This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Saturday, 9 December 2017

What do you know about Christmas?

Our attention has been drawn by Archdruid Eileen to an article showing that 9 out of 10 Independent journalists know nothing about Christmas.

The problem, of course is that 99% of them haven't been in a church for more than 20 years ("Is it that big building with the minarets?") and 85% of them have never spoken to a Christian ("They're the ones in the turbans, aren't they?")

The Gherkin

This is probably not a church.

Although we haven't even got to the 2nd Sunday in Advent, it was clear to the Independent editor that we must already be on about the 35th Day of Christmas, which traditionally starts when Bonfire Night is over, and it was time for a "What we don't know about Christmas" piece.

Shockingly, when asked to name the 12 Apostles - not that they have much to do with Christmas - the Independent "Staff and Agencies" (a term they use when they can't find anyone prepared to take responsibility for an article) came up with the following list:

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Adam, Eve, Esau, Jacob, David, Goliath, Pontius Pilate,

and as, mentioned on the Archdruid Eileen blog, they narrowly avoided naming Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen (or possibly Kasper and Cupich and Farrell and Tobin).

John Arnold being silly

Christians - except for "Jihadi John" Arnold - do not celebrate Mohammed's birthday.

Clearly, it is difficult to find the traditional Christmas story - either you need to find a Bible, and then it's a long wade through from Genesis until you get to the bit about Bethlehem, or else you need to do "research" (probably Google), and that sounds too much like hard work. Indeed, if you use traditional Christmas keywords such as "snowman", "robin" and "mince pie", you may never stumble across the story at all.

The Easter story is equally hard to pin down, and even a Biblical concordance won't help you if you type in keywords such as "egg", "bunny" and "chocolate". We Christians know that these are key parts of the Easter narrative, but traditionally these bits aren't even read out in church.

I don't think we can blame Pope Francis, who, when he has finished rewriting the Lord's Prayer, is definitely expected to introduce that beautiful old Christmas hymn "We all like figgy pudding" into the liturgy for Christmas Day.

snowman dressed as a priest

"And there came three snowmen unto Bethlehem..."

When asked what languages Jesus spoke, 80% of Independent staff said that, although of course He normally spoke in English (see the King James Bible for proof of this), he must also have understood Gaelic (the language of St Andrew), and probably also spoke whatever it is that Jews speak - probably Yiddish. Anyway, there's clearly no point praying to God (an obscure ritual that some traditional Catholics perform) in languages such as French and German, as HE WON'T UNDERSTAND YOU.

The journalists had heard of the Turin shroud, but most associated it with Alan Turing, the computer chappie, rather than Jesus. "Anyway, wherever Jesus's body is buried, He's probably still wearing the shroud."

Well, with this level of ignorance - and the Guardian is worse - we have a long way to go before we see surveys asking people to explain the Hermeneutic of Continuity, the difference between Modern Reformed Baptists and Reformed Modern Baptists, or the meaning of Eschatology. Let's start with something simpler, such as explaining the Gospels to Fr James Martin SJ.

Houdini

Harry Houdini - a master of eschatology.

Friday, 8 December 2017

The Book of Brexodus, Chapter 11

Continued from Chapter 10

1. So it came to pass that, as the children of Bri-tain had agreed, more or less, May-sis began to speak with the Pharaoh Junck-er at a place called the Table of Negotiation.

Juncker drinking

The Table of Negotiation.

2. And Junck-er spake unto May-sis saying, "Ye must give us riches beyond the dreams of avarice before we allow ye to flee the land of EU-gypt."

3. "Yeah, ye must send us cargoes of ivory, and apes, and peacocks, sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine (especially this), and diamonds, emeralds, amethysts, topazes, cinnamon, and gold moidores. Oh, and platinum statues of Neil Kinnock and Peter Mandelson, lest we forget them."

4. And May-sis, who had also read a certain poem, said "Nay, the most we can offer thee is Tyne coal, road-rail, pig-lead, firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays. Oh, and a cardboard cutout of King David Davis that is indistinguishable from the real thing."

5. Thus it was clear that the stay of May-sis at the Table of Negotiation might be a long one.

Egyptian treasures

The Brexodus bill.

6. So some urged May-sis to walk away from the Table and head for the Red Sea, that the children of Bri-tain might take their chances elsewhere, amongst the Americanites, the Canadiantes, the Australianites, and even the North Koreanites of the land that is called La-la.

