This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Monday, 16 September 2019

Eight eminent journalists battle it out

Here is the draw for the quarter-finals of the World Cup of Bad Catholic Journalists. Eight superstars are battling it out, and updates to this post will be made as the results come in. Voting starts tomorrow.

1. Thomas Rosica v Antonio Spadaro.

2. Massimo Faggioli v Mark Shea.

3. Christopher Lamb v James Martin.

4. Austen Ivereigh v Michael Sean Winters.

Round 1 weeded out most of the non-entities, leaving mostly people of known power and influence. The carnage in Round 2 was severe: first Dawn the Merciless and the Horan of Babylon were left reeling; then feminism took a knock as Tuna Buttie and Ma Pepsi were sent back into the kitchen.

People's vote

Supporters of Bobby Mickens demand a re-vote.

Comrade Dettloff was then made an unperson, and Ratty Mickens was narrowly cast aside; finally Liz Bruenig, who got into Round 2 by asking her followers to support her, joined pianist extraordinaire "Paderewski" Walford in the bin. There's enough discarded talent there to make the Amazon Synod look orthodox!

Anyway, we look forward to some interesting fights now, with lots of blood on the carpet.

Beverley Racecourse

Place your bets on Martin, Ivereigh, Faggioli, or an outsider!

Monday, 2 September 2019

Pope Francis is stuck in the lift (elevator)

Shortly before issuing a list of new cardinals which exceeds all previous lists in absurdity (a bunch of homosexual activists, left-wing agitators, freaks, gnomes, toads, creeps and weirdos unparalleled since the time when Cupich was given a red hat), Pope Francis was apparently stuck in a lift for 25 minutes. The stress of this experience is maybe what caused him to muddle up two lists he was keeping - one of people to excommunicate and one of people to raise to cardinal.

Pope, lift

"Going down..."

Now, I know that I was seen in the Vatican today, optimistically pushing several lift buttons at once, but I must reassure you that I had nothing to do with Pope Francis's mishap. As in the 2013 Conclave we should thank the Holy Spirit for stepping in.

This is not the first time that the Holy Spirit has given a Pope a warning just as he was about to do something rash. Back in 2000, Pope John-Paul II was trapped in a broom cupboard for hours, just as he was about to issue a list of new cardinals containing the name of Jorge Bergoglio. However, he did not realize that this was a sign from above, and went ahead regardless.

Jean-Paul II, Francis

"No, no, Holy Father, I'm sure it wasn't a sign."

Going further back, Pope John XXIII was trapped in the toilet for six days in 1959, emerging to call the 2nd Vatican Council. Was his incarceration a sign from Heaven that it would bring trouble?

The saintly pope's experiences were commemorated in a song, which later became one of Marty Haugen's greatest hits:

"Oh dear, what can the matter be?
Pope John is stuck in the lavatory.
He has been there from Monday till Saturday.
Nobody knew he was there."
Still, not all mishaps suffered by popes are necessarily warnings that they are about to do something rash. But in the case of Pope Francis, there is little doubt (and he has received too few warnings).

Pope, windy

... and there came a mighty rushing wind...

Friday, 30 August 2019

The Two Popes

A new film "The Two Popes" about Pope Benedict XVI and Jorge Bergoglio (as he was then), is soon to be released. As it will soon be available on the notoriously Catholic-friendly channel Netflix, we know that it will be completely true to the facts, and sympathetic to these two holy gentlemen.

Hopkins and Pryce

Hannibal Lecter stars as Pope Benedict, Elliot Carver as Jorge Bergoglio.

The plot (loosely based on Austen Ivereigh's pot-boiler Pope Francis, the Great Redeeemer) begins with Cardinal Bergoglio paying a humble visit to Pope Benedict in order to reassure him that, when he (PB) decides to retire, he (CB) will be ready to step in and correct all the mistakes that he (PB) has made, as well as the mistakes of all the other popes (P, L, ..., J23, P6, JP1, JP2) who came before him.


Nasty old-fashioned rigid Pope, no longer required.

