This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Destruction of the idol Pachabanana

Allies of Pope Francis have been reacting furiously to the news that an art work, "Pachabanana", consisting of a banana taped to the wall, has been eaten.

banana art work

"Hail to thee, Pachabanana!"

Bought by Cardinal Becciu Investments Inc. for $120,000, the Pachabanana idol is a fruit of the recent Amazonian Synod, being part of the indigenous culture of Latin America. At the synod, Pope Francis took part in a service at which the participants worshipped the banana. Its skins have even been exported to the Slipper chapel at Walsingham in England, "to make it more slippery".

The eater of the Pachabanana has been variously described as a "vandal", a "fascist", an "insult to the Virgin Mary" by the usual suspects, and Pope Francis is also said to be annoyed.

man eating banana

Alexander Tschugguel, The desecrator of Pachabanana.

In other news, the Vatican has been spending its "Peter's Pence", donated by the faithful, on making movies. The first one is said to be a porno film about the life of   Fr James Martin, starring Elton John   Elton John, starring Fr James Martin.

It is expected that the Vatican's second film will be "The Pachamama family", the wacky story of a dysfunctional family, consisting of Pachapapa, Pachamama, and the twins Pacha-Austen and Pacha-Dawn. When Pachagranny decides to come and stay, there are hilarious consequences, and Pachamama is pushed into the river!

Thursday, 5 December 2019

The sex life of the Jesuit

We are grateful to Fr James Martin for drawing our attention to a survey which claims that "...same-sex behaviour is bound up in the nature of animal sex. It hasn't had to continually re-evolve: It's always been there."

Fr Jim is of course mentioning this as part of his campaign to get LGBT stuff accepted as normal, natural, not sinful, just as good as heterosexual behaviour, perhaps even better, how dare you boycott our Pride marches, let's make sure children learn about it from an early age, ...you bigots!

So we decided the time had come to write about the sex life of the Jesuit, a creature which evolved comparatively recently from the ape kingdom (1534 or thereabouts), and was known initially for its spiritual exercises, which later evolved into Ignatian yoga.

monkeys

Two Jesuits engaging in Ignatian yoga.

Jesuits are a male-only species, so it is not clear how they manage to breed (possibly, they are born as mutations from other humanoid species). They often live in single-sex communes, and - if we are to believe Fr Jim - they enjoy a perfectly natural sex life.

The dominant male of the pack (sometimes called a pope, superior general, or perhaps bishop) is usually an old man, and he does not normally engage in any activity beyond the uttering of incomprehensible grunts and the worship of strange objects. The younger Jesuits swear an oath of obedience to him, after which they are free to engage in single-sex activities. The more active Jesuits are often engaged in struggles for dominance, and it is said that they bend the youngest members, the seminarians, to their will. Sometimes they carry them off to their lairs (for example, beach houses) in order to practice "discernment" with them.

David Attenborough and monkeys

Natural Historian David Attenborough does the "sign of peace" with a Jesuit.

Jesuits are attracted by bright colours, for example rainbow-themed clothes, but are commonly seen dressed in black. Sometimes they can even be mistaken for human beings, at least until they start talking.

Since this is a family blog, we shall not go into the sordid details of their rituals (no doubt there is a David Attenborough television programme about them), but if we mention the words "accompaniment", "discernment", "spiritual exercise" and "missionary", I think most readers will know what I mean.

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

No more old Catholics to be canonized

A decision has come down from the Vatican that only Catholics inspired by the Spirit of Vatican II will henceforth be eligible for canonization. "We let Newman through the gate, but that's the last one," said a spokesman. "From now on only modernists can become saints. The next one will probably be Cardinal Martini."

The first victim of this new rule is Archbishop Fulton Sheen, who was due to be beatified in a few weeks time, now that his body has been wrested from the pudgy grip of Cardinal Dolan. The USCCB have pointed out that it is almost unheard-of for an American bishop to have lived a life of purity and decency ("We've all got boyfriends," claimed one bishop), and so there must be something nasty in Sheen's history.

Fulton Sheen

Fulton Sheen appears on "What's my line" and writes down his occupation.

Elizabeth the Scalier, also known as the Angriest, who has left Patheticos and now works for Bishop Barron's "Throw our words into the fire" empire, has come up with the suggestion that perhaps Sheen had some homosexual relations in his CV.

It is believed that in a few days time she will have come up with more imaginative speculations - possibly the existence of a beach house in which seminarians were abused. Obvuously, mere homosexual activity is not considered a bar to canonization these days, indeed in some Jesuit circles it is really a sine qua non.

Martini and Baal

No doubts about Cardinal Martini (a.k.a. Baal)!

Monday, 2 December 2019

Pope says that sad people are not Christians

Pope Francis has declared that sad people are not Christians, so let's all be cheerful, guys, and we'll be saved!

Someone (I can't remember who), once said, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." Still, the Holy Father knows best in these matters, and from now on it's laughter all the way!

