This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Monday, 15 October 2018

Your 32 worst hymns

On to Round 2 of the World Cup of Bad Hymns, beginning on Tuesday 16th October. Now 32 examples of the poets' art remain, out of 64 originally, and there are eight groups of four from each of which two go through to the final 16.

Congratulations to Dan Schutte on getting three wonderfully appalling hymns through to the second round; Brian Howard, Estelle White and Marty Haugen are also going well.

hymn with guitar

All join in the singing, please.

Although officially neutral, I was disappointed that we lost "I watch the sunrise", "Colours of Day", "Enemy of apathy", "Our God reigns" and above all "Follow me" (the two shirts song), since this probably means that Fr Arfur will feel that it's OK to carry on using them at the church of St Daryl the Apostate. Oh well...

Title Author Rd 1 Rd 2
God's Spirit is in my heart Alan Dale 2 1
Kumbayah anon 10 6
Christ be our light Bernadette Farrell 13 8
Bind us together, Lord Bob Gillman 15 7
If I were a butterfly Brian Howard 5 3
I just wanna be a sheep Brian Howard 14 8
Walk in the Light Damian Lundy 3 1
I, the Lord of sea and sky Daniel Schutte 1 1
Let us build the city of God Daniel Schutte 7 3
Come to the table of plenty Daniel Schutte 16 7
Sing a new Church Delores Dufner 6 4
Moses, I know you're the man Estelle White 14 7
Cheep! said the sparrow on the chimney top Estelle White 16 8
Shine, Jesus, shine Graham Kendrick 10 5
This little light of mine Harry Dixon Loes 4 1
I am the Living Bread Ifeanyichukwu Eze 7 4
Eat this bread Jacques Berthier 11 5
One bread, one body John Foley 12 5
Gift of finest wheat John Michael Talbot 1 2
Gloria (clap clap) Martin Anderson 12 6
As the deer pants Martin Nystrom 11 6
Let us build a house where love can dwell / All are welcome Marty Haugen 5 4
Gather us in Marty Haugen 6 3
Who is the alien Mary Louise Bringle 9 5
The world is full of smelly feet Michael Forster 8 3
On eagle's wings Michael Joncas 4 2
Alleluia Ch-Ch Paul Inwood 15 8
They'll know we are Christians by our love Peter Scholtes 8 4
Jesus Christ the apple tree R.H. 9 6
Lord of the Dance Sidney Carter 2 2
Go, the Mass is ended Sister Marie Lydia Pereira 3 2
I am the Bread of Life Suzanne Toolan 13 7

man in pain

Get voting!

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Christine Blasey Ford attempts to stop canonizations

The canonizations of Pope Paul VI and Oscar Romero were interrupted today, when a wild-looking woman rushed into St Peter's Square claiming to have been assaulted by the duo back in the 1980s.

Christine Blasey Ford

"They spiked my drink - this drink."

It was pointed out to Dr Ford that Pope Paul VI died in 1978, and Archbishop Romero in 1980, but she was unrepentant. "It must have been some other pro-life Catholic - who have you got?" she asked. "Perhaps that Polish guy. Shall we go for him?"

Pope Francis is now under pressure to get the VBI (Vatican Bureau of Investigation) to check the history of Pope Paul VI, and Oscar Romero, especially as neither has been properly scrutinised so far. The VIA (Vatican Intelligence Agency) may also be involved, but it is currently very busy trying to track down Archbishop Viganò with a view to terminating him with extreme prejudice.

Pope Francis and Swiss Guard

"Remember, you are licensed to kill."

LATE NEWS: Dr Ford has now changed her story, and is very uncertain about whether she ever met any popes, or ever went to El Salvador. But she says that today she was admiring some papal tombs in Rome when a hand came out of one of them and pinched her on the backside. She is not sure which pope it was who assaulted her, but thinks it may have been Alexander VI, who is known to have had an eye for the girls. This is likely to set back his canonization by another 500 years.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Spirit of Vatican II to be canonized

It was originally decided to canonize Pope Paul VI, on the basis of his heroic life and many miracles, such as the emptying of the churches, and the opening of the liturgy to all people too lazy to find out what it said in Latin. However, Pope Francis has now decided that it is safest not to canonize a mere mortal, especially one who, like all the popes of the past, disagrees with him on matters of doctrine.

Pius XII and Paul VI

"Apparently, one of us will be a saint."

Instead, it has been decided to canonize the Vatican II council, or at least its representative in Heaven, the Spirit of Vatican II. That way, all the achievements of Vatican II - not exactly its decisions, as these have been largely ignored - are given the imprimatur of "saintly" and cannot be questioned.

This of course opens the way for Pope Francis to implement some of his pet projects, such as the banning of the Latin Mass, the ordination of women, the final rehabilitation of Cardinal McCarrick, etc. etc., all of which can be justified by an appeal to the Spirit of Vatican II.

Spirit of Vatican II

The new saint.