Benedict offers Bergoglio some liver cooked with fava beans, and a nice glass of chianti, but the cardinal humbly declines the offer and explains his plans to use an encoder obtained by his henchman, cyberterrorist Henry Gupta, to provoke war between China and the UK.

I'm sorry, Austen, we're deleting that bit. You seem to have got the plot confused with The Silence of the Lambs and Tomorrow never dies.

Anyway, more details will be available later, but it seems that the main theological discussion concerns the Beatles, and Bergoglio asks the Pope whether he knows their famous song Emma Bonino. He doesn't.

Other hard-hitting plot lines involve a criticism of Bergoglio's shoes (made from the finest Argentine Amoorish Leatheria), and a general realization from all the characters involved that Pope Benedict is BAD and Jorge Bergoglio is GOOD.


A humble modern cardinal, who would never dram of being Pope.

Monday, 26 August 2019

Let battle commence!

Here's the draw for the World Cup of Bad Catholic Journalists (with the word "journalist" being interpreted rather loosely in some cases). Conveniently, we stopped at 32 nominees, some of whom I had never heard of before; at least they all seem to be scribblers of one kind or another. We start with eight groups of four, from which the top two (decided by a Twitter poll) go through to the next round. Then a similar round to reach the quarter-final knockout stage. Gosh, this is exciting.

Podium of bad cardinals

Remember the World Cup of Bad Cardinals? Cupich; Marx; Kasper.

Journaliste Extraordinaire Round 1 Round 2
John Allen Jr 3 -
Tina Beattie 3 2
Liz Bruenig 6 4
Elena Curti 1 -
Dean Dettloff 8 3
Massimo Faggioli 5 3
Simcha Fisher 3 -
David Gibson 1 -
Dawn Eden Goldstein 2 1
Daniel Horan 4 1
Austen Ivereigh 8 4
Christopher Lamb 7 4
Basil Loftus 8 -
Matt Malone 5 -
James Martin 4 2
Joshua McElwee 4 -
Robert Mickens 7 3
Jeff Mirius 7 -
Jonathan Morris 4 -
Mike O'Loughlin 5 -
Catherine Pepinster 1 2
Philip Pullella 2 -
Thomas Reese 8 -
Ronald Rolheiser 6 -
Thomas Rosica 6 3
Alexander Santora 7 -
Mark Shea 1 1
Antonio Spadaro 3 1
Dario Viganò 2 -
Stephen Walford 5 4
Michael Sean Winters 2 2
Phyllis Zagano 6 -
Podium of bad hymn-writers

And the Bad Hymns? Lord of the Dance; Gather us in; Shine, Jesus, Shine.

Whoever wins is guaranteed the approval of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Tablet and the National Catholic Reporter. Oh, and Father John Zuhlsdorf*.

*I made that bit up.

Of course "bad" can mean whatever you like it to mean - anything from "irritating" through to "wrong on almost every issue". Some - but not all - of the above nominees are really quite pleasant people.

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Satan complains, "I really exist."

The Father of Lies - no, I don't mean a certain New York Jesuit - is an avid reader of this blog (it is part of the eternal torment to which he is condemned); now we are privileged to be the first to publish a statement from him, furiously denying the claims of Fr Arturo Sosa SJ, the Big Cheese of the Jesuits, that he is merely a "symbolic reality".

"After all I've done for mankind, and this includes the Jesuits, in leading them into eternal damnation, it is a great insult to be labelled a mere 'personification of evil'. Think of all I've achieved in the past - tempting Adam and Eve, prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour, making Job's life a misery, the Temptations in the Wilderness, perverting Judas Iscariot (a nice innocent lad until he met me)... Then there's all the influence I've had since then, most recently on my good friends Hitler, Stalin and Mao. Oh and Tony Blair. You'd expect some sort of gratitude, but No! I am reduced to a mere abstraction!"

Satan and Job

"Here's me, smiting Job with boils."

