This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

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?"


  1. More truth here than in most of the "serious" Catholic commentaries.

  2. I have to confess, I did waste some food a little while ago. I believe this is now a mortal sin according to the Archbiscuit of Nice or maybe it's Naples. Next time, I'll be charitable & put the waste food in an envelope and send it to Somalia. This will gain a leaner indulgence, we have been told.

  3. Wasting food is no big deal compared with the mega sin of overfilling the kettle.

  4. Well, Pattif...long time no see...I want to confess that I overfill the kettle also. Just think of all the extra CO2 which has been put into the atmozfear to boil unneccesary water! I sort of let myself off tho, becos I have solar panels on my roof and they work overtime evry day!...yes, even if it rains but that duzn't happen very often any way. We usually get sun, sun an' mor sun.

  5. What penances did you give. Come on. You can tell us that?