As a form of reflected glory, many people closely associated with Vatican II will now have the status of "blessed"; these include people such as Annibale Bugnini whom it would be difficult to slip into Heaven on their own merits.

Apparently, another of the Pope's idols is also being canonized this weekend. I know nothing about him, apart from what Shakespeare says.

Paul VI and Oscar Romero

"Romero? Romero? Wherefore art thou Romero?"

Friday, 12 October 2018

The martyrdom of St Donna

1. And there was a man sent by God, called Donald Wuerl, who was made a prince of the Church; he was known to all as Donna, although no man can guess why.

2. And this man had an uncle, named Ted, who was a notorious evil-liver, yeah his deeds caused fear and disgust among all the young people with whom he came into contact.

Pope Francis and Wuerl

"You're fired! But keep up the good work."

3. But Donna, when he took over as ruler of the town of Wash-ing, knew nothing of the deeds of Uncle Ted.

4. For to the pure all things are pure, as well as to those who prefer not to look for trouble.

5. And yet, even when Uncle Ted had gone to a better place (his beach house), there was still much evil in the town of Wash-ing, and the high priests committed foul deeds.

6. And Donna knew of these evil priests, and carefully moved them around every time they were caught.

7. Hence the expression "La Donna è mobile," that is to say, "Donna likes to move them round."

8. Now when Donna was much advanced in years, he tendered his resignation to the Holy Father, he that was called Francis.

9. But Francis said "Let Donna continue in his wickedness, for he is one of us."

10. "For when Judas Iscariot tendered his resignation, did not Peter exercise mercy and say, 'Thou mayst continue as a disciple until someone notices'?"

11. However, one day it became inevitable that Donna should go. For the Jury that is Grand had begun to beat upon the doors of the town that is Wash-ing.

12. And so Francis said farewell unto Donna, weeping to lose such a faithful servant.

Rosica is touched

Where exactly did he touch you, Rosie?

13. And everyone said, "What a saint that man was. How could we lose such a wonderful shepherd of his sheep? Was he not hounded out of office?"

14. And some said "We shall not see his like again."

15. But others said, "Oh yes we shall. Remember Cupich, and Farrell, and Tobin?"

16. Nighty-night!

Monday, 8 October 2018

Ouellet puts the boot in

Dear brother Carlo Maria Viganò,

As Deputy Assistant Vice-Pope, and one who might have gone to the top if it hadn't been for the St Gallen mob - er, I mean the Holy Spirit - I am writing to you about your latest statements spilling the Faggioli about Pope Francis (a little Vatican joke, there. Beans, get it? Oh, suit yourself.)

Ouellet and Pope

"Oh look, it's Ted over there!"

I find your current attitude incomprehensible and extremely troubling, as it makes the Pope, Cardinals and Bishops look like complete fools. Which nobody ever suspected before. Remember that criticising the Holy Father is blasphemy (CCC 9745, added today), and far worse than, say, criticising Jesus, who did not have the advantages of reading Amoris Laetitia.

How dare you say that Pope Benedict - whoever he may be - put sanctions on Uncle Ted McCarrick? The fact is that when Pope Francis took over he found Ted lying in chains in a deep dungeon, deprived of even the humblest seminarian for companionship. Being a merciful as well as humble pope, he promptly released him, saying "Go and sin some more" (John 8:11). Uncle Ted was promptly made the Vatican's Special Envoy to Vulnerable Seminarians, and how do you dare criticise the Pope's decision?

Benedict and Francis

"Read this lot before you release McCarrick."

Of course, Pope Francis makes prudential judgements, and he is not infallible, except when he chooses to be. And he does now.

Dear pontifical representative emeritus, I tell you frankly that to accuse Pope Francis of having covered-up knowingly the case of an alleged sexual predator is unbelievable and without foundation. He didn't bother mentioning the case to anyone, but that is not the same thing at all.

I have the privilege of having long meetings with Pope Francis every week to discuss the appointment of bishops and the problems that affect their governance. I know very well how he treats persons and problems: with great charity, mercy, attentiveness and seriousness, as you too have experienced. (Hang on a minute, Eccles, that's a real quotation.)

We must recognise Pope Francis for what he is, a true shepherd, a martyr, a saint, a resolute and compassionate father, a prophetic grace for the Church and for the world; yes, a humble man who gave his last euro to a dying beggar, and didn't ask for it back until later. He is incapable of doing wrong, and I can only conclude that your revelations are part of a plot to incriminate him for things he may or may not have done; until he agrees to a DNA test we can't be sure, can we?

Cupich

"No, no, I'm only *dressed* like a hit-man."

Don't think you'll get away with this, Viganò. We know where you live. Well, we don't, but when we find you, you'll wish you'd taken out extra accident insurance.

Your loving brother in Christ,

Marc Ouellet, the Very Eminent.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

How to organize a Yoof Synod

Yet another episode in our long-running series on how to be a good pope. Remember, if they elected Francis as pope, they might easily elect you, so be prepared!

