This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Exclusive interview with the Russian Patriarch

Following his historic meeting with Pope Francis, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow has agreed to give an equally historic interview to this blog.

"And for spiritual nourishment you can't do better than reading Eccles's blog."

E: Good to see see you, Kirill. I gather you had a very successful meeting with Pope Francis.

K: Yes, we found that we had so much in common. For example, the Catholic Church is under pressure from liberals who want to introduce "gay masses", and so are we in the Russian Orthodox Church. There's this appalling Archbishop called Vinkentii Nikolskii, in the Diocese of West Minsk. If he ever became Supreme Patriarch, we might as well remove the word "Orthodox" from our title.

E: I gather that some of your Orthodox liberals want to ordain Matriarchs?

K: You're probably thinking of Professor Kristina Beatii, Eccles. Her feminist notions are totally off the scale: her devotion to the Virgin Mary is very commendable, but she seems to have trouble with all the male characters in the Bible.

E: She writes for Tabla, doesn't she?

The Tabla staff after an acrimonious editorial meeting.

K: I won't have the rag in my house, Eccles. Under Katarina Pepinskaya it has become the paper for those who want to ferment rebellion and dissent.

E: It is good of you to speak so frankly, your patriarchship.

K: Well, the last interview I gave was to a 103-year-old atheist journalist called Scalfarii, who told me "Don't bother to say anything, Kyrill, I'm going to make it all up anyway." I expect you will do much better.

E: Well, I hope so, sir. It was actually quite difficult for me to get to see you, what with that burly man on the door screaming "You're blocked" at all-comers. Father Rositskii, was it? He said he worked for the Siberian "Salt Mines" conglomerate.

K: I believe he's some sort of actor. Didn't I see him in the new production of War and Peace? Just ignore him.

Napoleon, as seen in "War and Peace".

E: Patriarch Kirill, thank you very much. Stay saved.


  1. Brilliant! There is always great truth in humour.

  2. The Orthodox maintain, as ecclesial bodies and not merely as the opinions or preferences of certain members, the transcendality of Divine Revelation in relation to human understanding, the definitions of the first seven Ecumenical Councils, the dogmatic principle and corpus as the context of day-to-day faith and life, and the sense that salvation is more than temporal alone.

    The Orthodox maintain, as ecclesial bodies and not merely as the opinions or preferences of certain members, a classical liturgical life, individual and collective devotion to the Mother of God, individual and collective devotion to the Angels and the Saints.

    And the Orthodox maintain, as ecclesial bodies and not merely as the opinions or preferences of certain members, the Threefold Apostolic Order, that Order’s essential maleness, the monastic heart of the Church’s life in the world, and the ascetic heart of all true spirituality.

    We must make ourselves worthy of them in practice by our own return to each and all of those principles.

    It is in fact impossible for any Papal action to threaten the position of the Eastern Catholic Churches, as is being suggested in relation to the Joint Declaration with the Russian Patriarch. (The Ukrainian Catholic Church does, however, need to consider Her current political alliances, which do enter into this.)

    Both Orientalium Ecclesiarum 5 and Unitatis Redintegratio 16 use the word “solemnly”, which is not otherwise employed by the Second Vatican Council, in upholding the respective rights of each of the constituent churches of the Roman Communion: the Church of the West and the several Eastern Catholic Churches.

    There is undeniably still work to be done in giving full practical effect to the status of each of those as a qualitatively equal body, organised according to Her own rites and customs, enriching and enriched by those of Her Sisters, sharing equally in the duty and privilege of missionary expansion, and properly headed by a Patriarch to whom She is subject in all parts of the world.

    But it is beneath ignorant to suggest that this is about “geography”, and is thus in principle just as applicable to Africa (not somewhere any longer likely to be invoked by the remaining liberal Catholics), or the United States (where the full effects of de facto independence from Rome are now horrifically clear), or wherever.

    As it is to engage in “delatinisation”, the anti-Catholic programme that has driven into schism Ukrainian Catholics who merely wish to continue the Holy Rosary, the Stations of the Cross, and Eucharistic Adoration. And as it is to suggest that anything comparable is or could be applicable to any Protestant body.

  3. Isn't that The Reverend David Frost from Frost on Sunday and in Winter, of course?

  4. Relief to find that I am not the only one to break my Lenten resolutions on day five. Or do you agree with me that Sundays do not count?

  5. Does medicinal chocolate count? I ate a chocolate digestive on Friday because I felt I was going hypo. (I have now restocked the hypo box with cream crackers.) Am I still saved?

  6. Now I come to think about it. Kirill looks more important than the other guy he's with - it's all in the headgear.