This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

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.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Celebrate Lent the Jesuit way!

As compiled by some of our favourite Jesuits, including Superior General Arturo Sosa, Fr James Martin, and of course Pope Francis.

Soon to be plagiarised as "Celebrate Lent the Basilian way" by Fr Thomas Rosica.

1. Give up sin.

give up sin

This novel idea seems to originate from the Canadian bishops.

Giving up sin is probably not something that occurred to you before, but it's very easy: most things that we used to think of as "sin" turn out to be simply "alternative lifestyles". Still, there may be some bad habits that you really ought to drop, at least for the 40 days of Lent - speaking Latin, pushing old ladies under buses, hard drugs such as coccopalmerio, etc.

Every time you are tempted to sin, write the sin down on a piece of paper, and save it for later. That way you can have a really Happy Easter when you let it all go!

2. Build bridges.

Are you doing enough for the LGBTQSJ community in Lent? It is not necessary for you to "come out" in Lent, and certainly God is not (yet) asking you to "change gender", but you should certainly try and build bridges with your LGBTQSJ neighbours. Why not ask your parish priest if he is thinking of changing sex? This is guaranteed to put you in a good light, as a loving caring person. Tell him that whatever lifestyle he chooses to adopt, you are not going to judge him, and you think he is doing a fine job.

3. Take up Ignatian Yoga.

James Martin's yoga

Fr Martin's classes start soon. Bring your rainbow leotard!

This discipline is good for your bodily health, as well as your spiritual development. Originating with the Buddhists, Hindus, and Jains, it has not been seen as a part of Catholic teaching until now. However, it is now generally recognised that sitting around cross-legged and intoning the sacred words So Sa, Mah Teen, Reese, Bah Go Lee Oh and "letting it all hang out" is the best way to get on the path of enlightenment.

There will soon be a new book out, "How to twist things," in which Fr Martin will explain how a flexible approach is always the best.

4. Spiritual reading.

Lent is a good time for avoiding the Bible, because, as General Sosa says, "It ain't necessarily so," since there were no tape-recorders available when it was written. Instead, go for the works of deep thinkers such as Leonardo Boff, Hans Küng, Tony Flannery, etc., or sit on a bus reading out passages from the the Tablet to your ecstatic neighbours.

Boff book

As recommended by Pope Francis. Try screaming on the bus to show your support!

5. Respect the environment.

This really follows from (4), as your spiritual reading should include Laudato Si'. Think of new ways of saving the planet! Old polythene bags can be sewn together to make wonderful vestments for your priest - don't worry if his chasuble bears the mysterious word "Tesco", for it is all part of celebrating God's creation. Plastic straws can be stuck in your hair, and these will add a little colour to your liturgical dancing.

6. Stop gossiping.

Pope Francis SJ has asked us to include this discipline in our list. Gossiping includes trying to find out what is going on in the Vatican, asking Dubia of the Pope, issuing filial corrections, and indeed any embarrassing Church news. In the words of Jesus, when He went into the wilderness: "Give us a break, guys!"

Remember that the Vatican is getting tough on abuse these days. We had a wonderful summit on the subject, in which we agreed that everything is more-or-less fine really, and we can't see what all the fuss is about. So woe on ye if ye say otherwise!

Have a fun Lent!

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

2013 and all that (part 2)

Continued from Part 1.

In the third year of his reign, Pope Francis the Humble produced a papal encyclopedia, called Laudato Si'. Since they did not speak Italian, most people thought that this was a new type of pasta, and were very disappointed when it turned out to be something totally indigestible.

alphabet pasta

Re-arrange these letters into something spiritually nourishing.

Laudato Si' was all about the environment, and the Pope humbly explained that flying in aeroplanes and giving press conferences was bad for Mother Earth; indeed, every time a journalist asked a question, a polar bear burst into flames. Also, he explained that biodiversity was more important than anything else, even religion. This led to a great increase in the number of pandas, blue whales, and Sumatran tigers adopted by Catholics.

Pope and tiger

Pope Francis adopts a rare tiger.

It was also time for the second Sinner of the Family, so that lots of bishops could come to Rome and see which sins they most enjoyed. The bishops voted for their favourite sins, and in the end Cardigan Baldacchino told them they had got it all wrong, and that Pope Francis would have to write a humble Apostolic Expiration called Amorous Letitia, to tell them what they should have said.