As scandals rage around you - Chile, China, the USA, the Vatican - it makes for a useful distraction if you have a Yoof Synod running. Ask your dear friend Cardinal Baldfacedliar to write the full documents of the synod well in advance, and stick a "Magisterial" label on them. Don't under any circumstances allow anyone to know what was actually agreed during the synod - it will bear no relation to Baldy's final document, anyway.

synod logoclown juggling

Two versions of the Synod Logo.

Now, you need to have a few Yoof in the Synod, say 10% of the number present. Ignore "Uncle Fred" if he telephones you asking you to pick some good-looking ones - it will only get you into trouble. Of course all the decisions will be made by bishops who know what the Yoof want - or, more precisely, by Baldy in consultation with some of your top advisers - so ignore any requests for orthodox teaching, the Mass of their forefathers, or indeed anything religious. Instead, make sure you address LGBT issues, climate change, and plastic straws, as these are the things that Yoof lose sleep over.

rainbow over Rome

Fr James Martin LGBTSJ jets in.

Now you need to get down wiv da Yoof, even if you aren't really going to take any notice of them. Perhaps you could invite some young Catholic rock stars that you know they like - Bono, Cliff Richard, Mick Jagger? Your mentor Cardinal Kasper says that they're all fans of Harry Potter - which is all about the fat wizard Dolandore, Professor McCarrickall, Severus Snapero, and the man we all love to hiss, Viganomort. You see where this is leading?

Pope and witches's stang

Get yourself a witches' stang!

In the old days pre-2013, the bishop's crozier was modelled on a shepherd's crook, with the stupid outdated traddy idea that pastors were in some sense shepherds of their sheep. Nowadays we prefer to channel the spirit of Saruman, or Radagast, or paganism in general. So get yourself a trusty witches' stang, and the Yoof will think you are "ace", "cool" and "groovy" (modern English Yoof slang courtesy of Cardinal Nichols!)

Now all synods have committees, and your hope is that these will keep the bishops sober and make them believe they are influencing the Synod. But here comes a snag! Cardinal Sarah-Jane, the man waiting in the wings for you to pop off, has refused to serve on one of them! He cites "personal reasons" but you know that what he's really thinking is: "When I become Pope I'm going to declare this Synod invalid." This is tricky, we must think of more ways to humiliate him (cf. Burke, Müller, Festing, etc.)

demonic party

And now - let's party with a demon!

The Yoof have written you a letter saying that what they would really like would be for you to celebrate a traditional Latin Mass, with Gregorian chant. But Baldy has "lost" this letter, and reconstructed it from memory - so officially what they want is to go "clubbing". Invite in some more young idols of the yoof - say, Paul McCartney, the ever-young Madonna (age 94), and even that good Catholic Cher. This will keep them quiet, and you can Carry on Synodding.

To be continued?

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

English bishops comment after trip to Rome

After their ad limina visit to Rome, the Catholic bishops of England and Wales today accused the Vatican of twisting their words, having discovered that a totally implausible statement had been issued in their name. This is generally agreed to be the highlight:

As we spoke with Pope Francis we realised, more and more, that he simply radiates this joy and peace. He is indeed gifted with a unique grace of the Holy Spirit of God.

Even in this time of turmoil, the Holy Father is so clearly rooted in God and blessed by God. His peace is secure. His life is serene. We know, because he showed us his heart. It is the heart of a loving father.

CBCEW ad limina

Don't mention the Dubia! Or the Order of Malta. Or China. Or McCarrick.

It is suspected that someone such as Cardinal Baldisseri got to the original statement. This was far less effusive, and said:

We had a lovely time in Rome, and Pope Francis served us some delicious tea and Eccles cakes. We talked to him, and he listened. Then he talked to us about something totally different.

We realised, more and more, that Pope Francis is a tall man, although rather overweight. He has been gifted with the papacy by the St Gallen Mafia, and we appreciate his authority.

In this time of turmoil, Pope Francis radiates serenity. Nothing can trouble him. Anyone who attempts to trouble him is promptly shown the door. We know, because he showed us one of Cardinal Burke's kidneys - he keeps it in the freezer.

bishops in the bus

Bishops in the bus. Ad orientem or versus populum, My Lord?

Bishop Philip Egan, along with Mark Davies, is generally considered to be one of the more saved of English bishops - a sort of anti-Nichols - but even he could not resist joining in the fun.

The meeting with the Holy Father was remarkable - 2 and half hours!! It was Q&A. He spoke as a pastor and a father, full of wisdom, and many of us asked him questions.

Yet again, we have managed to locate the original statement, before the bishop's Twitter feed was hacked.

We asked the Holy Father many questions, although he explained that there was no time in which to answer them. In fact Pope Francis is a busy man, fully occupied in plans for world domination, developing heresy through new synods, and a new "seek and destroy" accompaniment for Archbishop Viganò. He certainly has no idea who Cardinal McCarrick is.

