This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

A Protestant asks for some wine

Following the recent incident in which a customer of Hawksmoor Manchester was accidentally served a bottle of Château le Pin Pomerol 2001 (priced at £4,500) rather than the cheaper (£260) wine they had ordered, we have news of an even greater surprise.

Hawksmoor tweet

Mr Luther Tudor, a devout "Easter worshipper", accidentally wandered into a Catholic church for Mass, rather than the Protestant Eucharist that he was expecting. After receiving Communion he was startled to be told that he had actually received the Precious Blood of Christ (beyond price), rather than the Plonque de Welby (£2.99 a bottle) that he had expected to drink.

"I know that the Rev. Doris always says something like 'The Blood of Christ' when we go for our Lord's Supper," explained Mr Tudor, "but we accept that this is just a metaphorical thing, like most of Jesus's teaching."

Mr Tudor was asked why he did not guess that he was in a Catholic Church when he heard the prayer for Pope Francis. He explained that, since this was followed with general sighs and face-palming, he had naturally assumed that he was in an extreme Protestant church, possibly Presbyterian.

Pope Franic and Justin Welby

"That's funny: nobody likes me, either."

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Churches to say "Alabama" rather than "Alleluia"

In this Easter season, it is common to hear interjections of "Alleluia" into prayers, hymns, and greetings. Of course, this can be taken too far, as in "After the Alleluia service there is Alleluia coffee served in the Alleluia Cardinal Danneels memorial Hall. Alleluia!" However, to celebrate the new Alabama abortion law, all Catholic churches have been asked to use the alternative liturgy "Alabama!" this weekend.

Alabama flag

All churches will be flying this flag.

This is expected to cause particular irritation to the anti-life types, and if you meet Senator Joe Biden in church (unlikely) and say "Peace be with you, Alabama!" don't be surprised if he kicks you in the shins. Still, the decree should not be surprising when we see the great commitment to pro-life issues by our bishops (for example, in the March For Life UK, there weren't actually any English bishops present - it was far too far for Vincent Nichols to travel - but we did see Bishop John Keenan of Paisley).

Kay Ivey

The Holy and the (Kay) Ivey. Even Baptists feel squeamish about mass murder!

So, on to Handel's "Alabama Chorus" from "Messiah":

A-la-ba-ma! A-la-ba-ma! Alabama! Alabama! A-la-a-bama! etc. etc.

and Paul Inwood's equally celebrated version:

Ala-bama Ch Ch, Ala-bama Ch Ch! Ala-bama Ch Ch, Ala-bama Ch Ch!

You know, I don't think God would mind us dropping a few Alleluias for a week or two, if it also meant that a few million lives were saved. But what do I know?

Addendum I: Of course there's always some stupid commentator who likes to [rude word mening "urinate"] on other people's parties, and Fr James Martin LGBTSJ 666 and "supertroll" Austen Ivereigh did not let us down. But you guessed that would happen, didn't you?

Addendum II: Could this be start of the 2nd American Civil War? Free states versus killer states? I hope not. Can the killers be crushed peacefully?

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Alyssa Milano gives a moral lead

Although Catholic bishops (with very few exceptions) no longer give a moral lead, all is not lost as the great actress Alyssa Milano, star of, um, the 1980s television series Who's the Boss? (er, has she done anything since then?) has called for a Sex Strike - something to do with the fact that real feminists like to have sex and abort babies, so if they can't do one they won't do the other.

Very young Alyssa

"When I grow up I'm going to organize a sex strike!"

This moral lead has been widely praised by people on both sides of the divide - and Alyssa has gone on to provide more guidance:

1. Thou shalt not steal. A burglars' and muggers' strike is being organized, to last until theft becomes legal in Georgia (or wherever it isn't yet legal).

2. A drug strike. No more cannabis, cocaine, etc. to be consumed until it is made legal. Yes, this will probably bring Hollywood to a halt, but it is worth it to show how much we care about this issue.

Alyssa in silly hat

Alyssa models a mantilla suitable for Catholics on strike.

3. An adulterers' strike. Although the Pope has not yet got round to answering the Dubia, or ruling definitively on whether adultery is still frowned on in the Catholic Church, the Blessed Alyssa has called an adulterers' strike - no more sleeping around until you can get away with it!

