This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

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.


  1. Mark Shea should have gotten 1,000 votes!

  2. Group 3 is the "Group of Death". Every member of that group is a potential winner of the tournament. Very tough to make it out of that group. Glad I'm not an official!

  3. Notable Tournament Absentees, Surprisingly Eliminated During Qualifying Rounds

    Rocco Palmo
    The Anchoress
    Anthony Ruff OSB
    JD Flynn
    Everyone at "Patheos"

    1. Too late now, but they would have been great nominees.

  4. Wonderland Revisited-- Alice was day-dreaming of a world without hidden dossiers when the White Rabbit of Reece rushed through the brambles shouting, “I’m late, I’m late!”

    Alice ran after the Rabbit who zigged and zagged until he disappeared down a rabbit hole.

    Taking a journalist’s leap of faith, Alice was propelled along a long, dark tunnel into a tiny anteroom. After several awkward attempts at shrinking to size, Alice finally found the key to the low door in the wall and wandered into Wonderland.

    At a long table set for afternoon tea were seated some rather odd guests. Alice sat beside the Queen at the head table. An episcopal meeting of some sort seemed imminent.

    “No room!” remarked Bishop Dormouse.

    Austen the March Hare proceeded to ask Alice a riddle: ”How can the Superior Generalisimo de los Jesuitas ‘disappear’ doctrine? To wit: the devil is not an actual fallen angel of evil, but only a Sosa symbol of evil.”

    “Perhaps because...because the Queen said so?”

    At this the Queen fixed her gaze on Alice. “I said nothing dogmatic on the subject of disordered doctrine. I merely ask: Who am I to judge?
    Besides, words mean whatever I want them to mean at the moment. You are an aspiring journalist, so it’s your job to figure out what I mean.”

    Turning to the pack of red cards standing at attention the Queen ordered, “Off with her head!”

    “Time is greater than space,” offered the White Rabbit, looking anxiously at his watch.

    The Mad Hatter of Rosica reiterated: “The Queen is greater than time or space or Tradition or Scripture. She has no disordered attachments whatsoever, other than to Wonderland personnel with disordered attachments.”

    “That is a riddle, indeed,” replied Alice. “Now may I have some tea, please?”

    “No tea,” answered Bishop Dormouse.

    “Then I am leaving this madhouse of Modernist mayhem.”

    “Off with her head,” screamed the Queen once more. At this the pack of red cards swarmed Alice, but she fought free and ran for any door that might lead her back to a pre-Wonderland era where words had meaning, Truth mattered, and tea was served on time.

  5. I'm confused. I thought you said Catholic journalists..?!

  6. Dawn Eden Goldstein is getting my vote after the way she's been going on like a lunatic on Twitter lately.

  7. I am not clear how one votes in this competition??

    1. Sorry, as with the previous world cups, it's by Twitter polls.