We also met Fr Spadaro, and, although many people say he spends all his time underground, living on fish and looking for his "precious", the smell is hardly noticeable. Or maybe I have a cold.

Gollum

The Pope's most trusted adviser, along with Austen Ivoryhead the dwarf.

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Pope Francis makes an infallible joke

Theologians, canon lawyers, professors, journalists, Jesuits, and Catholics worldwide are currently trying to get to grips with Pope Francis's latest claim that he is the Devil. Should this be interpreted as an infallible statement? Or at least part of the Catholic Magisterium? Well, if not, does it have the "ex aeroplane" authority of an in-flight declaration? Or maybe it's just a load of Scalfaris, and never happened at all?

You see the problem. If some of the Pope's statements are deemed to be jokes, how are we to tell which they are? Is Amoris Laetitia just one big joke? Or is it just the footnotes? Will it be necessary for Cardinal Burke to issue another Dubium along the lines of: "Are you really the Devil, Holy Father?" Was the appointment of Cardinal Cupich ("the world's nastiest cardinal") a joke that was accidentally taken seriously?

"From now on, if I'm wearing the balloon hat, I'm joking, otherwise I'm being Magisterial."

Fortunately, Catholics are asked to respect the views of the Pope, but do not need to agree with them unless they bear the authority of the Magisterium. Unlike many of the Pope's utterances, the "I am the Devil" claim does not contradict the teachings of previous Popes: on the other hand, Catholics are still not obliged to believe this new doctrine.

So, please let us have no more queues of people at Confession saying "Father, the Pope says he's the Devil, but I cannot believe this teaching. I think he's just a very naughty pope."

A red nose indicates a Magisterial statement where the "infallibility" button has not been pushed.

We are looking forward to hearing jokes from Pope Francis along the lines of "A cardinal, a bishop and a seminarian went into a bar." If the papal balloon-hat is not being worn, this means that the event actually happened (and Archbishop Viganò has all the details).

Thursday, 27 September 2018

The Spreadsheet from Hell

The World Cup of Bad Hymns has started, and here are the groupings for the first round. Apologies if your favourite bad hymn isn't there: one or two couldn't be found on the Internet, and one or two came in too late.
Hymn Author Group
God's Spirit is in my heart Alan Dale 2
This little guiding light of mine anon 1
Were you there when they crucified my Lord? anon 12
Kumbayah anon 10
Christ be our light Bernadette Farrell 13
Bind us together, Lord Bob Gillman 15
If I were a butterfly Brian Howard 5
I Just Wanna Be A Sheep Brian M. Howard 14
The love I have for You, my Lord Carey Landry 16
Forever Chris Tomlin 4
Walk in the Light Damian Lundy 3
I, the Lord of sea and sky Daniel Schutte 1
City of God Daniel Schutte 7
Come to the Table of Plenty Daniel Schutte 16
Jesus take me as I am Dave Bryant 11
Now we remain David Haas 2
You are Mine David Haas 6
Sing a New Church Delores Dufner 6
I saw the grass, I saw the trees Estelle White 8
Autumn days when the grass is jewelled Estelle White 15
Moses, I know you're the man Estelle White 14
Cheep! said the sparrow on the chimney top Estelle White 16
Deep within my heart, I feel voices whispering to me Frank Andersen 7
God of concrete Frederick R.C. Clarke 9
O mother, I could weep for mirth Frederick W. Faber 5
Shine, Jesus, Shine Graham Kendrick 10
Lay Down Your Head, Lord Jesus Christ Graham Maule 2
Journeys ended, journeys begun Gregory Norbet 14
This little light of mine Harry Dixon Loes 4
The Baker Woman Hubert J. Richards 8
I am the Living Bread Ifeanyichukwu Eze 7
Eat this bread Jacques Berthier 11
I love you with the love of the Lord Jim Gilbert 16
This is My Body, Broken for you Jimmy Owens 4
One bread, one body John Foley 12
I watch the sunrise John Glynn 13
There are hundreds of sparrows John Gowans 13
Jesus Christ is waiting John L. Bell 3
Enemy of apathy John L. Bell and Graham Maule 14
Gift of finest wheat John Michael Talbot 1
Come back to me with all your heart John Michael Talbot 12
Amazing Grace John Newton 10
I love to tell the story Katherine Hankey 11
Precious Body, Precious Blood Laurence Rosania 9
Our God reigns Leonard E. Smith 3
Gloria (clap clap) Martin Anderson 12
As the deer pants Martin Nystrom 11
Let us build a house where love can dwell Marty Haugen 5
Gather us in Marty Haugen 6
Springs of water, bless the Lord Marty Haugen 15
Who is the alien Mary Louise Bringle 9
Follow me Michael Cocket 10
The world is full of smelly feet Michael Forster 8
On eagle's wings Michael Joncas 4
Alleluia Ch-Ch Paul Inwood 15
They'll Know We Are Christians By Our Love Peter Scholtes 8
Jesus Christ the apple tree R.H. 9
Here we are, all together, as we sing our song, joyfully Ray Repp 7
Make me a channel of your peace Sebastian Temple 6
Lord of the Dance Sidney Carter 2
Go, the Mass is ended Sister Marie Lydia Pereira 3
Colours of day Sue McClellan 1
Caterpillar, caterpillar Susan Sayers 5
I am the Bread of Life Suzanne Toolan 13

I have had a sheltered life, and only know about half of these masterpieces.