4. In a devastating blow against climate change, Alyssa promises to use no electric fires and to wear no fur coats whenever we have a hot day. If that doesn't show CO2 that we mean business, nothing will!

Bill Nye

The end is Nye! A mad "scientist" explains.

Impressed by Alyssa's moral lead, Pope Francis is planning a trip to Hollywood, with a view to meeting the actress and benefiting from some of her popularity. It is rumoured that he is going to star with her in a bio-pic about a now obsolete British band. It will of course be called Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

Saturday, 4 May 2019

The trial of Pope Francis

Cardinal Luis Ladaria, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: Jorge Mario Bergoglio, alias the Bishop of Rome, alias Pope Francis, alias Peter, alias 'Umble Frank, you are charged with heresy...

Omnes: ...on three counts: heresy by thought, heresy by word, heresy by deed, and heresy by action - *four* counts.

Ladaria: If there are any more quotations from Monty Python, I shall clear the court. Anyway, where is the defendant?

Francis poster

Guilty or not guilty?

Defence Counsel (Austen Ivereigh QC, Fellow in Contemptible Church History at Campion Hall, Oxford, author of Pope Francis, the Great Redeemer): The Messiah is unable to be here, My Lord, as he does not know of the charges and wouldn't answer them if he did.

Aidan Nichols OP: He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty Pope...

Ladaria: I'm warning you...

Nichols: I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition... oh, well never mind.

Ladaria: Since I am indeed Spanish, I'll let you off with that one. Now, what evidence do you wish to present, Fr Nichols?

Nichols: Amoris Laetitia, the Pope Francis book of insults, 200 reports of very dubious behaviour from LifeSite, etc., wielding this finely-crafted stang, covering up sex crimes, driving the popemobile like a maniac, misbehaving every time he takes an airline flight, contradicting all Catholic doctrine since the 1st century, illegally taking over the Order of Malta, ...

[2 hours later]

Nichols: ... and appointing that compete and utter villain Cupich as a Cardinal.

Ladaria: Serious charges indeed. Does the defence have anything to say?

Ivereigh: Pope Francis is literally Christ, and this is the scribes' fault.

A charge of blasphemy against Dr Ivereigh?

Fr Hunwicke: Better sell your shares in Bergoglio PLC, Austen, they're rapidly becoming worthless.

Massimo Faggioli (screaming): These complaints are all the work of extremists. All the students in my class agree with me - at least the ones who passed did.

Deacon Donnelly: You're just jealous because Fr Nichols is a better theologian than you.

Tina Beattie: Aaagggh! It's Deacon Nick, my mortal enemy. [Faints]

Michael Winters of the Fishwrap: Deep down, the accusers know that Pope Francis is right when he tries to change Catholic doctrine on a daily basis.

Stephen Walford, author of Pope Francis is right even when he's wrong: Exactly, Catholic doctrine is nothing more nor less than what the pope of the day says it is.

The Spanish Inquisition reaches its verdict.

Ladaria: This doesn't seem to be getting us anywhere. Does anyone have anything to say, apart from ad hominem attacks?

Jimmy Akin (who he?): None of the signatories to this letter have doctorates in the relevant fields of canon law or sacred theology. Therefore they aren't as clever as I am. My verdict is that the accusations don't amount to heresy.

Ivereigh: Of course not! (To stockbroker on phone): Don't sell the shares just yet.

Nichols: Well, we should perhaps have said apostate, heterodox, dissenter, heresiarch, nonconformist, protestant, schismatic, outcast, separatist...

Ladaria: I've had enough of this. Pope Francis, wherever you may be, I find you not guilty. But don't do it again. Er... who's going to tell him?

Spadaro: Tell him? We don't tell him these things. He hasn't even heard about the Dubia yet!

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Why JAMES J MARTIN, SJ is the Beast of the Apocalypse

As Revelation 13:18 records:

Here is wisdom. He that hath understanding, let him count the number of the beast. For it is the number of a man: and the number of him is six hundred sixty-six.

Many attempts have been made to identify the beast. Could St John have meant Nero? Or was it a prediction of Napoleon? Or Hitler? Now, at last I have found the answer.

Rachel Riley on Countdown

Eccles's assistant help with the hard sums.

