Even more exciting than when Pope Benedict XVI visited!
Monday. Arrived at New York, which turns out to be a city in America, and not in Yorkshire after all. My first impressions are that New York is big - bigger than my home town of Ballydancer, and maybe nearly as big as Cork! Also, it is full of Americans, who speak American, which is very like English, but you have to chew gum while you're talking!
I was met at the airport by Sister Fred of the modernist order of
"Nuns in the Taxi", which
is in dispute with Vatican, just as I am!
"Hi, there!" she said. "You must be Father Flummery!"
"Flannery!" I replied.
"Oh is it? There's no need to be so rude, buster!"
We eventually sorted this out, and she said that the Nuns in the Taxi were all reading extracts from my new book in place of the Gospel at Mass. I was touched by this, although for some reason they think the book is called REVOLUTION. Perhaps that's the name they've given to the American edition!
One thing I should warn people who come to New York is that all the clocks are four or five hours slow! I pointed this out, but, just to annoy me, they refused to change them! Just like the Vatican! Anyway, I went to my hotel, the Heretic's Arms. For those who aren't seasoned travellers, I should mention that a hotel is a large building with bedrooms in it.
So far I am being treated like royalty - people keep trying to take photos of me in the shower!
The Nuns in the Taxi.
Tuesday: Still in New York. With an artist's eye for observation I have noticed that some of the buildings are quite high. Wait till I tell this to my brother Shameless, who runs the Fine Gael party!
A letter was delivered to my hotel, which shows that I have got the Vatican on the run!
Dear Mr Flummery,
Following the recent Extraordinary Synod on the Flannery, Pope Francis has asked me to invite you for lunch. I'm afraid we can't lay on anything special, so it will be our usual simple meal of soup, entrée, appetizer, hors d'oeuvres, fish course, main course, second main course, third main course, cheese, dessert, pudding, sweet, cake, afters, and perhaps an extra main course to finish off if we're still hungry. I hope you like shrimps, oysters, jellyfish, beef, lamb, goat, panda, camel, haddock, turbot, and dolphin, as we shall be having all of these - and more!
Yours ever, Tim Dolan, Supreme Grandmaster of the Order of St Patrick.
Lunch with a real cardinal!
"October is a very interesting time of year," I told Cardinal Dolan. "It is the time of year known as Autumn, or sometimes Fall. Did you ever notice that all the leaves fall off the trees at this time of year? The Vatican tries to keep this fact secret, but as I have been saying at the top of my voice for the last ten years, I WILL NOT BE SILENCED!"
Unfortunately, Cardinal Dolan did not reply to me, as he was chewing his way through a giraffe's neck at the time. This is the sort of rudeness I expect from the Catholic Church.
Wednesday: I am now in Philadelphia! I used to think that this was a word meaning "stamp-collecting", but it turns out to be another big city! I was interviewed by Radio Scalfari, which is a prestigious liberal talk radio station; it has hosted many distinguished theologians in the past, such as Margaret Farley, Hans Küng, Prof. Tina Beattie, and even Richard Dawkins! They recorded an interview with me over the telephone, and promised to broadcast it at 4 a.m. tomorrow, in the very popular "Insomniacs Only" slot, unless something more interesting turned up.
In the evening I had my first speaking engagement, at the prestigious 15th and Market Bus Shelter. I spoke to a massive crowd (too many to count, but approximately 3 people) about how the Catholic Church must adapt to a changing world. I didn't see anyone from the Vatican there, but I am sure that they had sent along a spy. I WILL NOT BE SILENCED!
Long queues of Catholics waiting to hear me speak!
Probably NOT to be continued.