Pope scowling

The Pope is giving a happy smile, but you may be too sinful to see it.

Some readers will recall that the recent Amazon synod featured some notorious wooden idols, but we can now reveal that they were delivered by mistake. In fact the Vatican had ordered statues of the famous Pollyanna, patron saint of unjustifiable optimism, but... you know... administrative errors... It seemed best to carry on and hope that nobody noticed.

All readers still happy? Got a jolly grin on your face? Excellent!

Dolan laughing

Probably the most Christian person of all.

Now, where were we? Oh yes, requiem masses. It won't do, you know. When people die, we should be happy because they are guaranteed to go to Heaven (unless they have committed some very grave sin, such as turning on the central heating in winter). So, no more of this rigid unChristian "Requiem eternam" stuff, please, and let's all burst out into a chorus of "Happy days are here again!"

Pope Francis's top adviser, Fr James Martin, concurs. "Everyone should be gay!" he says - and you can't get much more authoritative than that!

McCarrick and cronies

Another group of saintly Christians.

Austen Ivereigh also backs the Pope. "Every time I show people my new book on Pope Francis, they burst out laughing!" he says. "I feel that my writing is bringing more people to Christ."

So there you have it. From now on, it's laughter all the way. "Ha, ha, ha, ha, ho, ho, ho, ho, tee hee, tee hee, chuckle, chuckle, chuckle," as the new hymn by Dan Schutte has it.

Santa Claus

Ho ho ho! St Nicholas shows the way.

Thursday, 28 November 2019

ASK FATHER: I utterly reject the Church so how can I remain Pope?

From a reader (J.B.):

QUAERITUR: The Catholic Church is really getting me down. There are so many people who spurn my new initiatives (abandoning the Chinese, introducing the worship of Pachamama, tinkering with the catechism, appointing crazed loonies to the college of cardinals, cosying up to James Martin, dropping the notion of adultery...)

Also, the fraud squad, drugs squad, and vice squad are closing in on all my best mates in Rome. How can I possibly remain Pope? I am seriously thinking of converting to the Anglican church, where nobody would care two hoots about such things.

Pope Francis

"Hmm, I wonder whether Fr E can help?"

Father E responds.

There are several options open to you, where you make slight adjustments in your job conditions. For example, you could declare yourself an antipope and move to Avignon, which has a nice bridge on which people dance and throw idols into the Rhone. Or you could imitate your predecessor Benedict XVI and take early retirement, setting yourself up as a Pope Emeritus with no duties apart from praying and drinking beer. Or perhaps you could stay on as bishop of Rome, and let someone else be Pope.

Benedict and Francis

These seats reserved for Popes Emeriti.

Remember that whereas you are Infallible (but please don't put this to the test!) the Church is Impossible - or at least most of its members are. So don't panic.

You are not totally without friends, you know. There is dear little Austen Ivereigh, the writer of best-selling fiction; Massimo Faggioli, the world's top theologian; Spadaro loves you; and there are others. They want you to continue the reform of the Catholic Church, so that it ends up totally unrecognisable.

"We're giving away a free Pachamama idol with every copy of my book!"

You mustn't be demoralised by the sound of idols splashing into the river, cries of "Hello hello hello, Mr Becciu, could you accompany me to the police station, please?" or silly blogs making jokes about Amoris Laetitia. You could hold out for a few more years yet.

Another thing you could try doing is praying. That's the bit where you kneel down, try and look holy, and think about what you're going to have for dinner. Some people also use it as a way of contacting God, but I don't want to put too much pressure on you at this stage.

Oh, and I did I mention the two routes to salvation? (1) Go to Confession. (2) Buy Mystic Monk Coffee!

Father E.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

"Possession of giant killer bees is sinful," says Pope

Following Pope Francis's comments that the possession of nuclear missiles is sinful, Catholics have rushed to destroy any that they might have at home, beating their swords into ploughshares, and their warheads into highly radioactive idols of Pachamama.

Furthermore, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Boris Johnson, Xi Jinping and other world leaders have promised to decommission their nuclear weapons as soon as possible.

Death Star

The Death Star - unlikely to make it into the catechism.

Said Boris, "Crikey! It's a good job that we're still allowed to use laser death rays, 'Satan bug' killer viruses, deadly nerve gas, and cyanide in the water supply. Otherwise those Russian and Chinese chappies would be all over us!"

It is not clear exactly what the wording of the catechism will be. Possibly the change will be preceded by an apostolic exhortation Armorum Laetitia - the joy of weapons - in which an obscure footnote will explain that those living in sin with nuclear weapons will still be admitted to communion after a process of accompaniment.

Killer bee

A new threat to mankind?

Meanwhile, the Pope is now turning his attention to Giant Killer Bees, which are already banned by the Geneva convention. It would be unthinkable to proscribe nuclear weapons in the catechism, while still allowing such deadly creatures to wipe out the free world (or even the non-free world, for that matter).