One of the standard codings of the alphabet is the following:

A=1, B=2, C=3, ..., I=9,
J=10, K=20, L=30, ..., R=90,
S=100, T=200, U=300, ..., Z=800.
So we tried putting in various names such as FATHER (310), JAMES (156), MARTIN (390), LGBT (239), JESUIT (624), but nothing seemd to work. But then, Divine Inspiration! Fr James Martin actually has a middle initial, as is documented in several places, and it is J! (Nobody seems to know what it stands for, but my guess is Judas.)

Thus we have:

JAMES J MARTIN SJ = 156 + 10 + 390 + 110 = 666.

Well, who else could it be? When the man isn't promoting his "Mary Magdalene was the Church" heresy, or attacking traditional worship, he decides to get people talking about him by tweeting stuff like this:

Martin LGBT crap

About homosexuality (inevitably). Heretical views (inevitably).

I suspect that James J. Martin SJ has known about the apocalyptic interpretation of his name for some time - why else would he stop using the second initial?

So where do we go from there? Do we get an interview, with, say Steve Colbert?

Colbert: Jim, I understand that, in addition to being a best-selling author, fashion expert, and part-time priest, you are also the Beast of the Apocalypse?

Martin: Heh heh heh, yes, that's right. From now on I'm going to put "BOTA" as well as "SJ" and "LGBT" after my name when I sell myself for speeches, fashion shows, gay pride marches etc.

Colbert: Jim, you're the sort of Catholic I can really go with!

Westboro Baptists poster

Apparently he's very fond of country music too.

Friday, 26 April 2019

Pope Francis joins the Climate Strike

After a fruitful meeting with 10-year-old activist Greta Thunberg, Pope Francis has eagerly agreed to take part in the Climate Strike.

Although he refuses to speak to his own cardinals, such as Burke and Brandmüller, the Holy Father has joined the Gretamania Cult, which has seen the 9-year-old superhero meet such eminent people as John Bercow, Jeremy Corbyn, and Donald Trump. No, not Donald Trump, although Joe Biden has offered to stroke her hair.

Curiously, 8-year-old Greta is not the shortest person from whom Pope Francis has ever taken advice - that honour goes to Austen Ivereigh.

Pope and Greta

"Climate science is so simple a 7-year-old child could understand it. Fetch me a 7-year-old child, as I can't make head nor tail of it."

So what results shall we see from the Pope's conversion to the movement? He has already vowed to glue himself to the High Altar of St Peter's, unless the Vatican reduces its carbon emissions to zero with immediate effect (it should still be possible to offer masses without treading on him). Moreover, Francis will no longer be working on Fridays, but will spend them sitting in a pink boat in St Peter's Square with distinguished scientist Emma Thompson (who is on her way in a private jet plane). Nobody is sure why.

Emma Thompson

"The Holy Father is backing me!"

Sadly, there are other unfortunate side-effects of the Pope's Laudato Si' ad absurdum approach. The Swiss Guard will be asked to jettison their new plastic helmets (which turned out to be ineffective against battle-axes, as the late Sergeant Emmenthal and Corporal Gruyère discovered to their cost when they tried sparring), in favour of low-carbon steel helmets.

Swiss guard helmet

Likely to get into the oceans and trap the heads of dolphins.

As 6-year-old Greta continues her world tour, we learn that she is soon to star in a remake of the Sound of Music, singing classic songs such as "Raindrops on roses cause acid rain damage" and "Ray, a drop of golden sun burning up the planet" to new settings by Marty Haugen. We wish her well.

Sound of Music

5-year-old Greta in rehearsals.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Almost thou persuadest me to be an Easter Worshipper

As recorded in Acts 11, Saul and Barnabas came to Antioch, and hung around for a year, teaching. And, as Luke records, the disciples were called Easter Worshippers first in Antioch.

Luke omits the details, but it is clear that these Easter Worshippers were devoted to a sacred rabbit, and lived mostly on chocolate eggs. At other times of the year they were known as "Xmas Worshippers", indulging in strange rituals involving shopping, mince pies, and fat men in red coats and white beards sitting in "grottos".

Lom and Hopkins as Saul and Barnabas

Saul and Barnabas hit on the name "Easter Worshippers".