7. And others said, "May-sis is not the one to lead us out of EU-gypt, so let us have another leader. Maybe Bo-sis or King David Davis, or perhaps Jacob, he that is called Mogg."

8. And the Dup-ites came to the great Table, speaking of hard borders. And they asked whether, if May-sis parted the Red Sea, it would become a hard border.

9. And others asked whether any EU-gyptians among the people of Bri-tain would be allowed to stay, saying, "If they go, then the children of Bri-tain will starve. For how will they survive without people who can feed them on pizzas, and moussaka, and sauerkraut, and muesli, and the leg of the frog?"

frogs

Alas, the croaking of the frog may be heard no more in the land of Bri-tain.

10. "The children of Bri-tain will wander into the wilderness feeding only on what the Lord provideth; namely, fish and chips, the toad that dwelleth in the hole, and the pie that is made of shepherds."

11. Thus May-sis and the Pharaoh Junck-er drank together at the Table for many months, until finally agreement was reached.

12. Possibly.

To be continued.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

The Dictator Pope

A new book by Marcantonio Colonna has revealed that behind the image of Pope Francis as a humble, merciful, foot-washing, baby-kissing uncle there lies the heart of a fiend.

Charlie Chaplin

A chaplain who once mocked Pope Francis disappeared without trace.

Amongst the revelations in this startling book are the following:

* General Galtieri never wanted to invade the Falkland Islands in 1982, but simply wished to devote himself to breeding llamas. However, the rector of the Philosophical and Theological Faculty of San Miguel, one Jorge Bergoglio, pushed him into a costly war.

Pope Francis and Matthew Festing

Francis issues threats against Fra' Matthew Festing's pet hamster.

* Pope Francis very humbly refuses to allow his friends to call him "Holy Father", preferring the term "Generalissimo Franco".

* Pope Francis refers to his Swiss Guards as the "Stormtroopers": there is a secret elite corps in the Swiss Guard that is responsible for assassinations.

Swiss Guard

Everyone fears the SG.

* The original title of Amoris Laetitia was Liber Terrae Dominationis - a manual of world domination - but the Pope was persuaded that this was too obvious.

* Two of the cardinals who submitted the Dubia to Pope Francis have died - as Oscar Wilde (or possibly Agatha Christie) put it, to lose one might be a misfortune, to lose two looks like a remarkable stroke of luck for someone.

Steve Colbert

Alt-comedian Steve Colbert swears allegiance to the Pope.

* All Jesuits are Licensed to Kill.

* Pope Benedict is being kept prisoner in an underground cell in the Vatican, emerging only for photo-opportunities with glasses of beer.

* The name "Francis" was chosen as a tribute to Francis Ford Coppola, the producer of the Godfather films.

Pope and Evo Morales

"I like the hammer and sickle, but could you remove the religious bits?"

Of course, I haven't read the book yet, and it may be about something else entirely.


A joke. Anyway, so Pope Francis goes to confession, and the priest says "Let's cut this short, Holy Father. I've read the book."

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Has the Second Coming already happened?

Today's Gospel explained that nobody knows when to expect Christ's Second Coming. The newly-discovered Book of the Prophet Iveriah presents one particular theory: What if the Second Coming has already taken place?

Pope Francis

... and he will return to judge and insult the quick and the dead...

Only a fragment of the prophecy survives, but what there is, is fairly definite.

1. And when the Saviour returns he will appear in the humble town of Buenos Aires in the land of gauchos and corned beef.

2. And he will take control of his Church gradually, appearing in a cloud of glory - or at least, white smoke - having been led to the throne of Peter by the four horsemen of the Apocalypse - Murphy-O'Connor (Confusion), Martini (Scandal), Kasper (Heresy) and Danneels (Corruption).

3. His reign will on Earth will last for many years, and be a time of great trouble.

Four horsemen of the Apocalypse

The St Gallen Mafia will make us an offer we can't refuse.

4. For he will explain the scriptures, and bring out new meanings that were never found by the previous occupants of the throne of Peter.

5. And his lowly servants, bearing the names Spadaro, Martin, Faggioli, and many others, will explain that doctrine has evolved, and that which was Gospel Truth in the land of Judaea two thousand years ago is no longer "hip", "cool" and "groovy" (in the language of Vatican II). In short it must be replaced.