As usual, Mr Satan is not telling the whole story. It is part of the job description of Top Jesuit that you should issue heresy on a regular basis: in Sosa's case, he started well by saying that we could not trust Jesus's words because they weren't spoken into a tape-recorder, and besides, all contemporary videos were made using Betamax not VHS, so are now impossible to watch. Following this up with a denial of the reality of Satan has won Sosa praise from Jesuits worldwide, and guarantees him a second term as president of the Jesuits when the elections come.

Arturo Sosa in plain clothes

A Venezuelan football player (with tape-recorder) gives a Sosa impersonation.

Mr Satan has promised to put Sosa straight on his misconceptions: "I'm expecting to see him soon - we have plenty of Jesuits down here, so he won't feel out of place - and then I can show him which of us is a symbolic reality!"

Friday, 23 August 2019

Cardinal Pell accused of witchcraft

See also The Crimes of Cardinal Pell and the Case against Cardinal Pell.

Following the conviction of Cardinal Pell on the basis of totally unbelievable testimony, the Victorian Kangaroo Court of Appeal has confirmed the verdict by a majority of 2 to 1; that is, Anne Ferguson and Chris Maxwell believed him guilty "beyond all reasonable doubt", while Mark Weinberg disagreed, writing a mere 200 pages expressing one or two reasonable doubts.

The three judges

Spot the man with the functioning brain (R)

The arguments of Ferguson and Maxwell, if accepted, actually imply that Cardinal Pell was guilty of practising witchcraft, or possibly miracles (useful when his cause for canonization comes up).

* Your Eminence, you are accused of bilocation, in that your corporal body was standing outside the cathedral talking to dozens of people, at the same time as it was in the sacristy.

* Cardinal Pell, you are accused of bewitching your vestments, so that you could expose yourself under several layers of heavy clothing, while at the same time attacking your victim.

* Pell, you must have been aided by demons, as the above could only have been managed by someone with four hands.

* Pell, you rotter, you cast a forgetfulness spell, so that the victim did not remember anything of the event until 20 years later, and could not even remember when the events happened, and thereby made it impossible for you to call witnesses to prove that nothing happened.

Mr Bean sleeping

A key witness against Cardinal Pell. Oh, sorry, there weren't any.

* Pell, you complete and utter swine, your real offence is that you are a Catholic, and speak out against same-sex marriage and abortion, which are the pillars of Australian society.

* Pell, you will be damned eternally, because you noticed that the Vatican Bank had been up to some extremely dodgy transactions. Don't expect Pope Francis to help you, therefore!

With all this in mind, we indict Pell on charges of witchcraft, and sentence him to be burnt at the stake.

And this is the reasoned verdict of us, Mad Annie and Bonkers Chris. WEINBERG, WILL YOU SHUT UP?

Phew, Annie, I think we got away with it. Fancy a few tinnies to celebrate?

Monday, 19 August 2019

The World Cup of Bad Catholic Journalists

After the World Cups of Bad Hymns (won by "Lord of the Dance") and Bad Cardinals (Blase Cupich), it is time for the World Cup of Bad Catholic Journalists. The nominations so far are as follows, and before we start in about two weeks from now, we welcome other suggestions. (16 would be a more convenient number than 11, but we'll find a fair way to cope, however many we end up with.)
John Allen Jr
Tina Beattie
Massimo Faggioli
Austen Ivereigh
Christopher Lamb
James Martin
Robert Mickens
Thomas Reese
Thomas Rosica
Antonio Spadaro
Michael Sean Winters
(I'm sure I've missed someone obvious...)

As will be seen, "journalist" can be interpreted rather loosely. Apart from scribbling, most of the people above turn an honest penny by other means as well: boring lectures, trashy biographies, LGBT campaigning, plagiarism, or even - in some cases - moonlighting as Catholic priests!

Here are several qualities you might want to consider when casting your vote:

Martin, devil

Good taste...

Austen bomb

Familiarity with the Bible...

Rosica Wuerl

Knowing all the right people...

Mickens rat

Devotion to the Pope...