But Easter Worshippers has been the traditional name, ever since the first century. As Agrippa said to Paul, "Almost thou persuadest me to be an Easter Worshipper". Even St Peter got in on the act, with his "Yet if any man suffer as an an Easter Worshipper, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf."

Leeds gaffe

How Leeds City Council celebrated Easter. (H/T C.H.)

The name occurs in many hymns, such as the militant "Onward, Easter Worshipper soldiers," the rather soppy "They'll know we are Easter Worshippers by our love", and the stirring "Easter Worshippers awake, salute the Happy Morn!"

Then again, it has also become a first name (what old fashioned people call an "Easter Worshipper name" as opposed to a "surname"). Hans Easter-Worshipper Andersen, Dr Easter-Worshippeer Barnard, Easter-Worshipper Dior, ...

James Martin

A male model shows off a shirt by Easter-Worshipper Dior.

So, can we PLEASE stop hearing people whining just because Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the rest of George Soros's sockpuppets referred to the Christians massacred by Islamists in Sri Lanka as "Easter Worshippers"? That is what they called themselves, and that is what we should call them.

Saturday, 20 April 2019

The secrets of Notre Dame

Apologies for a third post on Notre Dame this week (plug1, plug2), but news is just breaking from the investigative journalists of Associated Press that, besides being a tourist Mecca, Notre Dame is also revered as a place of worship (by Muslims, presumably).

prayers by Notre Dame


We asked some of our religious friends to comment:

Jew: Well, it's certainly a place that I find very kosher.

Hindu: For me, it's something of a sacred cow.

Anglican: It's been a centre for the Church of England since A.D. 597. (Oops, that last one's almost genuine. See below.)

Daniel Hannan's gaffe

An entry for the David Lammy prize for religious knowledge.

Buddhist: I go there to listen to the sound of one hand clapping.

Muslim: Well, if the mountain will not come to Mahomet, then we have to go there ourselves.

Whatever else goes on there, it is rumoured that Catholics are also interested in Notre Dame. However, the New York Times is still a little hazy about the "body of Christ".

New York Times gaffe

Journalism at its finest.

By the way, for those who missed the reference above to David Lammy MP, here it is again.

Lammy gaffe

If Notre Dame's smoke is anything to go by, the next pope will have grey skin.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Cardinal Tobin rewrites the catechism

Uncle Joe Tobin has complained that Catholic teaching on homosexual acts is "unfortunate", specifically CCC2357 with its Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered (together with a lot more on the same theme).

Accordingly, he has produced a more helpful rewriting of the catechism, to take into account the fact that sacred scripture and and traditional teaching need to take a back seat to accommodating people's own desires.

Tobin and baby

"My lodger helped me write it."

The new passage reads as follows:

2357. Basing itself on the sacred writings of Martin, Cupich, and Tobin, the Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are perfectly normal, and no impediment to advancement in the priesthood.

2358. Indeed, it is not good for priests to be alone, and they are encouraged to welcome actors and male models (known as "babies") into their houses.

2359. If a priest is separated from his baby, then the correct way to wish him a blessed and holy night is by tweeting "Nighty-night, baby. I love you." However, this form of address may also be used for the priest's sister, his cousin or his aunt.

2360. Similarly, LGBT pilgrimages are to be encouraged and welcomed. And no more talk of "grave depravity" and "being called to chastity", please!

This is not expected to be controversial.

Tobin welcomes pilgrimage

Bring your "babies" with you!

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Holy Smoke

The Catholic world was stunned today by the news that Liverpool Cathedral, or "Paddy's Wigwam", generally regarded as the ugliest cathedral ever constructed in Britain, has burned to the ground.

As Catholics sang hymns of thanksgiving, and danced in the streets, firemen were out all night desperately spraying petrol onto the flames and adding wood.

Liverpool Cathedral

The Holy Tent of St Patrick (to give it the official name).

One altar server (who wished to remain anonymous) explains: "We have been trying for years to make something of this place - preferably a heap of ashes - and this included replacing the holy oils with paraffin, sabotaging the thurible, and using wooden candlesticks. But it is hard to burn down a building that is made mostly of concrete."

"Of course we did hold some interesting religious events in the cathedral, including indoor barbecues, bonfires, and firework displays, but nothing went wrong."

cooling tower

Smoke pours from the tower of Liverpool Cathedral.