6. Thus there will be a New Testament, to be called Amoral Latitude, which will deliver a new message, but in as confusing a way as possible.

7. For the Saviour will not wish that the theologians and moral philosophers go out of business, by actually saying something clear and unambiguous.

8. For what else can they do? They cannot dig, and to beg they are ashamed. So they must continue to preach.

Dictator Pope

And all the World will rejoice. Or not.

9. And there will come doubters unto the Saviour, who will ask him what he means, and whether he really intended to contradict all the previous occupants of the Chair of Peter.

10. And he will utter not a word in answer, while at the same time stressing in his speeches the importance of dialogue.

11. But he will privily let it be known that his words are Magisterial, and of course much more Magisterial than anything previously seen.

It's good to talk

Offer does not apply to Cardinal Burke, the Filial Correction prophets, nor Fr Weinandy.

12. And people will speak out, saying "Surely he has gone mad?" and "Surely, he is an heretic?" and "What the Francis was all that about?"

13. But one day he will simply disappear, and the people will marvel, saying: "Was he really the Messiah, or did he just think he was?"

Thursday, 30 November 2017

My night of horror with Damian Thompson

By Milo Yourehopeoulos.

I'll never forgive my parents for naming me after a chocolate drink.

I owe a lot to Damian Thompson. Without him I would just be a talentless nobody who wears silly glasses and stands alone in the corner at parties. As it is, I am an internationally-renowned blogger with a keen following amongst the illiterate Tuttifrutti tribe of the Amazon jungle.

But there is a sinister side to Damian, as I discovered the night he invited me to stay at his castle in Notting Hill. Things began badly when he insisted on plying me with cupcakes and custard, no doubt in a vain hope that this would cause me lose control. He doesn't drink alcohol, and I didn't find that his home-made non-alcoholic hemlock wine "Château Blood-crazed Ferret" was much of a substitute.

National custard museum

Damian spends many weekends at the National Custard Museum.

"I've got a DVD called The Life of Brian," said Damian. "It's the in-depth story of Haversack Brian, the 103-year-old composer who wrote three symphonies before breakfast every morning. My friend Stephen Hough has arranged his longest symphony, the eight-hour Vandal Symphony, for playing on the piano with one finger."

We put on the DVD, but it turned out to be a religious film about some prophet called Brian, so Damian angrily ripped it from the DVD player and threw it at Cormac the cat. Resisting my host's increasingly aggressive demands that we should stay up all night singing Bach cantatas together, I retired to the spare bedroom.

Life of Brian

"Dear Mr Cleese, I wish to complain..."

There were approximately 500 copies of Damian's magnum opus, "The Fix" in the spare room, so I picked one up and soon found myself sleeping peacefully. However, at around 3 a.m. I was woken by a knock on the door.

"Moli, I mean Milo," said Damian in a whisper. "Would you like to come and listen to my collection of Gladys Mills CDs?" I knew that my host had been a fan of Mrs Mills from an early age, and that he sometimes sobbed himself to sleep listening to her masterpieces. But at 3 a.m. this was really too much.

Morecambe and Wise with Gladys Mills

A young Jorge Bergoglio receives a cake from Gladys Mills, watched by Damian Thompson.

"Go away, Damian," I groaned. "I want to sleep!"

"Just one CD, Milo," pleaded Dr Thompson, and then, when it was clear that I wasn't going to take part in his disgusting rituals, "all right, you'll see. I'll ruin you. You'll never work again! You'll become a second Austen Ivereigh!"

So as you see, that perpetually-smiling face conceals the heart of a fiend.

I'm sorry to have to put all this on record, but people have started to forget who I am, and it's important for gay Catholics with no talent to stay in the news. Ask Fr James Martin.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

It's the Wedding of the Millennium

London, 1533.

Yes, it's the wedding of the millennium, as dashing Prince Harry weds his new lifelong partner Meg-Anne Boleyn (having tactfully said farewell to his previous lifelong partner, Queen Katherine)!

Anne Boleyn

Meg-anne previous acted in the Entertainment Doublet and Hose.

One religious difficulty will have to be overcome before the happy couple can be wed, namely that Harry (and indeed Anne) will have to leave the Catholic Church and become Protestant. Harry sees no problem with this, and has even offered to become the head of the new church.

Vincent Nichols tweet

The Vicar of Bray sends his congratulations, and angles for an invitation.