Addendum: It turns out that "Let us build a house" and "All are welcome" are the same hymn, so I have deleted the latter, and replaced it with "Were you there when they crucified my Lord?"

Enough said.

Friday, 21 September 2018

The Dictator Apostle

Jerusalem, A.D. 33. Ecclesiam reports.

I've just been reading "The Dictator Apostle" by Marcus Antonius, alias the historian Henry the Sire-enian, who is very critical of Jorgas Iscarglio, one of the 12 Apostles.

Many people, notably St Stephen of Walford, keeper of the piano keys, would claim that Iscarglio, as an apostle, is beyond criticism. After all, he was appointed by Jesus Himself and given authority to cast out evil spirits (e.g. Jesuits) and to cure diseases. However, the reality suggests that somehow the St Galilee Mafia fixed it for Jorgas to get the job, and his Apostleship will lead to disaster.

Blasphemous picture of Francis

He's not the Messiah, he's just a very naughty apostle.

Criticisms of Iscarglio, the "Argentinian" apostle, centre on his aggressive and dictatorial nature, his dodgy financial transactions (involving an unexplained donation of 30 pieces of silver), his attempts to rewrite Christian teaching on marriage, his refusal to discuss doctrine with his dubious colleagues, even his encouragement of Cardinal Maccabees the serial sex-criminal.

Like his Master, Jorgas consorts with publicans and sinners, but unlike Him he tells them "Keep it up, you're doing a grand job. Who am I to judge?" When one notorious sinner, Bono the Tuneless, came to see him, explaining that he was pro-abortion, and was backed by a very dodgy group, Iscarglio merely replied, "U2?"

Attempts are already being made to declare Jorgas a saint.

Henry the Sire-enian believes it will end badly for Jorgas, and he may be right.

Friday, 14 September 2018

The World Cup of Bad Hymns - nominations requested

As a distraction from all the other problems in the world, we have something a little different.

On Monday 24th September the 2018 World Cup of Bad Hymns will begin. This will be organised by a sequence of Twitter polls, one per day, on a knock-out basis, with as many rounds as are needed.

Badness may be defined any way you wish, either by stupid lyrics, bad theology (since people of all Christian denominations may take part, we won't get agreement here), or even by an appalling tune. Nominations for the competition close on September 23rd.

These are the entrants so far. You may nominate more bad hymns, either by commenting on this blog, or by replying to the tweet that announces the World Cup.

hymn board

Anything that makes you shudder...


Alleluia Ch-Ch (Paul Inwood)

Autumn days when the grass is jewelled (Estelle White)

Bind us together, Lord (Bob Gillman)

Christ be our light (Bernadette Farrell)

Colours of day (Sue McClellan)

Deep within my heart, I feel voices whispering to me (Fr Frank Andersen) 

Enemy of apathy (John L. Bell and Graham Maule)

Follow me (Michael Cocket)

Go, the Mass is ended (Sister Marie Lydia Pereira)

God's Spirit is in my heart (Alan Dale)

I saw the grass, I saw the trees (Estelle White)

I, the Lord of sea and sky (Daniel Schutte)  

I watch the sunrise (Glynn)

If I were a butterfly (Brian Howard)

Jesus Christ the apple tree (R.H.) 

Journeys ended, journeys begun (Gregory Norbet)

Kumbayah (anon)

Lord of the Dance (Sidney Carter)

Moses, I know you're the man (Estelle White)
   
On eagle's wings (Michael Joncas)  

Our God reigns (Leonard E. Smith)  

Shine, Jesus, Shine (Kendrick)

Walk in the Light (Damian Lundy)

hand waving in church

"The next hymn is ... so put your hand up if you want to leave."

Addendum: We'd better stick to English language hymns (and Christian ones) to avoid strange songs from people worshipping Klingon gods.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Serener Francis in racism and sexism row

Critics of the superstar sportsman, His Serene Highness Pope Francis the First and Last, have been accused of racism and sexism, after they objected to the way he screamed at the judges in his latest tournament.

Serener Francis apparently indulged in one of his famous meltdowns, accusing his judges of being LITERALLY SATAN. "How dare you criticise me and my bishops?" he asked, throwing his zucchetto on the floor and stamping on it. "You cannot be serious. Only the Great Accuser would wish for our bishops to be brought to book for their misdeeds!"

Pope Francis liquid lunch

Serener Francis has a humble (liquid) dinner with some despised members of society.