Massi drivel

The ability to decide which bits of Catholicism are in fashion this week...

Spadaro 2+2=5

Top marks in logic!

Some ground rules: the nominees don't need to be English-speaking, but some of their contributions must be accessible to the English-speaking world. There are no doubt numerous bad Catholic journalists writing in obscure Amazon dialects, but they must remain in obscurity for the purposes of this World Cup - they will get their moment of glory when the Amazonis Laetitia synod starts. The nominees must at least claim to be Catholic, whatever your private opinion of them ("Who am I to judge?") Bishops and above will not count as journalists, even if they send out monthly letters explaining how wonderful they are.

Nominations can be made by adding a comment to this blog, or by replying to my advert on Twitter.

In all things the infallible decision of the umpire (me) is final.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Catholic found in Poland

It turns out that rumours that the Catholic Church had become extinct - like the Anglican Church - were slightly exaggerated: a rare member of the species Homo Catholicus has been sighted in Poland. Jakub Baryła, a 15-year old boy, was observed in Plock, holding up a crucifix and making characteristic cries of Salve Regina in the face of the local Gay Pride Bore-athon.

Jakub Baryła

A rare sighting of a Catholic.

Said David Attenborough, the veteran expert on endangered species, "Unfortunately, no Catholic priests or bishops have been sighted (unless they were taking part in the march); moreover, we need a breeding pair of Catholics if the species is to continue. Still, there is some hope that further sightings of Catholics will be possible, if climate change has not wiped them all out."

Jakub Baryła under arrest

Police take the Catholic to a sanctuary.

Attempts to find Catholics elsewhere have so far proved inconclusive. For example, scientists are divided over which of the Pontifex Bergoglionis and the Burkeus Raymondus is truly a subspecies of Homo Catholicus (their calls are totally different). Most people agree that the Blaseus Cupichus cannot be regarded as any form of Catholic.

Dolan at parade

Dolanus Crassissimus, sighted at a "gay" parade, but clearly not a Catholic.

Saturday, 10 August 2019

The Dean of Norwich defends herself

The (Anglican) Dean of Norwich, her Holiness the Very Reverend, Sacred and Venerable Minerva Mouse, has defended herself against criticism that installing a helter-skelter into Norwich cathedral was irreverent, blasphemous, bonkers, and Satanic (you choose).

Minnie Mouse

Dean Mouse stands outside her magnificent cathedral.

"In a very real sense - and I know that Bishop Duck agrees with me - spiralling downhill very quickly is a metaphor for the modern Anglican church. But let us not forget the immortal words of Mother Julian of Norwich, author of Rotations of Divine Love, even if she was a Catholic, and therefore a bit too God-obsessed:

He showed me a great tower, ringed with a steep helix, lying in the nave of a cathedral, as it seemed. I looked upon it with the eye of my understanding, and thought, 'What may this be?' And it was answered generally thus, 'It is all that Man will worship in the future.' I marvelled how it might last, for I thought it might suddenly have fallen to nothingness. And I was answered in my understanding: 'It lasts and ever shall, for God loves it.'

All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well. WHEEEEEEE!!!"

Donald Duck

Bishop Duck gives the Blessing.

A survey of members of the Church of England produced the following results:

1. Only 30% believed in God (falling to 5% when it came to the clergy).

2. Only 20% realised that Churches were the House of God, rather than simply funfairs with better architecture.

3. When asked who was the Son of God, only 10% said Jesus. Other responses included Mohammed, Richard Dawkins, and Stephen Fry.

Norwich cathedral (the ancient one) has long been appreciated as a place for religion-lite fun, as the following picture of a dignified prelate shows.

bishop jumping on custard

Bishop of Norwich jumps on a tray of custard (yes, really).

Meanwhile, Dean Mouse has put up a small shed near the old cathedral in which Christian worship can take place. "There will only be room for two or three people at a time, but that should easily be enough!" she explained.

However, as one commentator put it: "I came a long way to see this church, and there wasn't even a coconut shy or dodgem cars! How do they think they will attract pilgrims?"

very small church

The new Norwich cathedral.