Further congratulations have come from the Lord High Chancellor, Sir Thomas More: "It is clear that Harry has really lost his head over this girl," he says, "and I am sure that Anne will be losing hers too! Indeed I may even end up losing mine! Well done all round!"

So far no reaction has come from Rome, but it must be remembered that the 16th century postal service is not very quick, and Pope Clement VII is always slow to respond to letters - indeed, some Dubia sent back from the New World in 1492 have still not been answered. Moreover, the Holy Father is currently lost somewhere in the Burmese Empire, desperately trying not to say the word "Rohingya", which is Burmese for "Can you direct me to the rest room?"

William and Angela Merkel

An awkward moment, when Prince William believes that Harry is marrying Anne Markle of Cleves.

The final word must go to Harry. "My family has always been keen on marriage, indeed most of hem have married several times. I don't think I shall have more than six lifelong partners, myself, though!"

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Pope Francis says "stop loving your neighbour"

After 2000 years, the Catholic Church is coming to terms with yet another new development of doctrine, as Pope Francis has announced that the old "rigid" teaching "Love your neighbour as yourself" needs revising. After all, he pointed out, a few minutes' Ignatian discernment will tell you that you are not supposed to love yourself, and therefore you should not love your neighbour either.

This "love your neighbour" stuff is too exhausting.

The new doctrine, to be expressed in an encyclical Non Plus Benevolens ("No more Mr Nice Guy"), will be welcomed by many Catholics who find that loving their neighbours is really too difficult.

Some of the key sentences from Non Plus Benevolens, which are expected to be tweeted interminably in parrot-fashion by Cardinal Napier, amongst others, are the following:

"If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. But only after giving them a good kicking."

"If someone asks you go a mile with them, give them a lift in your car, and drop them in the countryside ten miles from the nearest bus-stop."

"If a man demands your coat from you, then make sure you steal a better one from someone else."

"I'm finding it very hard to love those witless worms, Holy Father."

As one of the Pope's key advisers, Fr James Martin SJ, puts it, "Many New Testament scholars think that these were the messages Jesus was trying to convey, although being a Jesuit he left things completely obscure, which is only right."

Pope Francis also apologised for the recent Year of Mercy, which had not turned out as it should. Many Catholics had entered their local church through the Door of Mercy, not realising that the object of the game was to slam the door in the face of the neighbour following behind.

A Vatican-approved wrestling grip for making your neighbour surrender.

Non Plus Benevolens is expected to be a popular doctrine with liberal Catholics, and very much in line with secular "Every man for himself" practices. As the world's greatest theologian, Massimo Faggioli, points out, it is likely to evolve into "If I don't get my own way, I'll thcweam and thcweam until I'm thick," which is considered to be much closer to the Anglican approach to doctrine (see under divorce, women priests, etc.)

Monday, 20 November 2017

Fr James Martin Brown investigates

With apologies to G.K. Chesterton.

Through the quiet streets of Manhattan there walked a short, dull Catholic priest. Nothing about him suggested anything out of the ordinary, unless it was the rainbow-patterned socks that he wore. With him was a chunky, flamboyant man, also dressed unconvincingly as a priest. This was "Flambeau" Rosica, the communications expert whose Lightly Salted media empire had brought him worldwide fame.

James MArtin being scandalous

The Innocence of Father Brown.

The two priests were discussing deep theological questions, and had come to an agreement that if, as the great theologian Spadaro had proved, it was possible to argue that 2+2=5, then many of the conclusions drawn in the Bible must have been wrong.

"It is an impenetrable mystery to me," admitted Flambeau. "How could the Catholic Church have been wrong for 2000 years? It was not until the era of Pope Francis the Great that we realised that the old Doctors of the Church were completely ignorant."

James Martin and the talents

New York's got Talent!

Father Brown thought for a while, and, as they walked the dusty streets, he saw a sign, IGNATIAN GAY BAR. "Let us stop off there for a while," he suggested, "and perhaps build a few bridges."

They plunged into the red-curtained tavern, which was not only cosy, but even luxurious inside. Once seated, Father Brown explained some of the other parables that had been misinterpreted for so long.

"The sower and the seed," he began. "It was always thought that the seed that fell onto fertile soil and grew was somehow the most worthy. But did not the seed that fed the gentle birds have a more sacred destiny? The farmer was clearly a capitalist, trying to exploit the workers, and he probably supported Donald Trump."