Luckily, all the sacred relics kept in Liverpool Cathedral have been saved. These include the holey socks of Warlock with special Vatican II loopholes, and the blindfold worn by Archbishop McMahon during the Alfie Evans case.

Fortunately, the replacement cathedral has already been designed by a Mr Lutyens of Holborn, and we know what it will look like.

Lutyens's design

Not as a lovely as Paddy's Wigwam, but nearly as good.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

A prayer for Notre Dame

O Lord, not Notre Dame. I've been there many times, and I can't bear this news. Take something else instead.

Take all the mosques in France. Take all the 20th century churches.

Take the Pompidou Centre. Take that rusty over-rated tower of Monsieur Eiffel.

Eiffel Tower

A rusty over-rated tower.

Oh, all right, take the Louvre. The Mona Lisa isn't so great, and nobody would miss that silly bint with no arms.

Venus de Milo

A silly bint with no arms.

I can see I'm going to have to up the bidding. Take Emmanuel Macron. Take all the politicians, police and gilets jaunes.

All right, I know, take all the first-born under the age of 21 (they're all foreigners anyway). Just give us back Notre Dame.

St Denis

St Denis puts a brave face on it.

Messages have been flowing in from all round the world. They basically come in two types:

1. The Obama/Clinton/May/celebrity tribute. We stand with France (as we do whenever a bit of virtue-signalling is needed)! Notre Dame looked so cool! What a great loss to the world of culture! (What a pity that it's been used by Catholics, whose views on abortion, marriage, same-sex relations, transvestitism, etc. are directly in opposition to our own.)

2. The more balanced tribute. Look, this has been a centre for religious worship since the Hundred Years War and beyond. It's a blessed and sacred place. Anyway, thank God nobody is badly hurt (so far), and the relics, such as the Crown of Thorns, were saved.

But it's still a disaster, whichever point of view you take.

Pompidou Centre

Designs for a new Notre Dame go on display.

Monday, 15 April 2019

The curse of St Gallen

There's not much spiritual nourishment in this post, I'm afraid. At the beginning of April I was rushed to hospital in an ambulance - I was throwing up even when I hadn't just been reading something by Ivereigh, Martin, or Faggioli - and it turned out to be the Curse of St Gallen, or gall stones (Cormacus Murphius Oconnus, as doctors call them).

Things to do in St Gallen

Number 1: choose the next pope.

It was all very exciting, as I hadn't spent a night in hospital since childhood - when they took out my appendix by traditional methods involving a bottle of rum as anaesthetic, and lots of leeches. This time I had one of those modern MRI scans, which is a bit like sitting in a nuclear reactor being bombarded with intense magnetic fields; these are supposed to reverse the polarity of the neutron flow, or at least tell them where every proton in my body is. So they had to operate.

Hospitals are very noisy places - don't expect any peace and quiet there. Apart from being woken up at 3 a.m. for readings of temperature and blood pressure, I had to put up with neighbouring patients playing their radios at full volume, until the nurses pointed out that this was worsening the death rate.

Worst of all was a mad Pole who shut himself behind his curtains and started screaming at his mobile phone, obviously unaware that these things are amplified, and you don't need to be directly audible in Krakow. What can a peaceful saved person do? Well, I scribbled "Quiet please!" on a napkin and chucked it over the curtain. Probably I got a direct hit, as he came rushing out looking very angry, while I seraphically pretended to be half asleep.

St Peter and the keys

The dawn of keyhole surgery.

Anyway, no rum and leeches this time, it was all going to be done by keyhole surgery. The idea is that they make four little keyholes in your stomach, insert the keys, and then turn them, as you might wind up an old clock. Fantastic.

So now I am at home, convalescing. Has anything spiritually nourishing happened in the last week or two? I gather that Pope Benedict managed to upset all the right people, that Pope Francis has been kissing the feet of infidels, and that the Dubia still haven't been answered. Business as usual, then.

N.B. Without a gall bladder, I should be producing less bile directed at atheists, heretics, modernists, LGBT activists, etc. So from now on it's fluffy bunnies and rose petals...

fluffy rabbit

The new gall-free Eccles blog.