Monday, 5 August 2019

Pope Francis re-applies for his job

In line with the brilliant strategy adopted by Archbishop Paglia for reorganizing the pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family in order to hide the fact that Amoris Laetitia is inconsistent with Familiaris Consortio and Veritatis Splendor - sack the president and professors, and make the latter re-apply for their jobs - it has been agreed that natural justice demands a similar purge throughout the Catholic Church.


"You're all fired!"

The first step in this reorganization is for Pope Francis to re-apply for the job of Pope. He has been asked to send in a CV and two testimonials - probably they will be from Austen Ivereigh and Stephen Walford - saying that he is the most suitable person for the job, and an all-round decent guy who is humble, merciful, non-rigid, reliably infallible, and not at all bossy.

The St Gallen Mafia is a little weakened at present, what with the loss of Danneels and Murphy-O'Connor, but old Wally Kasper is still doddering along on two brain cells, and new recruits are already presenting themselves, such as Marx, Cupich, and Maradiaga. The St Gallen Mafiosi can be relied upon to do what they can to make sure that Pope Francis is reappointed; if they succeed, the traditional white smoke will be replaced by the burning of strange Amazonian plants, ordered in by Cardinal Coccopalmerio.

But the purge does not end there. Many priests, bishops and cardinals considered unsuitable for their jobs will also be moved on to other ministries.

Victor Borge

Paglia will go back to his career as a comedian and pianist.

A full list of the sacked staff is not yet available, and will depend on who replaces Pope Francis, should he be unsuccessful in his job application. Fearing that Sarah, Burke, or even Müller will get the top job, some of the more dodgy priests in just-about-good-standing-I-suppose are looking for alternative jobs. Will Fr James Martin become a ballet dancer? Will Bishop Arnold open a hairdressing salon? You read it here first.

Spadaro tweet

Fr Spadaro is expected to retrain as a Maths teacher.

Friday, 2 August 2019

No halo for G.K. Chesterton

The Madness of Peter Doyle, by Saint G.K. Chesterton.

Father Brown always used to say that the strangest case he ever came across was that involving the unaccountable behaviour of a Catholic bishop called Doyle. He encountered that eccentric cleric on a visit to Northampton, an obscure midland town which had mysteriously been designated the seat of a Catholic bishop. Equally mysteriously, Pope Benedict had chosen one Peter Doyle as its bishop, having watched a documentary called "Father Ted", and somehow having been led to believe that young Peter was the son of the devout Mrs Doyle.

Mrs Doyle

Bishop Doyle's mother.

Thus, Father Brown was strolling through the streets of Northampton when his attention was attracted by cries of "We want Gilbert!" and "Down with Doyle!" A large crowd had gathered outside the bishop's house, and Father Brown entered, to observe an elderly cleric jumping up and down on the photograph of a large jovial man and screaming "WE HATES CHESTERTON! WE HATES HIM! WE HATES HIM!"

"I think, sir," said Father Brown, "that I would like to hear why you hate Mr Chesterton. Many people have spoken out in favour of his canonization, which is considered less controversial than those of Oscar Romero and Pope Whose-turn-is-it-this-week of Vatican II."

Quest conference

Bishop Doyle is happier speaking with James Martin at conferences on LGBT issues.

"First, there is no local cult," said the bishop, gulping down a handful of REES-MOGADON tablets ("guaranteed to bring total calm").

"Not even in Beaconsfield, where one can find the grave of Chesterton, which attracts pilgrims on a regular basis?" asked Father Brown. "Just seventy miles from here."

Evidently Bishop Doyle had not heard of Beaconsfield, for he continued his enumeration of the apparent defects in the character of Mr Chesterton.

GKC pilgrimage

Definitely not a pilgrimage. Just a chance meeting at GKC's grave.

"There is no pattern of personal spirituality," continued the bishop.