Meanwhile, Pope Francis, being a merciful as well as a humble pope, decided that the Church should have a Year of Mercy. This was to be the first of a series of years celebrating the things Pope Francis held sacred, and future ones would be called the Year of Pizza, Year of Football, and Year of Tango.

tango in church

Auditions for the Year of Tango.

In the Year of Mercy, all churches had to have a door called the Door of Mercy for people to enter by if they were feeling merciful. Those who did not feel merciful were allowed to enter by the Window of Cruelty instead.

Pope Francis's reign was known for the custom of using silly logos for all events, because all the sensible logos had already been used. One of his advisers said "Let's use a logo of a two-headed Cyclops on skis - we haven't had that one before, have we?" After checking the records of all Catholic logos used, all the way back to the 1st Century, it was confirmed that nobody had thought of that logo before, not even St John when he wrote his Logos Doctrine. So the logo was adopted, and the Catholic faithful were briefly united in crying for mercy whenever they saw it.

Year of Mercy logo

Mercy! Mercy!

In the next part, we meet Amorous Letitia; also Burke is Dubious, and Fra' Matthew stops Feasting.

Friday, 1 March 2019

The case against Cardinal Pell

We are delighted to include an exclusive interview with Billy Bong, one of the jury who recently convicted Cardinal Pell of sex offences.

Eccles: Now, Billy, how did you get to be on the jury?

Billy Bong

Billy Bong.

Billy: Well, I answered an advert, which said "Jury members wanted for high-profile trial. The successful candidates will have an IQ of 80 or less, be virulently anti-Catholic (if possible, freemasons), and to have had their consciences surgically removed." Unfortunately, I had already missed out on an earlier advert.

Eccles: What was the earlier advert?

Billy: "Story-writing competition. Make up a tale involving Cardinal Pell committing sex abuse. 200 dollars paid for the best fantasy."

Eccles: I see. Now, the original trial resulted in a hung verdict, 10-2 in favour of Pell. Why did things swing round so far for the second trial?

Billy: Well, we knew he must have done something, even if we weren't sure of the details. Think how many comedians use "Catholic = child abuse" as a very very funny joke, even better than the old racial jokes about aboriginals and sheep that we used to love. So what could we do but find him guilty?

Pope and Pell

A sign of bad character: Cardinal Pell argues with the umpire.

Eccles; What about the evidence that he was actually outside the cathedral chatting to the congregation at the time he was supposed to be in the sacristy?

Billy: Look, Catholics believe in miracles, don't they? So it must have been possible.

Eccles: And exposing himself while wearing alb, stole, chasuble, etc. over his trousers?

Billy: This was the prosecution's point entirely. Under his clothes he was completely naked!

Eccles: And the witness not being cross-examined?

Billy: They didn't want to upset him by pointing out that he was either a liar or a lunatic. (They'd had so much trouble with other witness, a junkie who kept changing his mind.) Inspector Plod of the anti-Catholic Task Force ("Flying Plod of the Yard") went to great trouble to write his testimony in green ink, and he didn't want to rewrite it.

Eccles: How about "Thou shalt not bear false witness"?

Billy: Oh yes, oh yes. They warned us that the Catholics would try to confuse things by digging up out-of-date theological arguments.

Aaaarggh!!! Can we stop now??? My brain is giving off steam!!!

Eccles: Mr Bong, thank you very much.

Picnic at Hanging Rock

Picnic at Hanging Rock. Police claim that Cardinal Pell abducted these girls in 1900.

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Brexodus 16 - the 650 ways of leaving EUgypt

Continued from Chapter 15.

1. After her triumph against the hosts of Jacob Gogg-Magogg in the month of December, Maysis said privily to herself, "Thou hast done well in thy battle against the Conservatites, but now cometh a greater challenge."

2. Thus when the new year came, she went to the House of Common People, saying, "Behold a wondrous deal that hath been negotiated by the Pharaoh Juncker after tough discussions with his ministers, Don-ald Ivereigh-Tusk and Michael Bar-nier."

3. "And when they showed me the fruit of their negotiations, I signed at once, for they said there was no need to read it."

May and Juncker

Maysis in EUgypt planneth a Backstab.