Pope Francis of course has no need of weapons of mass destruction. When he took over the Sovereign Order of Malta, it was a bloodless coup, and although Fra' Matthew Festing, in retirement, checks his bed every night for giant spiders, he has so far found none.

Spadaro

Beware the giant killer spidero!

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Justin Welby explains buffer zones

"Hi! I'm Justin, Archbishop of Canterbury, and the rightful heir of St Peter (we try not to mention Henry VIII). I've been asked my opinion about buffer zones!

Well, at first I misunderstood. I thought they were referring to zones where old buffers like me could sit and relax, untroubled by my neighbours praying! In the Anglican Church we call them cathedrals, and they usually have a crazy golf course or helter-skelter to help bring in the customers!

But, no, it actually refers to buffer zones round abortion clinics. My dear friend Juq the Ruppa (memo: check name) is a great fan of these, especially in Ealing, and she certainly doesn't want to see people praying!"

stuffed dummy

"You could say they're doing the wrong thing, you could say they’re doing the right thing, you can say it's their right, you can say that the baby has rights ... uh..."

What Welby really said, script written by his assistant Rev. Enid Waffle.

Political leaders welcomed Welby's views. "You wouldn't think he was one of those God-botherers, would you?" said a prominent Labour MP, K. Herod. His own party has decided to decriminalise all abortions, and is now looking seriously at allowing the possibility of killing all children up to the age of 6, after which they will of course have the vote.

"No, he's very enlightened," agreed E. Nero, a Liberal Democrat MP. "Welby's the sort of sound man that would be welcome in our party, unlike those Christians we chucked out." His party is looking into the possibility of making pregnancy illegal, and - being liberal - only killing children up to the age of 4.

These views of Archbishop Welby may lead to an ecumenical crisis, as Catholics (even Vincent Nichols) are unlikely to participate in ceremonies to bless abortion clinics. However, when did you last hear a Catholic priest - far less, a bishop - denounce abortion from the pulpit? As St Stephen put it: "Hey, guys, I was only joking when I said I believed in Christ. Put those stones down!"

Pope and Welby

Francis: We've dropped the adultery and idolatry commandments. That's as far as we can go now.
Welby: Hold my beer!

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Chick-fil-A starts donating to the Catholic Church

Following pressure from LGBT activists, who have forced their first ever British restaurant (in Reading) to close, Chick-fil-A have surrendered further, and will no longer be giving money to the "anti-gay" Salvation Army and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

However, all is not lost, as in looking around for other Christian organizations that could be worth their support, and which might be found less offensive by the Gay Mafia, Chick-fil-A have stumbled across the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis and James Martin

A top LGBT activist and part-time priest shares a joke with Pope Francis.

"We don't know much about this organization," said their Managing Director, Mr Jack Chick (memo: check this), "because apparently their top man tells them to keep quiet and under no circumstances try to convert people. Still, we see that in the U.S.A. they are very hot on gay rights, and this should please the gay Mafia chaps."

Said Algy Beattie, an activist in the GLAAD Pride Mafia, "This seems like a good choice to us. We have excellent relations with Sweetie Cupich, Nighty-Night Tobin, and James Martin LGBTSJ the famous bridge-builder and organizer of LGBT retreats (know what I mean?) They have assured us that the bits in the Bible condemning homosexual acts are never read out in church these days, and certainly never preached on. Also that fat chap in New York, the Grandmaster of the St Patrick Pride March who hates Fulton Sheen. He backs us too."

And are the English bishops doing their bit for gay rights, and fighting the battle against bigots, such as the now totally discredited St Paul? Of course they are: many dioceses now have LGBT Pride Masses: Clifton, Salford, Northampton, Nottingham, ... the list is fairly predictable really. It is expected that they will insist on Chick-fil-A providing the catering for their regular LGBT activities. That should keep the gay Mafia happy! Well done, lads!

Blasphemy in Salford

Salford. Inevitably.

Saturday, 16 November 2019

New eco-friendly catechism

Plastic

92357 Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents the use of plastic as an act of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "plastic is intrinsically disordered." It is contrary to the natural law. It does not proceed from a genuine love of Mother Nature as shown to us through Pachamama. Under no circumstances can it be approved.

92358 The inclination to use plastic is objectively disordered, but the number of men and women who feel such deep-seated urges is not negligible. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

92359 God in His mercy has provided for us Green Bins, in which to caste away all plastics that may prevent us from approaching Christian perfection. Although some of us are endowed with bins that are blue, or even rainbow-coloured, they too can be seen as blessings unto us.

92360 Many of us are also blessed with bins of another colour; for example, we may have a brown bin into which may be cast all that is biodegradable, that it may be return to Mother Earth as compost. To throw into our brown bin those gifts that are not worthy of it, such as plastics, wooden idols, and glass bottles, is morally inadmissible; wrongdoers must pray and fast, and may only receive forgiveness from a bishop.