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

How to kiss the Pope's ring

Many distressed Catholics have written to me along the following lines:

I had an audience with the Pope last week, and I attempted to kiss his ring, to show my loyalty to the Magisterium, to the Church, and to the Seat of St Peter. However, Pope Francis snatched his hand away, muttering something like "He's not going to touch my Precioussss!" and forced me to kiss his other hand instead. What can I do?

Not kissing the ring

Missed the target area!

Well, the most charitable explanation is that the Pope is saying "Kissing the Pope's ring is an important ritual, but I don't want to make it too easy." Any claims that he really thinks "It's all about me!" would be most unfair (which is why we mention them).

We therefore recommend that you grab the Pope's right hand in yours, and drag it to your lips. (Perhaps saying "Pleased to meet you. Have you come far?" will distract him enough to make this possible.)

Remember, however, that Francis used to be a bouncer, and may attempt to throw you over his shoulder. Please do NOT take this as a challenge and throw the Pope over your own shoulder. Leaving the Pope sprawling on the ground is probably an excommunicable offence. Anyway, it's definitely the sort of thing that self-absorbed Promethean neo-Pelagians would do.

Another possible explanation is that Rome is full of pickpockets and other shifty characters, and the Pope is scared that the ring might be wrenched off his hand when he isn't looking. In that case the lucky thief might set himself up as Pope - and although he (or she) would probably do a better job, that is just not the accepted away of transferring papal power. Get yourself elected by a conclave, like the rest of us have to!

Pope with red nose

Kissing the Pope's red nose is also forbidden.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Cardinal Marx redefines sexual morality

Fresh from his silver-medal triumph at the World Cup of Bad Cardinals, Cardinal Reinhard Marx has announced a "binding synodal process" in the German Catholic Church to look at "questions of present-day sexual behaviour".

"The sort of thing I have in mind," he said, "is the case of a man who has six wives. He divorces the first (the Roman Catholic Church would not accept this, but the German Catholic Church is more broad-minded), and beheads the second. The third dies, probably of natural causes, although it may be a merciful release for her. He divorces the fourth, beheads the fifth, and settles down with a sixth, who is destined to survive him. Now, is there a problem with that?"

Henry VIII

Cardinal Marx (H/T an anonymous well-wisher).

"Well, clearly all his actions can be justified by a careful reading of Amoris Laetitia. He is only divorced and remarried twice, so there should be no objection to his receiving Holy Communion. The double beheadings may be harder to excuse, except by a process of accompaniment, discernment and possibly Ignatian yoga, but Pope Francis has not explicitly spoken out against this practice - and anyway, he is not the head of the German Catholic Church."

"We German bishops are struggling to make ends meet, in spite of the Church Tax, and so another process to be justified by synodal progress is a dissolution of our remaining monasteries. This will inject much-needed cash into our pockets."

Himmerod Abbey

Himmerod Abbey. Soon to be a centre for LGBT activities. Or maybe just a Disneyland.

It is true that many German bishops are known for their dissolution.

Marx continued: "Another idea that our synod is going to consider is the execution of heretics, by which we mean people who adhere to traditional Catholicism. I strongly advise Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Cardinals Brandmüller and Müller not to set foot in Germany again: they may end up at our German Education and Execution Centre in Teibürn... Walter Kasper has got an axe and he's not afraid to use it."

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Brexodus 17 - Maysis loseth another vote - or doth she?

Continued from Chapter 16

1. After her splendid defeat in the first month of the year, where those who said "Nay" outnumbered those who said "Yeah" by two hundred and thirty, Maysis returned to the courts of Pharaoh Juncker to talk again.

2. But there was little on the table, apart from several bottles of the finest wine.

3. However, after many nights' drinking together, Maysis and the Pharaoh came up with a new deal.

4. "It is not right that the children of Bri-tain should each donate half a kilogram of flesh to EUgypt," said Maysis, "and I have persuaded the Pharaoh to change that to one pound of flesh."

Merchant of Venice

"Nor cut thou less nor more, But just a pound of flesh."

5. "Likewise, some of the other clauses in the deal were too strong, and I have persuaded the Pharaoh to change some full stops to colons, some colons to semi-colons, and some semi-colons to commas."

6. "However, the backstop remaineth a backstop, and not a back-colon."

7. So Maysis returned to the House of Common People and took another vote. And this time she was defeated by one hundred and forty-nine.