Tennis commentators such as Massie "the Prof" Faggioli, Aussie "clueless" Ivereigh and Tommy "Blocker" Rosica were quick to rush to the support of the serene superstar, winner of the St Gallen all-comers championship in 2013.

"Obviously it's racism, as he comes from the Southern Hemisphere," said one.

"People want to replace him by a white male, like, er, Cardinal Sarah," said another.

"Serene Francis is just what the Church needs - see my book Serener Francis - The Great Screamer, only 20p from any charity shop" said a third.

Although he has won many tournaments, Serener Francis has not always had things his own way. In the Dubia tournament of 2016 he dropped five match points to Ray Burke, the American seed, and has never forgiven him for this.

However, on the whole, Serener Francis has been greatly praised for his humble attitude to life - unlike Ray Burke, who served luxury profiteroles at his birthday party (£1.50 for 12), the Serene Pontiff chose to celebrate by inviting a humble group of homeless people, journalists, cameramen, and yes-men to eat a plate of Grande Scandalo Italian pasta in front of the cameras.

Hilary White cartoon

A typical sexist racist cartoon about Serener Francis.

As for whether Serener Francis will be disciplined for his latest outburst, it seems unlikely. If all else fails he can declare infallibly that nothing his bishops have done is contrary to Catholic teaching. In which case we are in deep trouble.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Spadaro wins prestigious satire prize

Fr Antonio Spadaro SJ has been awarded the prestigious Vatican II Prize for Catholic Satire, named after the congress that spawned more parodies of Catholic teaching and liturgy than any before.

Open to God, cover

"I laughed until I cried" - emeritus Pope Benedict VI.

The hysterically funny blurb for the book makes it clear that it will be a bundle of laughs from start to finish:

[Pope Francis] has turned the Catholic Church upside-down, flung open the windows of the Vatican and purged the Augean stables of corruption, simony, nepotism and financial skulduggery. ... Where there are trouble spots in the world, he goes and invariably people say his visits change everything. ... Unlike his predecessor, he does not sit down in a room in the Vatican and write learned books. ... He likes being asked questions and finds it easy to respond. ... The Franciscan revolution is under way and in spite of his vehement critics the revolution will roll on and new horizons will be opened for the one and a half billion Catholics in the world today.

Raymond Cardinal Burke is one who agrees that Pope Francis likes being asked questions and finds it easy to respond. Another is Archbishop Viganò. Both assured me that this was not satire but a perfectly true description of the Pope's reactions to questions, whether on doctrine or on his own record.

Henry "Marcantonio Colonna" Sire, on the other hand, merely commented "This satricial book makes Eccles's blog look like Holy Writ in comparision."

silly Napier tweet

Cardinal "Foxy" Napier was highly commended for comparing Francis to Jesus.

Previous winners of the satire prize include Austen Ivereigh, for his biography Pope Francis, the great Redeemer, Fr James Martin SJ for his wonderful works explaining that homosexual relationships were best conducted on bridges, and Prof. Tina Beattie for her book comparing the Mass to an act of homosexual intercourse (a theme now taken up by Fr Rosica).

silly Rosica tweet

A good try, Rosie, but this is just unhinged, rather than proper satire.

Satire about Pope Francis is nowadays as common as heresy from a Jesuit, but Spadaro's book goes further than any before, explaining how the Holy Father can walk on water, travel in time, leap high buildings, cure diseases simply by touching people, slay dragons, glow in the dark, and turn people to stone merely by staring at them.

Superman pope

Very cruel satire on Pope Francis.

Anyway, the final word must go to Fr Spadaro himself. "I am delighted that my book has won this prestigious Vatican II Prize," he said. "The first thing I shall do is to hold a wild celebration party with some of my closest friends."

Spadaro party

"Let's get legless!"

Sunday, 2 September 2018

How to brush off a papal scandal

This is the latest instalment in our long-running series "How to be a good pope", intended especially for those of our readers who one day get a tap on the shoulder, and a "Congratulations, Cardinal Imbroglio, here are the keys to Heaven, the Vatican Bank, and Cardinal Cocainepusher's apartment. Now, have a nice day!"

It may happen one day that you are taking a little holiday in Ireland, when a scandal breaks. Archbishop Figaro, whom you never liked, has produced a testimony which, if true, would require your instant resignation.

Pope and McCarrick

"The seminarian was just resting in my bed, Frank."

The central allegation concern a chap called "Uncle Fred", who is one of your best mates, but has been caught with his vestments down. Your predecessor had slapped his wrists and prescribed a regime of cold showers and no contact with vulnerable people, but you decided to kiss him better and restore him to the sybaritic luxury that we expect of a Prince of the Church. Oops!

Your first step is to say nothing. This worked very well for the Dubia, and the jury is still out on whether Amorous Letitia is heretical or not - and you're not going to tell them! It also worked when you took the side of Boozelager against Feasting in the Order of Malt wars.

So what you say is: "I think the statement speaks for itself." This is good Jesuit-speak, as it can be interpreted both ways: either as a confession "It's a fair cop", or, if you can wriggle out of it, as "I ain't done nuffin'." Also try saying "Read that statement attentively and make your own judgment," which should muddy the waters enough for you to escape.