© Pope Francis and Cardinal G. Thunberg

bins

Cast away your sins, that ye may be forgiven!

Friday, 15 November 2019

Fr James Martin explains the Bible

Followers of Fr James Martin LGBTSJ have long admired his interpretations of the Bible ("Mary Magdalene was the Church", "Jesus learned from the Canaanite woman", "The Holy Spirit is female") and now at last his thoughts have been collected into a book, "BUILDING A FUDGE". We are pleased to be able to print some extracts here.

Martin tweet

In fact the remaining 9 were off to an LGBT "retreat".

Let's look at the story of Noah's Ark in detail. God had decided to drown most of the human race, as they were guilty of homophobia, insensitivity of the needs of migrants, and a refusal to take part in the Ignatian Yoga sessions organized by Fr Noah SJ.

The interesting part of this story begins when the waters were receding, and Noah decided to send out a dove from the ark. We can see this dove as a refugee seeking a new life, and the first time it went out it came back, rejected, possibly because it was an LGBT dove. The next time, the dove returned with an olive leaf, showing that the olive tree community were trying to build bridges with it. Finally the dove did not return. And we all know what happened next: God set a rainbow in the sky to symbolise the fact that He approves of LGBT sex.

Noah's Ark and rainbow

The LGBT message could hardly be clearer!

Let's move on a bit to the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the Book of Daniel. Why were they thrown into the burning fiery furnace? Was it because they refused to serve the gods of Nebuchadnezzar and worship the golden image he set up? This doesn't sound very likely, does it? Would Pope Francis SJ throw Mr Alexander Tschugguel into a burning fiery furnace, just because he was disrespectful to the idol of Pachamama? Well, actually, he probably would, the Holy Father has quite a temper (trust me, I am a great friend of his). Still, in this case there was obviously more behind the story.

Jesuit scholars reckon that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were probably leaders of the local LGBT community. The fact that God "built a bridge" towards them by sparing them from the intense fires simply proves my case. They were the marginalised, the despised, the rejected, but in the end they triumphed.

Incidentally, putting people into burning fiery furnaces has now been condemned by Pope Francis, as it produces harmful CO2 emissions. See the new Catholic Catechism for details.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego

"When we come out we can sell our story to the National Catholic Reporter!"

Finally, a story from Maccabees. There were seven brothers, and they were threatened with tortures if they did not renounce their faith and eat pigs' flesh, which was against their traditional teaching. Quite a tough assignment, similar to the persecution I received when I was heckled in Baltimore! Still, the story has a happy ending, as they all agreed "These are my principles, but if you don't like them I have others" and tucked into bacon sandwiches.

Of course the Bible has an account that says that all seven were put to death in hideous agony (skin torn off, fried in a pan etc.) but this is almost certainly a translation error. When reading the Bible, always ignore the inconvenient bits. That's what I do!

Seven dwarves

"It was all a misunderstanding!" The seven brothers celebrate.

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Ten years on - Pope Cupich on Inculturation

Inculturation: A two-way street

November 9th, 2029

As all Catholics will know, following the conclave in which I was elected Pope, and took the title Pope Francis II (thanks, Austen!) we decided to hold a Nile Synod, to celebrate the beliefs of ancient Egypt and see how they could be integrated into the Catholic faith.

But an incident occurred that outraged many people. Early one morning, two people removed from the Church of St. Mary in Traspontina statues that were used in the opening ceremonies of the synod - and threw them into the Tiber River.

Set idol

Vandals thought this idol was inappropriate in a church!

The artwork from Egypt represented the god Set, or Sutekh, the god of chaos, fire, deserts, trickery, storms, envy, disorder, and violence, who symbolised for the indigenous people the bond that humanity has with "Mother Hell", and her high priest, who is variously known as Satan, Pluto, Hades, Orcus, Sauron, Osiris, Mictlantecuhtli, and Ivereigh. As Cardinal James Martin has pointed out, we must build bridges with Hell, and attempt to cross them.

St John Henry Newman, canonized ten years ago now, pointed out that the Church has always incorporated pagan elements into its traditions. "Employing slave labour (nowadays known as altar servers), burying its rulers in splendid pyramids, torturing people under the Inquisition, all are of pagan origin, and sanctified by their adoption into the church."

Pyramid and sphinx

The Humble Tomb of Pope Francis I. The sphinx represents the unanswered riddle of the Dubia.

Let's admit that the statues originate from a religious culture that is pre-Christian or considered "pagan." What is the church’s approach as it engages such cultures? Should we regard them as "primitive", "evil", or "heathen"? Or should we learn from them and absorb them into our own worship of Whoever-it-is?

During my years serving as the bishop in western South Dakota, I learned a great deal from the Lakota people. Their habit of doing war dances, scalping their enemies, and firing arrows into passers-by brought a cultural enrichment to my life, and a better understanding of Catholic teaching. These Lakotans understand time and eternity much better than we do - or at least, much better than I do.