4. Thus the House of Common People voted on the deal proposed by the EUgyptians, as follows:

5. "Behold, we have a deal. Will those who think it is slightly silly, shout 'AYE!', and will those who think it is very silly, shout 'NO!'?"

6. And Lo! Maysis lost her vote, for the number of NO voters exceeded the number of AYE voters by eleven score and ten.

7. So Maysis spake out, saying "Shall we try this again with a House of Common People's vote?"

8. But the Corbynites were displeased, saying, "We have no confidence in thee, O Maysis." Thus there was indeed another vote, but this time Maysis escaped her doom.

Bercow and silly tie

Ber-cow the Speaker is given a tie of many colours as a sign of favour.

9. And there were many other votes in the House of Common People, after which it was agreed that there were six hundred and fifty different ways in which the children of Bri-tain might leave EUgypt, but each one was supported by precisely one person.

10. Meanwhile, the EUgyptians said "Let us launch a charm offensive against the people of Bri-tain."

11. So the great prophet Don-ald Ivereigh-Tusk spake out, to warn the people of a special place in Hell for those who wished to leave EUgypt without a deal. For he said unto them, "There shall be a wailing and gnashing of tusks."

12. Then Don-ald was joined in the charm offensive by another prophet, Guy Ver-Jehoshaphat, who said, "I doubt if Lucifer would welcome them, for they would divide Hell."

13. And this was the dawn of a new way of speaking, which is nowadays called diplomacy.

Tusk and Guy

Don-ald and Guy discuss the special places of Hell.

14. However, the story endeth not there. For, as the people of Bri-tain tried to decide whether to leave without a deal, to leave with a bad deal, to remain in EUgypt, to vote again, or indeed to delay the 50th article, there arose a new leader, named Chukhas Ur-money.

15. Now Chukhas was joined by six other Labourites, who spake out to Cor-byn, saying "We wish to remain, so we are going to leave. Also, we do not wish to be confused with the Independence Party, so we shall call ourselves the Independent Party."

16. And soon many others flocked to Chukhas, from the Corbynites and also from the Conservatites.

17. Therefore, those who thought they knew what was going on, now discovered that they did not. And this included Maysis.

To be continued.

Gang of seven

A mighty army ariseth.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Father Rosica is saved

Following accusations of repeated plagiarism, Fr Thomas Rosica of the Satan Lite media corporation has made a statement:

"I totally deny these accusations of plagiarism. I am a writer of great originality, as can be seen by the list of projects I am working on:

Farrell and Rosica

'What a coincidence! I've never heard of McCarrick either!'

1. A 'Rosica is saved' blog, in which I take a spiritually nourishing look at religion. For example, I am currently running a 'World Cup of Bad Catholic Journalists' in which people are invited to decide between Ivereigh, Lamb, Martin, Mickens, Reese, Spadaro, Winters etc. Not me, of course!

2, A new 'Father R's blog', where I also sell 'Fabulous Friar' coffee, and answer QUAERITURs such as 'A highly-revered "Catholic" voice thinks that God may be a homosexual. Can you recommend a good psychiatrist?' Also I RANT occasionally - usually when my anger-management class is cancelled.


'Why do you say that Our Lord wasn't an atheist?'

3. A 'Continuity of Hermeneutics' blog. I got the idea of writing this while taking a holiday in Margate.

4. 'Father Rosica's Liturgical Notes' in which I write very learned things that you won't understand.

5. A book called 'Building a viaduct', in which I explain that 'gay sex' should be encouraged as much as possible. Especially among Jesuits.

6. Another project that occurred to me was to write a piece called Amoral Letitia, or Adultery made simple. That hasn't been done yet, has it?

Rosica and Pope

'Hmm... this reminds me of something, Tom.'

7. I thought I might also take some large chunks of the Bible and Catholic Catechism, and string them together in a Manifesto of Faith. I'm surprised that nobody ever thought of doing that!

8. There are more theological works in the pipeline: The Impersonation of Christ, Confessions of a Priest, Summa Holidaya, the Apocalypse of St Rosie ...

I am grateful to Eccles for allowing me to put the record straight. And so is my brother Bosco."

Friday, 15 February 2019

What does a Camerlengo do?