8. And Maysis rejoiced, saying, "Lo, I need only take three more votes on this matter, and the nay-sayers will have vanished like unto a thief in the night."

9. But Ber-cow, he who was the Squeaker in the House of Common People, said, "Nay, thou must try something else. For it would be a strange breach of precedent to vote again. In the House of Common People, only I am allowed strange breeches."

Bercow in robes

Ber-cow showeth his strange breeches.

10. And Maysis said, "We have booked a passage across the Red Sea for the twenty-ninth day of the third month. Seventy times seven times have I have said that we shall leave on that date. And so we shall. Or perhaps on another date."

11. And there was a great shout from the people, "We want the end of May!" For Maysis had lost the people's favour.

12. So Maysis returned once more to the courts of Juncker, to be told, "We want the end of May, too. But we may insist on April."

13. Thus the House of Common People prepared itself for yet more votes on how to proceed: they asked for a People's Vote, a Traitors' Vote, a Crooks' vote, a Maniacs' vote, a Liars' vote, a Lunatics' vote, and yet many more, so that all members of the House of Common People would be included.

14. And there arose a mighty petition, which attracted millions to sign it, including famous celebrities such as Brian Cox the actor, Jennifer Saunders the scientist, and Anthony Grayling the comedian.

15. And so popular was it that people from distant North Ko-rea and Af-ghani-stan rushed to sign it.

16. And finally there came a wave of bots to sign the petition, along with the puppets of Sock. Until finally the signatures outnumbered the people of Bri-tain one hundredfold.

Molesworth=Peason lines machine

Yet more signatures for the petition.

17. And all waited to see whether the House of Common People could agree on anything at all.

To be continued (unless it is a breach of precedent).

Friday, 22 March 2019

Catholics reported for mis-speciesing hate crimes

Trans-species activist Susie Buttercup has reported thousands of Catholics to the police for mis-speciesing hate crimes, after they described her as a "stupid cow".

It is alleged that Mrs Buttercup was born into the bovine community, but went to Thailand for a species change, and is now self-identifying as a human being. However, many Catholics refuse to recognise the possibility that a person can change their sex or species, quoting Jeremiah 13:23's Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?

Alf Garnett

"None of that 'Silly old moo' stuff!"

In general it is possible for a cow to lead an interesting life standing round doing nothing - after all, many bishops manage it - but some do feel unhappy in their skin. Although a diet of grass is totally vegan, and said to be very healthy, scientists claim that it causes emissions contributing to climate change. Also it is nearly as boring as tofu.

A DNA analysis of Mrs Buttercup would definitely indicate that she was a large domesticated ungulate, but she claims full human rights, including the right to bore people on Good Morning Britain, and the right to use ladies' toilets (rather than leaving cowpats in the street); also, she claims the right to pester our totally underworked police with frivolous complaints, although they appreciate these as being far less trouble than burglaries and stabbings.

cows on football pitch

Trans cows also claim the right to take part in women's sports.

Incidentally, a cow's preferred pronouns are Moo and Muh.

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Hitler's Pap

You thought that John Cornwell - author of Forget Hitler - it was all Pius XII's fault - was totally discredited, and would retire from making a fool of himself in public, but no, the BBC has taken him out of storage and let him onto BBC Radio 4's "Sunday". This is described optimistically as a religious news and current affairs programme, and was presented this time by an atheist, William Crawley.

The problem is that the Vatican is opening up the Pius XII archives, which may in due course lead to the canonization of the great man (Pius, not Cornwell), and it is therefore the BBC's duty to put a spoke in the wheel by digging out the world's greatest anti-Pius troll.

This is not entirely bad: for the Vatican no longer employs a Devil's Advocate to scrutinise possible canonizations - which may explain some recent choices - so that talking to an amateur devil's advocate, however foolish, may be better than nothing.

Scene from 'Scarlet and Black'

"The hills are alive with the Sound of Music"* - Pope Pius XII plotting with Nazis.

*Fr Hunwicke doesn't have a monopoly on obscure jokes.

Unfortunately, the BBC was unable to provide a balanced debate, owing to its strict policy of pushing its own beliefs (we are not sure, but it is probable that Cornwell is also a Brexit Remainer, keen on immigration, "trans" rights, etc.)