Our tradition and my own experiences have taught me that our approach to other cultures always must be done with humility, but also curiosity. A passage from the book of Matthew springs to mind here: "Flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word." Enough said!

Pope Francis II (and no jokes about my being in de Nile!)

World cup podium

Winner of the World Cup of Bad Cardinals 2019.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

The toxic tradition of the Latin Mass

An edited version of a National Catholic Reporter piece by Zita Ballinger Fletcher.

One culture within the Catholic Church needing major reform is that surrounding the practice of the Latin Mass.

Hitler

A typical devotee of the Latin Mass.

Even the name reeks of dishonesty. Some people call it in the Tridentine Mass, but I looked in my Big Girl's Atlas of the World and there is no country called Tridentia. No, the language is definitely Latin. As far as I can ascertain, nobody used Latin at Mass until 2007. If speaking American was good enough for Columbus, it's good enough for me!

I come from a strong Catholic family. We used to go to Mass regularly - sometimes as much as twice a year - and of course we didn't use Latin. EVERYONE understands American provided that you speak loudly enough, and that includes God! If He exists, of course... Still I decided to attend one of these Extraordinarily Formal Masses, to see what the fuss was about.

It should be obvious to everyone that Latin was the language spoken by Nero, i.e., the language of oppression. It's no coincidence that Latin Mass devotees like to pull the wings off butterflies.*

*Probably.

Indeed, it's fair to say that Latin Mass congregations are all basically fascist, racist, and LITERALLY HITLER. They weren't actually wearing swastikas when I attended, but you could see that they probably would when nobody was looking. I heard a rumour that Trump goes to Latin Masses in secret, so there you are.

And, phew! It is so sexist. The men don't wear skirts and mantillas, but many of the women do! In an attempt to fit in, I bought a special rainbow mantilla from James Martin Enterprises, but I got some funny looks when I wore it. Also, for some reason black is the preferred colour, not a jolly scarlet. Except for the men...

Cardinal Burke in full dress

I wanted to dress like this, but they advised me not to.

Now let me describe the service in detail. The priest didn't smile at me once, unlike my own priest Father Doris SJ (he's looking into the possibility of transitioning, and why not?). The Catholic fascist priest kept using a "liturgy" rather than providing the clowns and puppets that we expect in the modern Church. I clutched my Pachamama doll and sobbed.

Before I went to the Mass they told me that a rosary was a very popular accessory to carry. I thought they meant roses, so I brought in a huge bunch of chrysanthemums and waved it at the priest's back (he rudely refused to face me). It turns out they meant a dangerous-looking chain made of beads. I'll bet they use them for garrotting anyone who puts a foot wrong.

rosary

A rosary. Scary-looking, isn't it?

The people attending the Latin Mass kept referring to someone called Christ - unknown to me, although I am a good modern Catholic. They even had a prayer attributed to him, rather than some solid wisdom from the works of Pope Francis. My spiritual director told me later that Christ was an important figure in the pre-Vatican II Church, but his words were never recorded with a tape-recorder, so they could not be trusted.

Worst of all, the priest forgot to anounce the Hug of Peace in the Mass. I went up to him while he was gabbling away at the altar, nudged him, said, "You've forgotten the most important part of the service!" and gave him a cuddle. He said "Retro Satanas" which I think means "Hugs and kisses" and turned his back on me.

At this stage in the Mass, we usually have a liturgical dance. But everyone looked at me when I stood up and did the can-can while the priest was saying HOC EST something. Nobody joined in, although some did make face-palm gestures, so I suppose that may be the Tridentine equivalent.

Pope Benedict, face-palm

A typical reaction to my liturgical can-can.

And what's all this Gregorian chant stuff? You can't dance to it, at least not something lively. Get Gregory to write something new, I say, or else ask Marty Haugen and his mates to oblige!

I went up to receive the Lord's Din-dins, as we call it in my usual Church. The priest refused to put it into my handbag so I could take it away, and insisted on cramming it into my mouth! Also, I was expected to kneel at an altar rail, installed specially as a symbol of hate and oppression, as must be obvious to all of us.

Anyway, I think I've said enough for you to realise that I found the whole Latin Mass oppressive, sexist, racist, homophobic, Nazi, culturally imperialistic, alt-right, clericalist, rigid, and limited to narrow-minded rituals. STOP IT AT ONCE, I SAY!

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Welcome to Pagan Voices!

My dear friend Austen Ivereigh and I have decided to start a new organization, Pagan Voices. The object of our team will be to improve the Pagan Church's representation in the media, above all in news programmes and debates. Expect to see us on many radio and television programmes in future, where we are certain to make a big impression on bishops and broadcasters alike.

Pachamama logo

Our new logo, the pregnant Pachamama idol.