Rosica and Cupich

A mystery for Flambeau: how did this man ever become a cardinal?

"Then again, Jesus totally misunderstood the parable of the Good Samaritan. It was the Jesuit who walked past the injured man - stopping only to sell him a copy of his new book - who was the real hero of the story."

"Too true," commented Flambeau, sticking his leg out to trip up a passing waiter and roaring with laughter. "Then there was the Prodigal Son. What a wretch he was, deserting those happy pigs, who wanted him to feed them, and rushing back to stuff himself on fatted calf!"

"Talking of which, why don't you have another plate of fatted calf yourself?" urged Father Brown. "Your chair doesn't seem to be collapsing yet."

"When you practise Ignatian Discernment," he added, "you see all the parables in a new light. Take the rich man and Lazarus, for example. Obviously the villain here is Abraham, who refused to accept the rich man into his bosom. I would never refuse to accept a rich man into my bosom."

They left the tavern, and Flambeau drew Father Brown's attention to a photograph. "Can you explain this?" he asked.

Karen Oliveto

No headscarf?

"It seems that this is Karen Oliveto, a Methodist Minister who accused Jesus of being a 'bigot'" noted Father Brown. "She is apparently a lesbian, so we should make her welcome. However, the Islamic connection is not entirely clear to me..."

Friday, 17 November 2017

Who is the real Pope?

In these troubled times, there seem to be four possible theories about who is actually the Pope:

1. Pope Francis.
2. Pope Benedict.
3. Nobody.
4. Someone else entirely.

So it's time for an in-depth analysis. Not that you'll get one here.

Pope's empty chair

Sedevacantists see things this way.

1. Pope Francis is the obvious answer. Elected by a conclave in 2013; white smoke; goes around in white robes; sleeps in a humble broom-cupboard in the Vatican. After his private correction by Cardinal Burke, his correctio filialis by a bunch of wise men, and a telling-off from Fr Weinandy - with none of which has he publicly disagreed - he is now the most orthodox Catholic on the planet.

Of course he has a few blind spots as regards how to run the Church. Whatever made him think that Blase Cupich was worthy of doing any job more spiritual than emptying the dustbins? Does he really think we've forgotten his Anschluss with the Order of Malta? When the newspapers carried headlines ELDERLY DICTATOR UNDER HOUSE ARREST, who thought of Mugabe, and who thought of Francis? Still, otherwise he's played a blinder. Well, apart from... no, let's move on.

Benedict XVI drinking beer

Two litres of Amoris Laetitia, please!

2. Pope Benedict? Well, he was apparently forced out after undue pressure from his enemies in the Church. They kept sending him copies of the Tablet and essays by Austen Ivereigh. After such relentless persecution, who can blame him if he decided to spend more time with his beer, I mean prayer? On the other hand, it's not entirely clear that popes can resign.

Still, he says he's not the Pope, and he ought to know.

3. Nobody. There are two groups here. One is the group that believes that all popes since Vatican II (or possibly since Pius V) were invalidly elected. This viewpoint is supported by the prophecies of St Malachy, Nostradamus, and Mystic Meg.

The second group - more interesting - finds something distinctly fishy in the story of the 2013 conclave, where, thanks to the St Gallen Mafia, or Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, or British intelligence, or perhaps Batman's arch-nemesis the Joker, some skulduggery took place. In which case the cardinals need to go back into the Sistine Chapel and try again. Good luck with that one.

Jabba and Soros

The Soros twins.

4. Someone else was secretly elected by the conclave in 2013. Pope Francis is merely a "stunt pope" who does all the dangerous things like driving the Popemobile at high speed, flying in aeroplanes, and making the odd speech, indeed very odd speech. Somewhere in the background is an Eminence Grise who is pulling the strings. This may be:

i) George Soros, who appears to have a finger in every disreputable pie;
ii) Vladimir Putin, who is blamed for everything;
iii) The Habsburgs, who seem to be making a come-back;
iv) Richard Branson, who seems to be everywhere (except that I have never seen him on one of his delayed trains).

Alternatively, Douglas Adams suggested that the man who rules the Universe sits in a shack somewhere, with no companions except his cat. Well, he was nearly right: it's actually the Catholic Church that he rules.

Eccles

Or could this saved person be the power behind the throne?