Father Brown choked slightly, thinking of "Orthodoxy", "The Everlasting Man", "Heretics", "Eugenics and other evils," "St Francis of Assisi", "St Thomas Aquinas", and numerous other writings of spiritual nourishment, as well as G.K.C.'s more personal proselyting on behalf of the Church.

"You are going to play the anti-semitism card next, are you not?" he said. "The man who was condemning the Nazi persecution of Jews as early as 1934. The friend of Weizmann. The encourager of Zionism."

The bishop stared at Father Brown in dismay, as if he might be regretting the huge blunder that he had made.

"I am a priest, Bishop Doyle," said Brown, "and I am ready to hear your confession."

However, things did not conclude as Father Brown had been expecting. Getting to his feet again, Bishop Doyle resumed jumping up and down on the photograph of Chesterton, shouting, "WE HATES HIM! WE HATES HIM! WE WAS RIGHT! WE WAS RIGHT! NASTY NASTY CHESTERTON! WE DOESN'T WANT HIM TO BE A SAINT! WE DOESN'T! WE DOESN'T!"

photo of GKC

The actual photo upon which the famous jump of Bishop Doyle took place.

As Father Brown freely admitted later, this was not one of his most successful cases.

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Meghan says "just two husbands" in order to save the planet

We applaud the promise made by the Duchess of Sussex, wife of Prince Harry (sixth in line to the position of Supreme Governor of the Church of England), that she will limit herself to two husbands in order to save the planet.

Apparently, each extra husband produces 58 tons of carbon dioxide per year (as indeed do wives), which some regard as a bad thing. Having reached her quota of two husbands, the Duchess has promised to stop. It's always easy to say "Oh, just one more!" but the strongly religious must try and resist the temptation to take another spouse (or else they may justify it by reference to Amoris Laetitia, but that's another story).

Van Gogh

Prince Harry backs Meghan's biconjugal pledge.

Indeed, in the Royal Family, although Charles and Anne have married twice, many traditionalists such as Queen Elizabeth, Andrew, Edward, and William, have so far rationed themselves to one dash down the aisle. It's a far cry from the conspicuous wife-consumption of Blessed Henry VIII.

Jetting off on her latest mission of world evangelisation, Meghan plans to meet some of the superstars that she regards as role models for all women; these include Caitlin Jenner, Chelsea Manning, Laverne Cox, etc.

Les Dawson

As seen on the cover of Vague.

Her son, Prince Archie, is now beginning to talk (and, if he takes after his mother, will never stop talking), and we were lucky to obtain an exclusive interview with him.

Eccles: Archie, what do you think of your mother's plans to reduce her carbon footprint and save the universe, by limiting herself to two husbands?

Archie: ER ...

Eccles: Do you feel that she should be influenced by Greta "Little Greenbottle" Thunberg, or should she study the statistical regression techniques used in translating dodgy climate data into worldwide panic?


Eccles; Your Royal Holiness, thank you very much.

Greta Thunberg

"Tis I, Captain Greenbottle, saviour of the world! Waves at her adoring fans. Falls into the sea. Blames climate change."

Monday, 29 July 2019

Anglican church tries a "God" experiment

This summer, the Reverend Francis Heppenstall, Anglican Vicar of Twing, has decided to try something new in order to attract congregations to his church. Instead of touristy gimmicks, he is planning to conduct a new type of service in which Christianity will play a major part.

Rochester Cathedral

Out go the crazy golf courses. In comes God!

The Church of England's main role, since the Reformation, has been to make it easier for people to divorce their wives and, if necessary, to behead them, but it has always tried to focus on FUN as well (after all, Henry VIII was a keen crazy golf player, as well as a sex maniac). That future saint, John Henry Newman, in his Anglican days, published various tracts on "Let's take religion seriously," but in the end he gave up his Anglican mission and became a Catholic instead.

Norwich Cathedral

Out go the helter skelters. Is nothing sacred?

Said Mr Bertram Wooster, a parishioner of Father Heppenstall, "The jolly old Anglican in the pew wants more than just funfairs and circuses; so we have asked old Heppers to liven up things with his forty-five minute sermon on Brotherly Love. That's the sort of thing to give the troops!"