The founding of our organization is a direct response to the bad publicity that the recent Pachamama Synod received in the Catholic media - many people labelling it as "pagan" without fully understanding the spiritual nourishment obtainable from pagan beliefs. Austen and I meet regularly to say prayers to the great Mother Earth Goddess, to kiss the soil, and to talk to the trees. Today my colleague received an offer of £10 million from a Nigerian who wants to borrow his bank account. If that doesn't prove that Pachamama answers our prayers, then I'm just a useless lump of wood drifting down the Tiber!

So far we have not yet received an answer from Pope Francis to our request that he become a sponsor of Pagan Voices. Although he was present when Our Lady Pachamama was honoured, we fear that he may use the same excuse that Jeremy Corbyn did when spotted participating in a wreath-laying ceremony for terrorists: "I was present, but I don’t think I was actually involved."

Paganism with Pope Francis

Pope Francis is not yet a fully-confirmed member of our Church.

Still, Austen has already begun work on the third and last volume of his Pope Francis trilogy, "Pope Francis, the great pagan," which should be out in time for Christmas 2020.

That's it really. If anyone wants to become a "Pagan Voices" spokesman, contact Austen, and he will book you onto his classes, where you will learn to speak in a deep mystical voice, throwing out all the standard catchphrases abour Mother Nature, Laudato Si', and the Great Pregnant Earth Goddess who will give birth to new Redeemer (or so Austen tells me).

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Joe Bidet is denied Communion

It is reported that Senator Joe Bidet, best known to British readers as the man who was so desperate that he plagiarised the speeches of Neil Kinnock (silver medallist in the General Elections of 1987, 1992, forced to resign from the European Commission in 1999) has been denied Communion a second time - this time by Fr James Martin LGBTSJ.

Said Fr Jim, "Obviously Joe's passionate support for abortion, which after all is only the mass murder of children in the womb, would not be enough for him to be considered as bringing scandal on Church, promoting evil, and in an way making him the sort of person who needs to repent of his evil ways before presenting himself for Communion. No, his conduct is far worse in that he was seen using a plastic straw, in clear contravention of the teaching in Laudato Si' by my dear friend Pope Francis."

Biden groping

Joe Bidet consoles himself by chewing on a young lady's hair.

Bidet himself is shocked at his rejection by Sunny Jim, and was said tonight to be considering his position. Could he really stand for the Presidency of the United States, in competition with such holy figures as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, when he had been publicly declared - by one of the leading Catholic teachers of our generation - to be living in a state of sin? So what if Bernie sleeps in a coffin and drinks the blood of virgins, or Elizabeth likes to scalp passers-by? Compared with Joe's plastic sins, these are trivial hobbies.

Martin's latest rubbish

James Martin himself is hoping to build bridges to Bidet: he has been praying hard to Pachamama that Joe's heart will be softened and that he will destroy his vast collection of plastic straws (in an ecologically sound manner). We can but hope that Bidet will do this, and be welcomed back as a Catholic in good standing. And nuts to the dead kids.

Monday, 28 October 2019

What ho, James!

With apologies to P.G. Wodehouse.

Regular readers of these chronicles will know that six years ago, my Uncle Cormac, tired of seeing me lounging around all day, said "Bergie! It's time you got a proper job, so we're arranging for you to become Pope. You'll enjoy it - the Cardinals Club is just like the Drones Club."

Unfortunately being Pope isn't just a matter of saying prayers and looking humble, although that's part of it, and I kept getting into scrapes. For example, my Aunt Dahlia, who used to run a lady's magazine called Milady's Boudoir, asked me to dash off a piece on "How to be a great lover". Since I am Pope, I gave it a Latin title, Amoris Laetitia, and cobbled together a few tips from the works of D.H. Lawrence, Casanova, and Bingo Little's wife Rosie M. Banks, the writer of romantic novels.

However, the critics panned it. Indeed old "Beau Brummell" Burke of the Cardinals Club got together with some mates to send me some thorny questions about the article. Luckily the letter was taken away by "Sniffer" Cocco, who said something about dropping a line, although I hadn't really thought of him as a great letter-writer.

Pope and Martin

James takes charge.

Recently my luck changed, and James entered my employment, as manservant, valet, spiritual adviser, and physical trainer. The story starts with another of my failed literary ventures, which was originally intended as a jolly children's story about a water-rat, a mole, a badger and a toad, until I realised that this had already been done. So I threw half the pages away and renamed the rest Laudato Si'.

Some time after the publication of Laudato Si', I got a call from "Baldy" Baldisseri of the Cardinals Club explaining that he was organizing a synod, and perhaps I would like to attend. "We're all dressing as Amazonians, but you can come as you are, Bergie, if you don't have a costume. Bring a bottle!"

At that time, James and I were having a slight disagreement. James had been trying to add a touch of colour to my usual white suit - "A rainbow cummerbund would suit you very well, sir, and show that you are hoping to build bridges." However, on this occasion I asserted my authority, and James retired in high dudgeon, telling me that "He who fights and runs away will live to fight another day. Demosthenes."