The purpose of this blog is to provide education as well as spiritual nourishment, and many readers have asked me, "What is a camerlengo? Is it some sort of sexual practice known to Cardinal Coccopalmerio? Is it one of Massimo Faggioli's favourite ice creams? Is it an obscure papal garment like a fanon?"

Well nearly. When a cardinal is widely-respected and trusted, perhaps because he lived with Cardinal McCarrick but never actually met him, he may be appointed to the position of camerlengo.

Tobinn, Farrell, Cupich

Some widely-respected cardinals.

The camerlengo's duties really begin when a Pope dies, and his first task is to check that the Pope is really dead (and not simply resting, like Benedict). "WAKE UP, POPEY, I'VE GOT A NICE CUP OF TEA FOR YOU!" he shouts, perhaps hitting the possibly-deceased with a small hammer called a farrell. Another test that can be applied is to ask the presumed ex-pope some questions, called Dubia, which no pope can refuse to answer.

All right, let's suppose that all tests have failed, and that the Pope is really dead. We have to get a new one! Now democracy isn't necessary the traditional way to go about this - for, remember that when Judas was disgraced, he purchased a field, and fell over, so that his bowels gushed asunder (Acts 1), and it was not long before the lot fell upon Matthias.

But let us suppose that we are going to have a papal conclave. Then the camerlengo has to organize it. He kicks the seminarians out of the cardinals' beds (where applicable), locks up the supplies of drugs, and in general does all he can to make the participating cardinals look like holy princes of the church.


"Come on, Cocco, get that lampshade off your head and try and look holy."

What goes on in the conclave is a solemn secret, and we can only get to hear about it from tweets sent out by the cardinals.

Someone nominated Cupich! LOL

Send in more gin, I can't take much more of this!

The last time the St Gallen Mafia put a horse's head in my bed, but they're being very quiet this time.

All in all, camerlengo is an important position: not exactly acting Pope, but still not one that you want to give to anyone who was in the least tainted by scandal. So we are greatly relieved that Kev the Rev has got it, and the last laugh will be Pope Francis's.

McCarrick and chums

Guess who the new camerlengo is!

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

"Gotcha!" says Cardinal Müller

With a fine piece of trolling, Cardinal Müller, formerly of the CDF, has managed to leave egg on the faces of a variety of commentators, including Cardinal Kasper, Professor Massimo Faggioli, and Austen Ivereigh-Tusk.

Explained Müller to us: "I am on a hit list of cardinals whose every word will be attacked by those whose mouths are bigger than their brains (others on the list include Burke and Sarah). I therefore produced my "Manifesto of Faith", consisting of excerpts from the Bible and the Catholic Catechism (documents with which my critics aren't very familiar), knowing that some people would jump on them."

Müller and Cupich

I was hoping to catch Cupich as well, but so far he hasn't fallen for my trap.

Cardinal Kasper made some interesting comments, likening Müller to Martin Luther (actually, Wally probably thinks this is a compliment), and also moaning about half-truths and blanket statements. ("Jesus said that a man can only have one wife. This is a half-truth, as in fact he can have two!" said Kasper, sticking straws in his hair.)

Another commentator, Philip Pullella, decided that Müller's insistence on Catholic doctrine was a "thinly-veiled attack on the Pope". It is true that the Manifesto starts with "Let not your heart be troubled!” (John 14:1), which is definitely a sentiment that is not too popular in the Vatican. In fact the great Fr Tim Finigan, an old friend of this blog, came up with a brilliant comment that Pullella would no doubt appreciate:

Fr Tim tweet

Elsewhere the great theologian Massimo "Beans" Faggioli was also caught in Müller's web, when he labelled use of the Bible and CCC as "spreading dissent" and wondered whether the CDF could do anything about this scandalous outbreak of Catholic doctrine among cardinals. Moreover, Austen Ivereigh-Tusk (cousin of Donald) referred to "a naked power play", but this may have been because his mind was wandering when he heard Dr Victoria Bateman, the stripping don, speak about Brexit on Radio 4.

Pope and Müller

Well done, you caught that tedious gnome Ivereigh!

Still, we must congratulate Fr James Martin LGBTSJ, who, like Cardinal Cupich, has so far not fallen into Müller's trap of criticising the Bible and CCC. Sometimes it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and leave no doubt about it.