Pope waxwork

Remember, they will only carry you out of the Vatican feet first!

Next, send in the attack poodles! There are lots of nonentities who owe you a favour, like Austin Powers, author of "Pope Frank, the saviour of the universe"; or Fr Rosie from the Satan Lite Corporation; you can rely on Fr Jim LGBTSJ to muddy the waters by confusing celibacy, chastity, and continence; Professor Beans will also blunder in with some choice theologian's insults. Now there's no use in denying anything in Archbishop Figaro's testimony. What the poodles must do is to bite Figaro in the ankles (metaphorically). Call him a terrorist, an extreme right-winger, fomenter of a crude putsch - why he must be LITERALLY HITLER.

Hmm, a day has passed, and that didn't work. Everyone is still expecting something from you. Send in the clowns! Soupy Supich will explain that you have FAR MORE IMPORTANT issues to deal with than mass homosexual rape - such as climate change and migrants. It's true that in your encyclical LOADA SH'T you did explain that we Catholics should no longer worry about Good and Evil, but Environmental issues instead. Oh, and ask Soupy to play the RACE CARD. What race are you? Oh, the same as Figaro? Well it doesn't matter, play it anyway.

Cheshire Cat

Alice goes down a rabbit hole and meets the Supich Cat.

Oh look, Cardinal Maradona's back from counting the money hidden under his bed. He's worried because a journalist has been looking too closely into activities in his seminaries. Time for a sacking! No, not Maradona!! He's just complained that he's the victim of a 'hit man' who practises media harassment. Well, at least it wasn't sexual harassment, as in the seminaries! Get the journalist sacked!

It may be time for you to intervene, finally. No, you fool, not by answering Figaro's allegations! Pull yourself together, you'll end up answering the Dubia if you don't get a grip. So this is what you do:

Pope bans plastics

Clutching at straws?

Remember to update the catechism on this very subject:

66666. Recourse to the use of plastic straws for the purpose of legitimate drinking, following a period of thirst, was long considered an appropriate response to the needs of the individual, and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of transferring liquids to one's mouth.

Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the value of the drink is not lost even if it is consumed by alternative methods. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of tilting glasses in order for their contents to fall out. Lastly, more effective systems of drinking have been developed, which ensure the due nourishment of thirsty citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively destroy the environment.

Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “plastic straws are inadmissible because they are an attack on the inviolability and dignity of nature”, and she works with determination for their abolition worldwide.

Yes, that should work. Another good way of diverting attention is to play the "Where's Wuerly?" game.

Where's Wally?

Where's Wuerly?

One of your more embattled cardinals, Donna Wuerl, is expecting a knock on the door from the FBI. Make him disappear! As Baroness Orgy put it in The Scarlet Nincompoop: Is he in Heaven, is he in Hell? That demmed elusive Donna Wuerl! (Spoiler: he's in Rome, but won't be when they come looking for him!).

Well, that's all gone VERY WELL INDEED. By Sunday the crisis will be over. Ask Austin Powers. Ask Mickens Mouse. Ask Elizabeth Scalia the Pollyanna-chorus... Nothing to see here, let's move on.

Monday, 27 August 2018

The World Meeting of Comedians is a great success

H. E. Cardinal Blase Cupich, Bishop Peter Doyle, H.E. Cardinal Kevin Farrell, H.E. Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriquez Maradiaga, Fr James Martin S.J., H.E. Cardinal Vincent Nichols, H.E. Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, H.E. Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, H.E. Cardinal Joseph Tobin, ... admit it, you're in stitches already at the thought of so many great comics present in one place at one time.

Regular fans will already be giggling and reciting these comedians' catch-phrases, such as "Nighty-night, baby!" or "Funds are not transferred in my name, but in the name of the archdiocese," or even, "I knew nothing of what McCarrick was doing!" and "Building a bridge!" The land that gave us Father Ted, a comedy about dysfunctional priests, was the perfect place to host its sequel, Uncle Ted.

emojis

After the Viganò dossier appeared, the emoji was hastily changed.

Of course, it was a great shame that Cardinal Wuerl was unable to come: our stall selling rotten eggs and tomatoes would have done much better business. Still, we were not there to look for profits, or even prophets.

James Martin and customer

"I'm so pleased that you weren't excluded, Father!"

Everything was designed to produce a feast of mirth, but one thing was lacking. We had druidical vestments (very good), but where were the bad hymns? No "Lord of the Dance" or "Shine Jesus, Shine"? Damian Lundy is turning in his grave, as would be Paul Inwood, Dan Schutte, and Bernadette Farrell, if anyone had bothered to bury them.

Cardinal Farrell painting

The Druids of Dublin, by Picasso.

One great mystery remains: why DID Cardinal Farrell use toilet cleaner rather than Holy Water? We asked him, asnd he rplied that he was not there at the time; so what can one do?