It will be interesting to see whether this new "God" experiment will succeed in attracting the crowds back to Anglicanism. Many have already joined Cardinal Newman in the Catholic Church, where clown Masses, puppet Masses, and LGBT Masses are providing the spiritual nourishment they require. Heppenstall does have the surprising backing of Giles Fraser, the celebrity "loose canon," who is also considering the introduction of hymns and prayers as an alternative to coconut shies and "pin the tail on the donkey." It seems possible, therefore, that this innovation may catch on: we'll keep you informed.

Lichfield Cathedral

An end to lunar gimmicks in our ancient cathedrals?

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

The Catholic case for Nero

From America Magazine, edited by James Martin LGBTSJ.

Following our very popular article The Catholic Case for Communism, we have commissioned Dean Dettloff to write The Catholic Case for Nazism and The Catholic Case for the Rwandan Genocide, which are also bound to go down well with our readers. Today's piece explains why the Emperor Nero was not the villain that is usually claimed, and should certainly be canonized.

Nero as seen in Doctor Who

Nero: statesman, violinist, and LGBT icon.

Nero has had a bad press for his lack of ecumenicalism towards Christians, but we should not hold that against him. His execution of St Peter and St Paul might be interpreted as showing a certain hostility to Catholicism, but modern studies have shown that these Church fathers were greatly over-rated compared with more distinguished theologians such as Hans Küng, Massimo Faggioli, Cardinal Marx, and of course the Holy Father himself. We can be sure that when Nero went to the Pearly Gates, and found St Peter there waiting for him, the two greeted each other as old friends!

Peter and Paul

"Hey, our old mate Nero will be along soon!"

Apart from his controversial habit of putting people to death, Nero was known as a prominent member of the LGBT community, and one would have to be truly homophobic to criticise his incest and his relationship with a trans woman called Sporus. Moreover, his violin-playing was legendary. As Rome burned, he entertained the crowd with a performance of "Shine Jesus, Shine" in which they all joined in with the words "Blaze, Spirit, blaze, Set our hearts on fire!"

No, Nero was a warm-hearted Catholic, of the sort to whom we must build bridges. It is a scandal that people such as he could not preach at Mass.

© America Magazine.

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Brexodus 19 - the return of Bosis

Continued from Chapter 18.

1. So Maysis had vowed that she would no longer lead the children of Bri-tain round in circles, looking for an exit from the land of EUgypt. Thus it became necessary to choose another leader.

May laughing

Maysis raiseth her eyes to Heaven.

2. And ten brave men came forth and said "Let me rule over you."

3. These included names that were well known to the Conservatites, such as Bosis, Jeremiah the Hunter, Michael the Governor, and Sajidiah the secretary of homes; and, noisiest of all, Rorate the mighty walker.

4. This Rorate was wont to walk in the green fields, hoping that he might find people on whom he could drop down his thoughts.

Eccles and Rory

Two pictures of Rorate.

5. But then the candidates disappeared one by one, as in the fabled book of Anima Christi, known as "Ten little Tories", which was known throughout the land of Bri-tain.

6. So finally there remained only Bosis and Jeremiah, and they were to be considered by the whole tribe of Conservatites.

7. Meanwhile, the Pharaoh of EUgypt, known as Juncker, wished to retire in order to spend his declining years with his wine cellar.

8. Thus there stepped forth a new female Pharaoh, Ursula of Lebanon, and she was chosen by means of a mystic process known as democracy. That is, a mighty voice spake out saying: "We proclaim Ursula the Queen of EUgypt. Like it or lump it."

9. And the high council of EUgypt made their decision: three hundred and eighty-three people voted to like the new queen, and three hundred and twenty-seven voted to lump her. And so she was elected.

Juncker and Van Leyen

Pharaoh Juncker offereth the new Queen the Sign of Peace.

10. At last, finally, the tribe of Conservatites decided who should lead them out of the land of EUgypt on the last day of October.

