim's Ogress 5: The Spy who Saved Me

Continued from Part 4.

Ian Fleming takes up the tale.

"Get 007 over here at once," said F to his secretary, Cardinal Munnipenni. "He's the only person who can deal with this crisis. Tell him to leave his aunt behind - I will brief him on his own."

A few days later, Eccles arrived in Rome, having been flown in from a secret mission somewhere in South London. Ignoring flirtatious glances from Munnipenni (they still had a few such problems in the Curia) he went straight into F's office. "The name's Eccles, Brother Eccles," he exclaimed.

M and Bond

Pope Francis (sitting) briefs Eccles.

"Bless you, 007," said F. "I'm afraid we're out of dry Martini - he died last year."

"So I heard," replied "Eccles. I was shaken but not stirred by what he had to say."

"Now, we're sending you back to England on a special mission. According to the Protect Me blog, there have been a number of disturbing incidents in your country. A sinister organization called ACTA is determined to destabilize the Catholic Church, and we'll need you to go undercover and infiltrate it."


Tipped to be the next "Bond girl".

"What will it involve, sir?" asked Eccles. "Any good-looking girls that I can collaborate with?"

"Probably not this time, Eccles," said his boss. "Most of the members seem to be over 70 years old. Now, to join ACTA you will need to sign its mission statement, all about how you are inspired by the Second Vatican Council, but - and this is the important thing - there is a mysterious supplementary paragraph to sign up to, as well. This is top secret, and we don't know what it contains. We want you to get hold of a copy of it - it could be dynamite!"

"How do I make contact with ACTA?" asked 007.

"We have sent three other agents already, but they've all disappeared mysteriously. Probably they were spotted as being our people, because they didn't know the passwords or the funny handshakes; or maybe they rolled up the wrong trouser-leg. You'll need to be careful, Eccles."

"Anything else you can tell me, sir?"

"Yes, there have been one or two other mysterious incidents, recently. We don't know if they are related. For example, a priest who was supposed to interpret Catholic teaching in sign language turned out to be producing total gibberish."

Hans Kung

Warning: total gibberish.

"Ah yes, I heard about him, poor fellow. Was there anything else?"

"It's a long shot, but at Saatchi and Saatchi in London they have put a blasphemous representation of Mary and Joseph on display. We don't know whether there's a link to ACTA."

Saatchi and Nigella

Not Joseph and Mary.

"I'll get back to England straight away," promised 007.

"Before you go, drop in on C. He'll issue you with some equipment for your mission."


"C" with ZuhlsdorfTM "Mors Vobiscum" liturgical beretta.

007 said his goodbyes to F, and went to see the man they called "C" or "Cormac".

"Now, Eccles, listen carefully," said C. "You'll be going in disguised as a priest. What I am giving you looks like a mobile confessional, but it is programmed to recognise voice patterns. Once someone says the words 'Miser Peccator', the confessional is flooded with an evil gas, sending the sinner to sleep."


The booby-trapped Portofess.

Thanking C for his gift, although wondering how he would ever persuade ACTA members to admit that they might have sinned, Eccles made his way back to England and rejoined his aunt.

To be continued by another writer.


  1. Hard to get them to confess to being sinners, still less to use *gasps* Latin!

  2. As you are inclined to the occasional Latin phrase Eccles, you might want to keep them under your biretta among the ACTAvists. Expressions like: rays jester, siney dye and kwam chellerimay might just give you away.

    Should missteps occur, you could explain that they are the titles of NO songs, by a southern hack or the St. Louis Jesuits…

  3. Ummm .... may have been better to have considered going as a "theologian priest". ACTA like "theologian priests" so they can make things up as they go along. And "sin", for them, is such an outmoded concept these days.

  4. Great photo - I guessed Francis I was a Saint in disguise.