Monday, 13 November 2017

Eccles just can't be bothered

There are too many villains, idiots and heretics in the world, and how can I possibly keep up? Perhaps I should have a month or two off blogging, and let the world continue to satirize itself.

Rupa Huq

The dreaded Huq the Rupa.

In Victorian London, many innocent boys and girls were slaughtered on a daily basis. In an attempt to stop the flow of little corpses, men and women would aggressively pray outside abortion clinics, using the offensive words "Hail Mary, full of grace...", and desperately trying to save innocent lives.

But London was a dangerous place to pray, and in those foggy streets, people dreaded the sinister tread-tread-tread that denoted the approach of Huq the Rupa...

Blase Cupich

The USA's captain for the "Silliest Cardinal" World Cup hits a server with his crozier.

With their sacking of Fr Weinandy, for the offence of being confused by Pope Francis and scandalized by his bishops (isn't everyone?), the USCCB made it clear that they were expecting to field a strong team for the "Silliest Cardinal" World Cup.

Captain of a team that includes Farrell, Tobin, Wuerl and Dolan, Cardinal Blase expects his boys to meet some tough opponents, such as Rhino Marx's Germans, the Belgians, the Italians, and the Maltese. "But we'll show them that we can distort Catholic teaching with the best of them!" said the cardinal defiantly.

Simon Jenkins

Let's consign Simon Jenkins to history.

The churches, the British Legion, and in fact most decent people, have decided that now is the time to consign to history "Sir" Simon Jenkins, writer of tedious and badly wrong Guardian articles.

"Sir Simon was essentially a 20th century phenomenon," said one commentator. "His views never did make much sense, but now that he apparently believes that we should drop Remembrance Day, it is really time to send him off to the Dunrantin Retirement Home for Potty Journalists."

Sir Simon today was unrepentant. "Since we have had no wars anywhere in the world since 1945 - well I haven't seen any in my agreeable mansions, apart from when my first wife left - it is clear that there is nothing to remember any longer. As I always say on November 11th 'Let me forget!'"

Salman Rushdie

Sorry, Salman, the game's up. Go and read a good book instead.

Next, the third Global Atheist Convention, planned for Melbourne in 2018, has been cancelled for lack of interest. It looked like being a real humdinger of an event with Salman Rushdie (gosh, is he still alive?) talking about the book he wants to sell, and Richard Dawkins (yes, we know he's alive) talking about, er, the book he wants to sell. And with everyone trying to avoid mentioning God.

When the news was broken to Professor Dawkins, he said "It's all over with atheism. And I was hoping to stock up on duty-free honey. But Bin Laden has won."

Kate Bottley

And finally, the CofE approves of little girls pretending to be boys.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

October 31st - trick or treat?

Yes, it's October 31st 2017, commonly called Hallowe'en, the day when people dress up in scary costumes and annoy their neighbours.

Martin Luther

Trick or treat? The sign should stay up by faith alone, but Brother Martin decided otherwise.

Everyone's joining in the fun, and remembering their favourite German heretic (no, not Cardinal Marx).

Pope and Choco-Luther

Pope Francis with the Choco-Luther. "You may find this hard to swallow..."

Of course the Anglicans didn't get in on the Hallowe'en larks until almost twenty years later, and indeed, Henry VIII, the man whose ideas on marriage ("divorce 'em, or if that doesn't work, behead 'em") anticipated Amoris Laetitia, was severely critical of Luther's pranks.

Henry VIII

It's believed that the pumpkin theme was based on Henry VIII's fat head.

Originally, Hallowe'en was called All Saints' Eve - Henry VIII approached Thomas More and said, "Great news, Thomas, you're going to become a saint! Better still, a saint and martyr!" Of course Thomas More was delighted to be joining in the fun.

Anyway, back to Luther, who founded the tradition, stimulating a growth in heresy that Arius and Fr James Martin could only dream of. Let's party!

Martin Luther costume

Put on your scary costumes, and get trick-or-treating!

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Catholic books you should read

Some great books that I have read recently.

Silence

Silence is a wonderful thing, and brings us more in touch with God. How often have you sat in an aeroplane, and some chap in white has stood up and harangued the passengers with his latest "developments" of Catholic doctrine? Couldn't he have sat in silence instead?

One evening I was peacefully meditating and praying, when the telephone rang. "I've decided to issue a Correction of your comments on Mass translations! Ha ha ha ha ha! Now I've got you! You'll be Pope over my dead body!"