I had never heard of his pal Demosthenes: probably he's one of those New York Jesuits that James knows intimately. Still, I had won that round.

Pope and Martin again

Bergie and James discuss Demosthenes.

Anyway, I went along to Baldy's synod, and was slightly surprised to see everyone bowing to an ugly-looking wooden statue. James was there serving drinks, and I asked him what the statue was. "I could not say, sir," he replied. "Mr Ivereigh is telling people that it is Our Lady of the Amazon, but he also maintains that it represents Miss Madeline Bassett. Her disciples believe that the stars are God's daisy chain, that rabbits are gnomes in attendance on the Fairy Queen, and that every time a fairy blows its wee nose a baby is born."

"Is that really orthodox Catholic doctrine, James? I'm a bit rusty on it."

"I fear not, sir, although it is one of the aims of the synod to get these teachings accepted as infallible by the Church."

"Hey, I know all about this. When I took over from Uncle Ben, he told me, 'You are allowed to make infallible statements, Bergie, but you're such a numbskull that I really wouldn't advise it.'"

"Quite so, sir."

Pachamama wild

The cabaret.

I thoroughly enjoyed the party, but the next day, when James shimmered in with the papers, I could see that I was in a dreadful fix, and it would need all James's ingenuity to help me extricate myself. The headlines read:

BERGOGLIO WORSHIPS IDOL OF MADELINE BASSETT. (Catholic Herald).

SYNOD IS PROCEEDING VERY WELL. (Tablet)

OHHH, MY BRAIN HURTS. (Austen Ivereigh for Crux.)

To be continued (?)

Saturday, 26 October 2019

Sherlock Holmes and the Pachamama affair

I have described elsewhere how my friend Sherlock Holmes had on an earlier occasion been consulted by the Holy Father in order to track down the mysterious Marcantonio Colonna. One October day we were summoned again to the the papal presence in order to investigate the Crime of the Century.

Lavender Hill mob

"Right, Zuhlsdorf and Voris will keep us covered, while Donnelly and Taylor Marshall knock off the idols. We'll meet at the Tiber."

After offering us a humble glass of indigenous Amazon water, Pope Francis explained the problem to us. "Mr Holmes, only you can help us. Last night thieves broke into the Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina, removed four idols of the Blessed Pachamama (here the Holy Father knelt down and kissed the ground) and threw them into the Tiber."

At this point I was so shocked that I sipped at my indigenous drink and immediately felt a sharp pain in my tongue. Removing the piranha fish that had been swimming in the glass of Amazon water, I coughed a few times, and listened while the Successor of St Peter gave us our instructions.

"Do you not have replacement idols?" asked Holmes. "I saw traces of Brazilian sawdust on the floor when I came in, which suggest that an idol-making factory is somewhere nearby. I have written a monograph classifying six hundred varieties of sawdust, and these fragments clearly came from the deadly Hummes tree of Brazil."

"Oh yes, we have a whole shed full of the idols," explained Francis. "We shall be sending one to every parish in the world. But it is important for the prestige of the Synod that we recover the missing idols and place them in St Peter's Basilica."

Pachamama idol

Coming soon to every Catholic church!

We went into the garden, and I remarked to Holmes, "That's a very strange-looking garden-gnome standing on top of the compost-heap. Or is it another pagan idol?"

"I think not, Watson," replied my friend. "One can see that it is moving its lips."

As we approached, we could hear the gnome talking to himself. "Hail Pachamama, Our Lady of the Tiber! Those fascist, alt-right, racist, anti-semitic, Hitlerite, conservative, neo-Nazi, fascist, Brexiting, cat-torturing, thieving, baby-snatching, Telegraph-reading, criminal fascists have committed the Worst Crime in the World! But I will be avenged on the whole pack of you, or my name isn't Austen Ivereigh the Caped Crusader!"

We promptly turned round and walked away.

diving suit

Massimo Faggioli joins the hunt for the missing idols.

Holmes and I went down to the Tiber bridge from which Pachamama had received her early bath - now renamed St Pachamama's Bridge - and looked for clues. Would the idols have sunk into the mud, or would they be drifting out to sea, like a small flotilla, wending their way back to the shores of South America? There were no clues, and the crime seemed to be motiveless. What Catholic could possibly object to the demotion of the Trinity, the Virgin Mary and the saints, and their replacement by a smelly old lump of wood? Only the worst extremist Genghis Khan-following fascist sedevacantists, as little Austen might put it.

bowing to Pachamama

Bowing to Pachamama. Catholic worship at its best.

After a detailed search of the neighbourhood, Holmes and I finally stumbled across a quaint Italian shop, which advertised "LITURGICAL SUPPLIES. Puppets, statuettes, idols, and dolls. All your Catholic needs supplied here." Disguising ourselves as indigenous Amazonians (those feathers really tickled), we went in and asked to see something "spiritually nourishing". There, sitting on a shelf, were four muddy idols, which were clearly the missing Pachamamas.