11. And the choice was Bosis.

Boris on zipwire

Bosis descendeth from Heaven. Except that he getteth stuck.

12. Then the people expressed their delight by cheering, hissing, wailing, gnashing their teeth, and uttering angry tweets.

13. And Bosis spake out saying, "Crumbs! I say, chaps! What a lark, eh?" which, being translated means "I shall endeavour to serve you to the best of my humble abilities."

To be continued.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

The CNA and Catholic Herald do a hatchet job on me

I, Professor Massimo Ecclesioli, am a very distinguished professor at the University of Astonvilla, and an expert on history, theology, theological history, historical theology, gelato, theological gelato, and gelatinous history, and of course a pious Catholic who prays to the Spirit of Vatican II every night.

Now, it is true that I wrote a piece in which I claimed that St Peter, St Paul, St Augustine, and St Thomas Aquinas were "devout schismatics," diminishing the authority of Pope Francis by constantly disagreeing with him. They are all siding with Archbishop Viganò, as are Cardinal Burke, Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Chaput, Cardinal Sarah, and Jesus Christ, Himself. They seem to believe that Viganò is basically an honest man: whereas, I, Professor Doctor Austen Ivereigh, Cardinal Cupich, Fr Thomas Rosica, and Cardinal Mr McCarrick all say he is a fiend incarnate.

Chico and Groucho

Prof. "Cakes" Ecclesioli (L).

Anyway, the Catholic News Agency (CNA) did a hit piece on me, telling people what I had written. They didn't even consult me, they just went ahead and published an account of my words. And they claimed that I could not be reached for comment, on the spurious grounds that when they tried to reach me, they failed. These scurrilous allegations were taken up by the Catholic Herald too.

The explanation is simple. After travelling home from Europe, I indulged in a light meal of gelato - banana, raspberry, bacon, onion, lychee, spinach, vanilla, gin, chop suey, mustard, blackcurrant, aspirin, and octopus flavoured ice-cream. (As an aside, when the Amazon Synod leads to the consumption of gelato flavoured with leaves, faggioli beans, piranha fish, and curare, I shall be first in the queue!) Anyway, as a result of my simple meal, I felt rather unwell and slumped under the table. If the CNA had looked there, they could have found me.

I should finish by pointing out that I am the Professor of Catholic Gelato at the University of Villageidiot, and therefore much cleverer than anyone else I have ever met. I rest my case.


Friday, 19 July 2019

Did Vatican II really happen?

It's (roughly) fifty years since the historic mission that changed the way we look at the world, the Vatican II Council (with its famous catch phrase "One small step for a man, one giant leap into the dark for mankind." But did it really happen, or was it staged by actors?

Pope on the Moon

"Rome, we have a problem!" Pope Paul VI surveys the Catholic Church. Or is it an actor?

Some of the arguments suggesting that Vatican II was just a giant hoax focus on claims that 1960s technology just wasn't capable of filling the Catholic Church with moon-walking bishops (technically known as lunatics). The experiment also required turning round the altars (and the priests), devising a new programming language VERNACULAR in place of the age-old LATIN, introducing CLOWN and PUPPET technology, and making the all-powerful KISS of PEACE operational. Controversially, the Vatican II explorers brought back samples of rock (and heavy metal, jazz, also the mineral Danschutte, etc.), which did not resemble anything previously found in the Church.

2001 monkey

Annibale Bugnini explains his liturgical reforms.

Still, the technology developed by the Vatican II mission led to the development of Teflon, used in the production of "non-stick" priests, who thenceforth could get into very dirty situations without anything sticking to them.

Naturally, some of the Vatican II benefits trickled down to non-Roman societies, such as the Lutherans and Anglicans; however in that Cold War era, it was very much "Don't tell the Russians," which is why their Orthodox Church has been largely deprived of the benefits of the Vatican II mission.

Man in the Moon

The Spirit of Vatican II.

This blog tries not to express controversial opinions, but we feel that by and large it is likely that Vatican II *did* take place, although it is unlikely that the astronauts ended up meeting God.