"Yes, I expect so, Holy Father," I replied. "That's how things usually work."

Indeed, Silence from some quarters would indeed be a good thing, although perhaps some Yes/No answers to certain questions could be arranged first?

Meanwhile, I decided to remain silent about the German bishops' proposals to translate the words "Pro Multis" in the Latin Missal as "For everyone who pays their church tax".

The Great Reformer

I first met Jorge Bergoglio when he was a humble priest in Argentina. I was then writing my thesis on "The lives of Argentine popes": in the end I handed in a hundred blank pages, as there had not been any such popes. "Dr Ivereigh's thesis is the best thing he's ever done," said one critic, "and definitely the last word on the subject."

Little did we know that the man I knew as "Jorge the Reformer" - he knew me as "Ronnie Corbett" for reasons I've never discovered - would one day become the inspiration for a new Reformation! Or that I would rise even higher!

Origin

Renowned theologian Massimo Faggioli, 47, heir to the Faggioli Baked Bean Company of Philadelphia - motto "Our beans are filled with the Spirit of Vatican II" - recipient of honorary degrees from the university of Antarctica, Ruritania Technical College, and the St Trinian's Academy for young ladies - strode through the corridors of Doctrinanova University.

Thinking furiously with his brain, he asked himself, "Why is that all Catholic doctrine before the year 2013 was wrong? Could the mistake be traced to a little-known carpenter's son in the 1st century? Which, as trained theologians such as I know, came just before the second century. And why does my ground-breaking research lead me to the conclusion that a sinister white-haired old German called 'Benedict' might be involved?"

Building bridges

In this book I want to encourage ordinary LGBT alt-Jesuits - roughly 25% of the world's population - to build bridges with a group of people who are commonly despised and insulted, with nicknames such as "left-footer", "mackerel-snapper" and "taig". Yes, the Catholic Community.

Ever since a Canaanite Women gave some advice to Jesus: "I think it would be a smart idea to found a Church, and put Mary Magdalene at the head of it" - advice which Our Lord followed to the letter - Catholics have started to "come out" and to be persecuted for their faith.

Whereas LGBT is rightly a major world religion, influencing the social policies of governments worldwide, Catholics have practised "the faith that dare not speak its name".

So I call on my LGBT brothers, sisters, transistors, and others, to SHOW MERCY.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Pope Francis replies to a letter of support

Dear Dr Schweinehund, Fr Sauerkraut, Prof. Sockenpuppet, the Bishop of Kirchensteuer, etc.,

Thank you so much for your letter of support telling me how wonderful I am. Fortunately, I can say infallibly, magisterially, and with the full backing of the Spirit of Vatican II, that you have completely hit the nail on the head!

My assistant Antonio Spadaro tells me that there are in total 900 billion signatures to your letter, but he does tend to have trouble with counting.

German signing surrender

Signing the letter to Pope Francis.

I particular like the way you praised my "courageous and theologically sound papal leadership". It's what I'm known for! You might have added that I always answer questions from my faithful flock, and I would only change the teachings of the Catholic Church in a way that supplied a helpful correction to the misguided views of previous popes, doctors of the Church, apostles and God.

You will have realised that I am under a lot of pressure from rebel cardinals such as Raymond Burke, who, in asking me questions such as "What on earth do you mean by writing such nonsense as Amoris Laetitia?" shows all the evil traits of past witchfinders, torturers, Nazis, and even Pontius Pilate.

Cardinal and rack

The cardinals put Pope Francis on the rack!

As you know, I've also been sent a Correctio Filialis by some people claiming to be priests, theologians and scholars - on the rather flimsy grounds that they are ordained, or have doctorates in theology, or teach at universities. This has bothered me less than you might think, since I haven't tried to read it. How can a pope possibly be in error? Well, to be honest, all the previous ones were, but not me!

Malicious people will say that some of you have a secret agenda in supporting me, because they are pushing for women priests, a change in divorce rules, or a softening of the teaching on abortion, slavery and torture (OK if done "safely"!), and so on. Well, flattery will get you everywhere, and I'll see what I can do!

Pope with postcard of himself

Here's Number 1 in a series of Great Popes.

+++Francis, Personal Assistant to God.

P.S. It's a shame that you didn't get some more top theologians, such as Massimo Faggioli and Stephen Walford, to sign. Then your letter would have been taken seriously by everyone!