"I do not wish my name to appear in this case," said Holmes. "Let us alert Inspector Ploddo of the Flying Squad, and allow him to take the credit for this discovery."

And so it was. Following Inspector Ploddo's advice, the Pachamama idols appeared in a place of honour in St Peter's, the following Sunday. Inspector Ploddo was there, ready to arrest anyone seen trying to liberate them. Indeed, the Holy Father had organized a "Bring your own idol for blessing" service, to which I took along my own ten-foot statue of Moloch.

Moloch

Blessed by Pope Francis.

Holmes was not present. Bored by the whole affair, he had retired to his chamber to inject himself with another 7 per cent solution of Coccopalmerio.

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Mordor Synod going well so far

After two weeks of the long-awaited Mordor Synod, Pope Saruman ("the man in white") has declared himself "very happy" with the development of doctrine that has been taking place.

Saruman had invited various religious leaders from the wilds of Mordor, where Catholic priests are almost unknown, to take part and let the Church benefit from the spiritual wisdom of the orcs.

Saruman

Pope Saruman with his "stang".

Debate is still going on about the ordination of orcs, who at least have never been known to marry, and the question of genociding elves remains open.

In an ecumenical service in Rome, Pope Saruman led a ceremony of devotion to a strange idol, positively identified by Austen Wormtongue as St Peter, although malicious commentators have identified it as the infamous Gollumama.

Gollum

Gollumama, or possibly St Peter the fisherman.

Some critics, such as Cardinal Gandalf and Fr Odo Baggins, have condemned the Synod in outspoken language, saying, "By and large, all things considered, a devotion to Sauron may be seen as inconsistent with some Catholic beliefs, and, although we would not go so far as saying that it was in any way wrong, we would ask Catholics to regard it with a certain amount of suspicion. On the other hand... In a very real sense..." That's telling them!

Meanwhile, Fr James Radagast SJ has come to the conclusion that Gollumama is "probably gay", and so he is delighted with the devotions.

Mordor

Mordor. The future inspiration for the Catholic Church?

Monday, 14 October 2019

Giving advice to St John Henry Newman

A revised version of an old post, to celebrate the canonization of JHN.

As a change from "Bad hymns," we like to invite in some older hymn-writers, to tell them where they went wrong. Today we welcome St John Henry Newman, author of hymns such as Lead, kindly Light, and Praise to the Holiest in the height, which are hardly ever sung in really hip churches these days. Now, why is that?

Newman

St John Henry Newman - where did he go wrong?

E: Welcome, John, and congratulations on your Canonization - I was really rooting for you. Now, your first hymn starts:

Lead, kindly Light, amid th'encircling gloom, lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home; lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.
Not very snappy, is it? I suppose you never used to play the guitar, did you? Or shake the tambourine?

JHN: That's true, Eccles, I did try to introduce these to the Birmingham Oratory, but the traddies wouldn't have it. So how can I bring my hymn up to date?

E: Well, taking the tune of Walk in the Light, how about rewriting it as:

Lead, lead, Kindly Li-ight,
Lead, lead, Kindly Li-ight,
Lead, lead, Kindly Li-ight,
Lead on, as I'm far from home!

Holmes and Watson

Watson, the night is dark and we are far from home.

JHN: Yes, I think that would work. So Verse 2 could be:

Keep, keep Thou my fee-eet,
Keep, keep Thou my fee-eet,
Keep, keep Thou my fee-eet,
One step's the right thing for me!
E: You're learning quickly, John. This is the sort of hymn that Catholic congregations are singing these days. None of your flowery language!

JHN: Can we do something about Praise to the Holiest in the height, Eccles? It comes from my poem The Dream of Gerontius.

Gerontius

Gerontius, catching up on some sleep.

E: Gerontius? I suppose it's too late to give him a more with-it name? The Dream of Dave, maybe? Well, let's see how it starts:

Praise to the Holiest in the height,
And in the depth be praise;
In all His words most wonderful,
Most sure in all His ways.
E: I think the problem here, John, is that there are at least four different ideas in that verse. And later on you get very involved in sin and redemption, and all that sort of Jesus-stuff, whereas modern congregations should be singing about how happy they are.

JHN: Yes, I think I'm getting the hang of this now. Could I use the tune of "Follow me, follow me?"

When we're up in the heights, or we feel a little blue,
Oh we like to praise our holy holy Friend,
For He sorted us out, yes He did, for me and you,
So we're saved, yes we're saved, and that's the end. 

Chorus: Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, 
praise the holy holy Lord... (ad libitum)

up in the heights

When we're up in the heights, or we feel a little blue...

E: Very good, John. You got through the main points of your hymn much more quickly that time, didn't you?

JHN: Thanks for your wise advice, Eccles. Now I see how real hymn-writers work.

E: Oh, by the way this "Cor ad cor loquitur" motto is a bit rigid. How about "Cor, strike a kindly light"?