Anyway, we shall know more when the archives are opened, but our mole in the Vatican has taken a sneak preview, and sends us something that is surely very incriminating:

Hitler wine

Is this in the Pius XII archives? Is it still drinkable?

Thursday, 14 March 2019

How to praise a bad cardinal

This is number 491 (approx.) in our long-running series on how to be a good pope, especially written for those who feel that a hairy hand may descend on their neck one day, and a strangely familiar voice intone the holy word "Gotcha", which is the customary way of telling a victim that he's going to be the man in the hot seat from now on.

One day it may happen that an elderly cardinal, let's call him Cardinal Dandruff, drops dead. That's odd, as he was only three years older than you, and he wasn't on the list of V.I.A. targets (which is headed by Viganò but may also include Burke, Brandmüller, Festing, Sire, Sarah, Müller, etc.) So he probably died of natural causes. Indeed, this may be through despair at being humiliated by Blase Cupich in the quarter-finals of the World Cup of Bad Cardinals.

Pope Francis and Danneels

We did it!

Dandruff was one of the St Gallstone Mafia, without whom you would never have come to power, and would still be an obscure South American bishop - rather than one who, in the words of your friend St Rosie the Copier, "breaks Catholic traditions whenever he wants" (i.e., on a daily basis).

So you want to praise him, while skating over the various scandals with which he was associated. Try the formula "zealous pastor" who "served the Church with dedication". This is harmless enough, and could be applied to any priest who turned up to Mass once in a while and did not actually convert to Islam.

You might also mention that Dandruff participated in a number of synods. Admittedly, the synods were a waste of time, and the conclusions were rigged and distorted (thanks, Baldisseri!), but he did turn up and glare at people, especially the ones you don't like.

Finally, it's always a good move to say that someone Catholic has been "called to God". So much more tactful than mentioning purgatory, or (worse) the Fire that Never Shall Be Quenched and the Worm that Dieth Not. No chance of "Dies Irae" at the Requiem Mass for Cardinal Dandruff, simply "Jesus wants me for a sunbeam"!

The Al Capone Mafia will decide who the next pope will be.

Now, what are you going to say when McCarrick goes to that great beach house in the sky?

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Bishop Schneider and the "Diversity of Popes"

The bishops of Kazakhstan and Central Asia recently paid an ad limina visit to Rome, and Bishop Athanasius Schneider took the opportunity to explain to Pope Francis that God only permits, rather than positively wills, a diversity of popes.

These ad limina visits are generally seen as an opportunity for the pope to find out what is going on in the Catholic Church (he certainly won't find out by reading La Civiltà Cattolica) as well as to brush up his theology by talking to people who actually know something about it.

Pope Francis and Bishop Schneider

"Athanasius"? I don't believe it!

As the bishop explained, it is God's permissive will that the Chair of St Peter can be occupied by complete rogues as well as truly saintly men (and also some who have been given the title of "saint" because they were around at the time of Vatican II). Consider for example, the Borgia Pope Alexander VI: although, mysteriously, he was described by his successors Sixtus V and Urban VIII as one of the most outstanding popes since Saint Peter. (Spadaro! We told you to stop editing Wikipedia!) Or even Urban VI ("He lacked Christian gentleness and charity. He was naturally arbitrary and extremely violent and imprudent, and when he came to deal with the burning ecclesiastical question of the day, that of reform, the consequences were disastrous." No, that doesn't remind me of anyone. Honest.)

"There's a more modern pope who was surely elected in opposition to the Holy Spirit," continued Schneider. "I won't mention any names, but he is a Peronist dictator, pushed into office by the efforts of St Gallen, many of whose public writings and statements contradict those of his predecessors. Father Rosica - although he may have got it from someone else - says that he breaks Catholic traditions whenever he wants because he is free from disordered attachments."

St Gallen

St Gallen. Is he to blame?

So, just as the diversity of religions is "willed" by God in the sense that He simply does an almighty facepalm when he sees the wickedness of the Quakers, followers of Jedi-ism, druids (insert your own favourite bad religion here) - leaving the smiting to another occasion - so also the diversity of popes must be accepted in the same spirit.

Quaker oats

Return of the oat-fuelled fiends, by kind permission of God.