Monday, 4 February 2019

The Magnificent Eight

We have reached the quarter-final stage of the World Cup of Bad Cardinals, and some real giants of the sport have fallen by the wayside. We say a tearful farewell to Baldisseri, Dolan, Schönborn, Wuerl, and several others who keep this blog going by their comic antics.

Still, we have the last eight, and a cracking set of cardinals they are. Looking for drugs, homosexual affairs, embezzlement, or simply persistent and dangerous heresy? Well you won't find them here, just eight papabile princes of the church. (Thank you for writing these comments for me, Fr Spadaro.)

So the draw is as follows:

Kasper v Maradiaga

1. Walter Kasper v Oscar Maradiaga.

RESULT: 64-36. Oscar "The cash of God" Maradiaga played well, but the veteran player Wally Kasper, with a lifetime of heretical experience to call on, won through fairly easily.

Marx v Tagle

2. Reinhard Marx v Luis Tagle.

RESULT: 79-21. Class and experience win over Yoof-ful ambition as Rhino Marx crushes Chico the hipster to reach the semi-finals.

Cupich v Danneels

3. Blase Cupich v Godfried Danneels.

RESULT: 65-35. The glory days of the Sankt Gallen Mafia are over as "Godless" Danneels drops out, beaten by Cupich, the expert on rabbit holes and great pal of Fr James Martin LGBTSJ.

Cocco v Tobin

4. Francesco Coccopalmerio v Joseph Tobin.

RESULT: 69-31. We say "Nighty-night, baby" to Joe Tobin, as Cardinal Cocco snatches the last semi-final place (C will not be asked to take a drugs test).


Fans are already getting very excited at the prospect of the final round of this competition, which begins on February 5th. Remember that some of the cardinals have been training for months, taking advice from such experts in Catholicism as Professor Massimo Faggioli, Fr Thomas Rosica, Fr James Martin LGBTSJ, and Fr Dan Horan of Babylon.

From the street outside Eccles towers we hear all-night cries of "Nighty-night, baby!" and "Who wants some cocaine?" competing with "The money was resting in my account before being moved on" and some humble finger-snapping dances. The eight "barmy armies" (fan clubs) are out in force, but only one cardinal can ultimately win. We are ready to release the Smoke of Satan from the Vatican chimneys when we know who that is!

UPDATE: the semi-finals are:

1. Blase Cupich v Walter Kasper.

RESULT: 50.4-49.6. Every vote counted, and in the end Cupich goes to the abuse summit confident of his place in the final. Wally fought back hard, with attacks on Müller's explanation of Catholic teaching, but in the end sheer vileness triumphed over a lifetime devoted to heresy.

2. Francesco Coccopalmerio v Reinhard Marx.

RESULT: 39-61. Knowing that Pope Francis was cheering him on, Rhino easily crushed the man with the lampshade on his head, and he goes into the final. This week's abuse summit will be an opportunity for the two finalists to show their talents before next week's FINAL.

Cupich and Marx

Now, boys, I want a clean fight! Cupich and Marx discuss their prospects in the final.

UPDATE: the third place playoff:

Francesco Coccopalmerio v Walter Kasper.

RESULT: 28-72. The veteran Kasper won this easily. Cocco's one well-known moment of extreme vice wasn't enough for him to make much impact on a man whose whole life has been devoted to destroying the Catholic Church. Bronze medal for Wally!

The FINAL: Blase Cupich v Reinhard Marx.

RESULT: 61-39. In the end a crushing victory for the Chicago boy: Pope Francis's backing at the abuse summit clearly helped to swing it for him. Marx's own performance was lacklustre, and it almost seems that he didn't want the trophy.

Finally, the medallists.

Thursday, 31 January 2019

King Herod claims to care for children


King Herod the Great

King Herod of Judaea has hit back strongly against claims that his policy of killing all children under the age of two years old could be described as barbarous, inhuman, or simply murderous. In a tweet that set the record straight in no uncertain terms he said:


In previous comments, Herod had explained that his child-killing policy was totally humane, and that the infants in question would be kept comfortable as they went to their deaths.

"I love children," he went on. "Why I have two myself!"

"Four, your Majesty."

"Oh, really? Well, it's hard to keep track of these things."

