This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Reading Francis through Eccles

Pope Francis has a habit of making off-the-cuff remarks, some of which are misreported, mistranslated, misunderstood, or simply too profound to be understood immediately. As a service to our long-suffering readers, we present a cut-out-and-throw-away guide to some of the Holy Father's alleged obiter dicta.


That's a fine Pinocchio puppet. May we borrow it for the Good Friday Mass in Rome?

Eccles writes: Pope Francis is known for his courtesy. Rather than telling people to stop patronizing God and dumbing down his worship, he uses a gently ironic tone. The priest to whom these words were spoken is now a dyed-in-the-wool traditionalist, who offers the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, replacing Pinocchio with a large Pius X puppet.

Pope and Hollande

How nice to see you, President Hollande. I am a great admirer of yours.

In fact, what the Pope said was, "Thou hast had five mistresses: and she whom thou now hast is not thy wife, either, you dirty old man (John 4:18). Oh, and you can drop that stupid same-sex marriage nonsense too." As a result, President Hollande has vowed to lead a much better life, and is now training as a Catholic priest (fortunately, he has never married).

dove and crow

Will someone do something about that bloody crow?

Almost certainly, Pope Francis said nothing of the sort. We believe he said, "As St Francis did, I love all God's creatures. Although, to be fair, it is sometimes hard to love mosquitoes."

angry Francis

Self-absorbed Promethean neo-pelagians? Arentchasickofem?

Pope Francis's words were in fact a little more nuanced. "Who am I to judge if people sincerely wish to practise neo-pelagianism? Of course I prefer them to do so in a non-Promethean way, if at all possible. And if they insist on being self-absorbed as well, then perhaps they should think again about the possible implications of their practices."

papal mass

The ancient liturgy is just a fashion.

Of course no Pope would ever make a derogatory comment about the Latin Mass, given that its importance was stressed at the Vatican II council, and the fact that Catholics throughout the ages have treasured its beauty, richness, and holiness. Clearly, the Holy Father was simply trying to be "nice" to a group of Latin-hating Czechs, including the notorious Basil Lovtuš, Pavel Invód, and representatives of the infamous Bíttapil newspaper.


  1. What did he say about the latest addition to the "Carry on "series, "Carry on Spending" starring Nichols, Welby, Balls and Miliband?

  2. Dear Sir,

    Thank you for your interesting article on reading Francis through Eccles.

    I first tried reading Francis though Benedict XVI, following bad advice from a traddy blog, and ended up spending a large amount of money in Specsavers.

    Since then, I have tried reading Francis through Eugenio Scalfari, then through the Grand Orient of Italy Masonic Lodge, and lately through Enid Blyton. None of these helped me to understand Pope Francis very well. But now I have discovered a very helpful leaflet produced by ACTA, called "Reading Francis Through John Prescott", and now it all makes perfect sense.

    Yours etc. floating about in flood waters in a kayak,

    Reginald Mass-Trousers

  3. Pope Francis infallible ex cathedra pronouncement on The Latin Mass being just a kind of fashion should be obeyed and so I intend to make it a permanent trend in my life of Faith for the remainder of my life here on Planet Earth. I know fashion is ephemeral and after only about 1900 years as a fully formed liturgical Rite with multi-papal and conciliar doctrinal guarantees, it is a risk following it and attending it regularly but what would life be without a risk or two?

    1. What do you think of the Archlayman of Canterbury's recent declaration that two priests of the same sex cannot marry, but can only get a civil union ?

      Is it infallible ? Is it ex cathedra ? Should one of those two priests get a sex-change in order to get married in church ?

    2. Never heard of this person. I don't support the unions anyway.

  4. Nice work Eccles – pointedness of pensiero and paucity of parole.

    Perhaps a Vatican appointment is in the offing…?

    With all the high-priced consultants engaged there, a need exists for a “Speech Supremo” (Cfr. James Hacker…)

  5. Dearest Eccles, your poor Anti has become so smitten with Cardinal Pell after a gin-soaked evening, that she has up and simply run off to be with him in Sydney.

    So smitten is she with her love for him that she has decided to stop being an unsavd Anglican, and become an unsavd gin-soak cathlic instead (that's like a café cathlic, but with a better bar).

    I'm afraid she's been drinking herself so much into despair, after she heard Archbanker Welby's infallible statement against Cathlic priests marrying unsavd grannies that her pussonality has quite changed from what it used to be.

    Good think cousin Micky is still looking after her, but that fish-hat denunciator of your bruvver was nowhere to be seen !!

  6. I confess Pavel Invód took me a second or two extra to get. Not heard much of him lately so he is not so readily on my mind.

    Oh, and I've tapped you for a gong!

    Pax semper.


    1. Much appreciated, Fr Hugh, but I got a sunshine award already (and I would have nominated you too if I could have had a few more).

  7. Do you write commentary and analysis outside of this blog? You're very talented.

  8. Anti Moly will get into trouble in Sydney if she strays outside the Cathedral grounds and on to Oxford Street. There's no Selfridge's there; just a lot of rather unusual men in high heels.