This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

How to keep the Pope busy

A leaked Vatican memorandum has come our way.

To: Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.
From: Alfred Xuereb, first private secretary of Pope Francis.

Pope and Xuereb

Could you sign the excommunication order for Enda Kenny, Holy Father?

Your Eminence,

Thank you for your memorandum expressing concern that the Holy Father may have too much time on his hands, which is why he has got into the habit of phoning up random Catholics for a chat. Following your advice, we are proposing a full programme of activities to keep him busier. Here are some ideas:

1. Canonizations. The recent ceremony was very popular, and succeeded in winding-up the non-Catholics as well as the Tablet paper. We propose some more high-profile canonizations, possibly including Pope Pius XII, Grand Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada, Pope Alexander VI, and Pontius Pilate. The resulting controversy should keep the Pope fully occupied.

Cardinal Ximenes

Nobody expects Cardinal St Ximénes de Cisneros!

2. Excommunications. We have received petitions for the excommunication of Hans Küng, Tina Beattie, Tony Flannery, Enda "Enda Life" Kenny and Bishop Michael Campbell (this last one may be a misunderstanding, but we will appoint a "God's Advocate" to look into the question, all the same).

Enda Life and Pope

Oh yes, I'm a pious Catholic, Holy Father!

3. Travel. Pope Francis is not such a good traveller as Pope St John-Paul II was, but we should be able to pack him off to a few exciting places.

Holy Croydon

Pope Francis has expressed an interest in riding on a tram in Croydon.

4. If all else fails, we will suggest to the Pope that he release some more symbols of peace. We haven't had much luck with doves, but he could try sending out creatures such as wild boar, alligators and tigers into the streets of Rome: they can probably take care of themselves.

lion of peace

Pope Benedict releases a "lion of peace".

Anyway, all further suggestions will be gratefully received. At present Pope Francis spends a lot of time in front of the television, gloomily watching re-runs of The Two Marinis, and it can't be good for him.

Two Ronnies

It's "Ite, missa est" from me - and it's "Ite, missa est" from him!


  1. Judging by the vestments, that must be Piero on the right of the picture in the stripes.

  2. You forgot the shopping channel. Give him a credit card and he can phone them all day long if he likes. You can never have too many steam mops in a place like the Vatican, and imagine how good he'd look after a few weeks on Chuck Norris' Total Gym.

  3. I hear he was quite busy with a phone call overheard in Lancaster yesterday: "Heya Micky, I don wanna no more protection from thata Donnelly guy. Shutta him down, capiche?"

    1. The arbitrary and unjust action against Deacon Donnelly is wholly illegal (as well as obviously, egregiously immoral).

  4. I used to work in local government and when all else failed they occupied our time by sending us for equality and diversity training.. It might help His Holiness, who is, after all still quite new to poping and seems to have missed out on his induction training (hence all the nonsense about not wanting to wear this or live there), if he engaged in a session or two on the rich diversity of Catholicism and, naturally, bats. If nothing else, it was always fun winding up the facilitators.

  5. I thought Pontius Pilate was already canonized by the Ethiopians, very un-ecumenical of the Pope not to recognize this, don't you think?

  6. I felt sick to the stomach at Cardinal Brady introducing the man responsible for so much evil being "legalised" in Ireland, to the Pope at the canonisations, as if he were a faithful Catholic, or a non-Catholic of goodwill who upholds the fundamental moral law.

  7. Or he could amuse himself by intervening in making heretical priests 'in good standing' with the Church.

  8. Alfred Xuereb has dunnarunna. Probably didn't look to good in a miniskirt or couldn't do shorthand or sumfin.