Pope Francis was there, of course, hence the emoji we began with. He's having a difficult time at the moment, and we did speculate that, on the flight back, they might choose to drop him off at Elba, near which his aeroplane flew. But no, he made it back to Rome safely, and is now lying low and saying nuffin'. Well, it worked for the Dubia...

black emoji

The next WMOF, Italy 2021, will star Pope Pius XIII (Cardinal Sarah).

Monday, 20 August 2018

The Pope's letter to the People of God

Most people will be unaware of this - I only found out today when Spadaro accidentally let the cat out of the bag - but there have been one or two complaints about our bishops and clergy recently.

WE ARE ALL GUILTY.

Well, not me of course. As has been observed by that nice man Stephen Walford who dusts my piano, and that little gnome chap Austen Ivereigh, I am INFALLIBLE, which means that nothing is ever my fault. I'm happy to clear that up for you.

Wuerl on St Peter's

Endangered Creatures like this are almost extinct!

I was hoping to meet my dear friend Donna Wuerl in Dublin so that I could find out what's going on, but he's sent me a telegram: "I regret that I have suddenly died. Sorry." My agents tell me that in fact he has not died, but has gone into hiding with some other handsome priests. I do hope he is not avoiding me.

Anyway, let's try again with that headline.

YOU ARE ALL GUILTY.

Especially the laity. You're all guilty of clericalism. Well, it would be scandalous to blame the clergy. Even more scandalous to blame the bishops. So PLEASE do not de-bag your bishop and push him into the river. Even if it's Farrell, or Tobin, or Cupich. Resist the temptation!

My top adviser Fr James Martin SJ assures me that it's nothing to do with "gay" clergy either. After all, he says that he wants our clergy to be celibate, and none of the "Friends of Jimmy" shows any inclination whatsoever to get married. Well, not to a woman. Quod Erat Demonstrandum, as it says in the Latin Missal.

bad vestments

New vestments from "Maison Jimmy" of New York!

So that's everything sorted, isn't it? Now, let's look at some of the more serious problems facing the Church. Climate Change - isn't that the real cause of all our problems? Or maybe plastic straws.

Perhaps the biggest question you're all asking is: should a black person play the role of Pope? "The name's Francis, Pope Francis." With a Licence to Kill the Magisterium. Can you imagine a black person - like Robert Sarah - taking the role? Of course not. The next actor to portray the Pope should be someone like Cardinal Wuerl. If only we can work out where he's hiding...

Pope emoji

I feel your pain!

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Marcantonio Colonna revealed to be Fr Thomas Rosica

When The Dictator Pope first came out, it was said to be authored by Marcantonio Colonna: it was not until several months later that someone realised that Mr Colonna had an alibi, as he had been dead for 400 years. Accordingly, it was then "revealed" that the author was Henry Sire, then Knight of the Order of Malta. Mr Sire suffered for this, being de-knighted.

However, that's not the end of the story, as it turns out that the true author of The Dictator Pope was Fr Thomas Rosica, the be-nighted Satan Lite media mogul and alleged Catholic priest.

Rosica's waffle

"Yes, Francis is a dictator and that is a GOOD THING."

Apologies to readers for two consecutive posts on our hero, Rosie, but he is a gift to spiritually nourishing bloggers.

Catholics tend to look down on Sola Scriptura teaching, because after all there are numerous ways to interpret certain Biblical passages, and until now it was best to interpret them in the light of tradition - that is, in the same way as the early Church did. But now we have Solus Franciscus, the view that all Catholic teaching should be torn up, and we should listen only to Pope Francis. Once you accept that, Amoris Laetitia will be your Bible, rather than, er, the Bible.

lollipope

The Great Dictator, now available badly drawn on a lollipope.

Francis's record as a dictator is not in doubt - he may have invaded the Sovereign Order of Malta, he may have made all dissidents into unpersons, he may have promoted nonentities and heretics into positions of power, his speeches reek of fanaticism, but... but... oh yes, at least he makes the trains run on time in the Vatican.

Mussolini

Habemus Papam!

Some of Fr Rosica's words are a little difficult to understand. What's all this about the Pope being free from "disordered attachments"? Does this mean the boot for his adviser, Fr James Martin SJ, as disordered an attachment as you would ever expect to see? And what is Jesuit intellectualism? Is that something to do with never making clear-cut statements, but always speaking ambiguously, so that several heretical interpretations are possible? We need to be told.

Henry Sire

Henry Sire, now believed to be a sockpuppet of Fr Rosica.

Still, the main message is clear. Previous Popes were such boring fuddy-duddies, always repeating over and over again the messages of their predecessors, of the doctors of the Church, of the apostles, of Jesus... But now the Fourth Person of the Trinity has arrived. His Coming is predicted in the Bible, "And Lo! A Fat Argentinian Dictator will come to dwell among you. And he will tell you what I should have said, but got wrong."

Somewhere in the Book of Revelation, I fancy.