There was a table set out under a tree, labelled "Catholic Church", and the Massi Hare and the Mad Auster were having tea at it: the Wintormouse was sitting between them, fast asleep.
The table was a large one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it: "No room for converts! No room!" they cried out when they saw Alice coming.
Alice's first experience of Catholicism.
"There's plenty of room, you've driven all the other Catholics away!' said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a large arm-chair at one end of the table.
In the distance, Alice could see other tables, also labelled "Catholic Church", including several of a more traditional appearance, which were well-populated. Still she decided to stay with this curious trio for a while.
"Have some tea," said the Massi Hare encouragingly. Alice took a sip and started coughing badly. "It's got pepper in it!" she said.
Too much pepper and darkness in tea made by the Duchess of Rosica.
The Wintormouse woke up briefly, said "We made the tea, so why should she complain about it?" and then fell asleep again.
The Auster tapped his head significantly. "She's neurotic," he explained. "See my learned article in Crux, the journal of Catholic psychiatry."
"I want a clean cup," interrupted the Massi Hare: "let's all move one place on."
The Auster moved on and the others followed. Alice rather unwillingly took the place of the Massi Hare, who had just upset a jug of heresy into his plate.
The Spadaro explains to Alice that round here 2+2=5.
"The Wintormouse shall tell us a story," said the Auster, who had clearly established himself as the leader of this quaint trio. "Wake him up!"
"Once upon a time there were four little sisters," the Wintormouse began; "and their names were Amoris, Laetitia, Laudato, and Si'; and they lived at the bottom of a well-"
"What did they live on?" said Alice, who always took a great interest in questions of eating and drinking.
"They lived on half-baked doctrine,' said the Wintormouse, after thinking a minute or two.
"They couldn't have done that, you know," Alice gently remarked; "they'd have been ill."
"So they were," said the Wintormouse; "very ill."
This nonsense was more than Alice could bear: she got up in great disgust, and walked off towards another table, from which the sweet sounds of Gregorian chant were emanating. Suddenly the Cheshire Catholic appeared before her once more, grinning from ear to ear.
The Cheshire Catholic.
"Can you just answer five questions for me?" said Alice to the Cheshire Catholic.
"No, I don't think so," said the Cheshire Catholic, fading away until only a grin was left.
"Oh how irritating everyone is," said Alice.
Just then the Rigid Rabbit rushed past muttering, "I'm late for Mass, I'm late for Mass!" and so Alice decided to follow him, as the most sensible person she had yet encountered.
The Rigid Rabbit.