Although mass murder of children was originally supposed to be "safe, legal and rare", it is now increasingly seen as a policy that saves time and energy for everyone.

Elsewhere in Judaea, Governor Quasimodo has eagerly embraced the policy of caring, loving, considerate and sympathetic infanticide. We attempted to contact High Priest Dolittle for a comment on this, bur he was out to lunch and not expected back for six hours.

Cuomo and Dolan

"Can you remind me? Are we for or against abortion?"

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Fatman and Martin the Boy Wonder

Theme music: Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, Fatman! (arr. Marty Haugen).


The Caped Crusader

Over to Dolan Manor, just behind St Patrick's Cathedral in New York, where millionaire socialite Timothy Dolan is settling down to a light snack of lobster thermidor aux crevettes with a Mornay sauce, garnished with truffle pâté, brandy and a fried egg on top, and spam. His protégé, Jimmy, is using his "Boy's Own Engineering Set" to build a bridge, and painting it in rainbow colours to match the leotard he is wearing.

The phone rings, and Alfred the Butler (any suggestions?) answers it.

Alfred (nonplussed): The Riddler to speak to you on the Fatphone, sir.

Riddler: Here's a good one for you, Fatman! What do you call someone who promotes abortion, but who is still regarded as being of good standing in the Catholic Church? Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

Dolan: He's rung off. Quick - to the Fatcave! Maybe the Fatcomputer can help with this one.


Fatman's arch-enemy has a riddle for him!

In a flash, Dolan puts on his robes and becomes Fatman! Likewise, Jimmy is now Martin the Boy Wonder! They slide down a specially toughened pole, and arrive in the Fatcave!

Fatman: There's a message on the Fatcomputer, Boy Wonder! It says that Governor Cuomo of Godless City has signed a new abortion law. Also I've got 50 people on Twitter asking me why I don't excommunicate him!

Martin: What? And make yourself unpopular? Think of all those parties and dinners you'd miss if you started standing up for Catholic values! Play your cards right, and my friend Stephen Colbert will invite you on his show.

Fatman: Exactly. Well I'll just block these troublemakers on Twitter. Hmm, one's called Eccles. I wonder who that is?

Martin: Look! Here's some real crime, Fatman! A Covington schoolboy has been seen aggressively standing silently wearing a red MAGA hat, while national hero Big Chief Flaming Pants Magua was quietly banging a drum in his face. Magua says "I wanted to scalp um, but he wear red hat. Me, big national Vietnam hero, fire many arrows at Vietcong when only 5 years old."

Nathan Phillips and Nick Sandmann

Excommunicate him for smirking!

Fatman: Sounds bad, Boy Wonder.

Martin: Can we excommunicate him, Fatman? Please, please, please! Bishop John Stowe says that it was Hitler who invented the red hat, and nobody wearing one can possibly be pro-life.

Fatman: Oh, we really shouldn't get involved, Boy Wonder. So, back to the Fatkitchen now! I'm hungry!


A national hero.

Monday, 7 January 2019

The World Cup of Bad Cardinals - the runners

I don't know, I turn on the phone each morning to see what spiritual nourishment the world has to offer me, and every day there's another cardinal disgracing himself. If it isn't Dolan cosying up to Joe Biden, or Napier praising Occasional-Cortex, the pro-abortion dancer with the part-time brain cells, it's Rhino Marx bleating about a change in sexual morality.

Rhino Marx

The forgotten Marx brother.

So, after hitting my head against the wall seven times (Biblical), I decided that the only way for us saved laymen to express our disgust was to run a World Cup of Bad Cardinals.

Now, the World Cup of Bad Hymns was a great success, except that Marty Haugen still hasn't got in touch to thank me for his silver medal. We won't have 64 entrants this time, just a maximum of 32, so we should get through the tournament more quickly. Remember that 1 in 12 of the Disciples was unsaved, and my estimate is that we'll find a similar proportion of the 200+ cardinals in the same position.

Obviously, I'm excluding Pope Francis, out of respect for the office he bears, and let's leave McCarrick to rot in his beach house - he resigned from the College of Cardinals, anyway - but there are plenty more to choose from. Living ones only, though.

McCarrick and chums

"I think we've got this one sewn up!"

Update: these are the 32 fine cardinals who will be competing. Some lesser-known villains were eliminated by lottery, but I think all the superstars are present.

Baldisseri, Becciu, Bertone, Braz de Aviz, Coccopalmerio, Cupich, Danneels, De Kesel, Dew, Dolan, Dziwisz, Errázuriz, Ezzati, Farrell, Gracias, Kasper, Ladaria, Mahony, Maradiaga, Marx, Napier, Nichols, Ouellet, Parolin, Ravasi, Schönborn, Sodano, Tagle, Ticona Porco, Tobin, Woelki, Wuerl.

Yes, yes, I know, this is a highly offensive ad hominem attack on the Princes of the Church, but, in the words of Terry-Thomas:


"You're an absolute shower!"

Oh, and thanks to @Rach_StBern, who "borrowed" it from Fountains Abbey, we even have a prize to hang round the neck of the winning cardinal.

May the worst man win!

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Seven reasons to prefer the Novus Ordo

As a contribution to the debate started by Fr Longenecker's Twelve Things I Like about the Novus Ordo Mass and One Peter Five's Twelve Reasons Not to Prefer the Novus Ordo, let us look at seven aspects in which the Novus Ordo beats the Extraordinary Form hollow.

An opportunity to chat.

It's very dull coming in to an EF Mass just before the start. You will normally find the church in total silence, with people praying, meditating, who knows what? Come to a jolly NO service, and we have none of that! A steady buzz of conversation - gossip, rumours, quarrels, chat about what people did last week, the shops, ... this is how it would have been like in Biblical times, when Jesus could hardly get a word in edgeways because of chatter about the price of fish, the latest rumours about Judas Iscariot's beach house, and the discomfort of the seats at the Last Supper.


Waiting for the priest to arrive.

The vernacular.

Go to an EF Mass and it's all in Latin, and even if you go a hundred times you will never be able to understand a single word of it. But go to Scotland, to France, to Poland, to Samoa, and you will find that everyone speaks Vernacular, as Vatican II told them to! Don't worry, you'll soon learn the Hungarian for "Lead us not into temptation", or "Let us not fall into temptation", or "Oooh, don't tempt me!" or whatever the Pope would like us to say this week.

No kneeling.

Well, there is some kneeling, but you can usually avoid it. After all, the Pope does. All postures are welcome. In France they stand up and block your view at the Elevation of the Host. In the Vatican they sprawl on cushions sniffing cocaine - well, some of them do. You can stand, sit, kneel, hop around on one leg, wave your hands in the air... drawing attention to yourself as a particularly holy person is very popular (I think it started with the Baptists).

Mad organist

Marty Haugen lets rip.

The hymns.

Oh, Gregorian chant is so boring! It may have meaningful words, dignified music, and a general air of sanctity... but, admit it, wouldn't you rather have "I am the Lord of the Dance," or "Gather us in," or even "Shine, Jesus, Shine" - all good quality sources of spiritual nourishment where the words may be heretical, banal, and boring, but they are at least the sort of songs you can sing when totally blotto (even if you may have difficulty when sober)?

Clowns, puppets, and balloons.

These are not a compulsory part of the Novus Ordo Mass (except in parts of Germany and Austria), but they are certainly a popular feature. When did you last see a priest holding up a Kermit the Frog puppet when giving a general Absolution? I think I've made my point.

Liturgical dancing

We also recommend liturgical dancing.

The Grope of Peace.

The Novus Ordo Mass is so tactile. Cuddle your neighbour, pinch her backside, or - for neighbours you aren't so keen on - give him a hearty kick in the ankle. This week's top score at St Tharg's is 36 Signs of Peace - this took brother Bosco about ten minutes to complete. Admittedly, he's now facing charges of assault, grievous bodily harm, and manslaughter (how was he to know that Sister Dominatrix would have a heart attack?) but it's all Biblical, innit?

The Communion.

Kneeling down and receiving on the tongue are so rigid. Sidle up and grab the Host from the priest. Use the standard Vatican II liturgical response "Thanks, Daddy-o" rather than a silent "Amen". Do not cross yourself. Look! As with all these rituals, just do it whichever way you want. God doesn't expect our reverence, our sincerity, or even - these days - that anyone believes in Him. Ask the Bishop!