This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Monday, 24 June 2013

Sede Vacante

Conspiracy theorists are still arguing over the significance of the "vacant seat", marking the absence of Pope Francis from a concert last week. We asked some of our local bloggers if they could explain this.

Sede vacante

Sede vacante.

Eccles: Apparently, the little girl sitting behind him had asked him to move, as his mitre was blocking her view. This happens to me in the cinema a lot: I'm sitting down to watch an exciting James Bond film and a bishop comes in and sits in front of me. Still, in some dioceses you're lucky if they even wear a dog-collar.

Fulton Sheen

Ven. Fulton Sheen - hearts sank whenever he came into a theatre.

Father X, expert on cannon law: I'm told that Pope Francis took the evening off in order to practise his shooting. It's not widely known but he always packs a pistol whenever he celebrates Mass, just in case a Tablet journalist should walk in. And a good thing too.


Good shooting, Holy Father!

Father TF, hermeneutical expert: No, in fact Pope Francis spent the evening attaching corks to his papal mitre, in readiness for a forthcoming trip to Australia. He was envious of the corking biretta that my parishioners have made for me.

Pope with corks

The Pope prepares to meet Cardinal Pell.

Catherine Pepinster, Tabletista: Pope Benedict XVI would have attended this concert, which featured music by the misogynist dead composer Beethoven - a shabby attempt to revive the sort of music which is totally against the Spirit of Vatican II. Pope Francis, when he discovered that there would be no music by living female composers - such as, er, Sandie Shaw, Lulu, Dusty Springfield and Cilla Black, who appeal to the younger generation - rightly boycotted the concert and spent the evening reading the last 50 issues of the Tablet, which we'd sent him.

Cilla Black

Cilla Black, as modern and relevant as the Tablet.

Damian Thompson, custard expert: Sorry, I'm too cut up about the death of James Gandolfini, surely the most important overweight actor since Orson Welles. I must go and write three more blog posts on the subject. Surely his beatification cannot be far away?

The Sopranos

A scene from The Sopranos.


  1. I am surprised that no-one has guessed the truth. Of course Bp Bergoglio SJ was present at the concert - but just as he rejected the papal apartments for the simplicity of a guesthouse - so he has rejected his fancy seat in the one-and-thruppenies. If you scan the audience, you can see his primark trainers peeping out from behind a pillar. Quite rightly, he has chosen a restricted view seat, and will be donating the surplus to the Tablet Appeal for Distressed Gentlehacks.

  2. Of course, he would have recognised nothing worth reading in the last 50 editions of The Tablet & got through them a couple of hours - about the time of the concert.

  3. Apparently, Cilla was invited but when she insisted on singing "I hate Sunday" and "I wanted to call it off" they turned her down.

  4. The pope went out for a little exorcise.

  5. Well, we have too many empty chairs in this world--we do not need another. Even the poor like classical music, and in one of my favorite movies, The Tree of Wooden Clogs, there is a moving scene of peasants stopping to listen to opera from the Big House.

  6. I sit corrected as it might not be opera but a symphony. Have not seen the movie in 15 years so decided to do so, and pray for our reluctant Pope

  7. It's opera..twelve mins into the film...

    I love this blog!

  8. Dear Sir,
    I think you should show a little more respect for the bishops of the Church. If a bishop in a mitre is blocking your view in the cinema, simply offer it to God and say your rosary. I once sat through an entire showing of the Bunuel film "L'Age d'Or" with five bishops sitting in the row in front of me wearing their mitres. Nobody complained and afterwards I was told by a friend further forward that the film was not worth watching anyway.

    I would also like to point out that some of the comments on your blog are entirely surreal.

    Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells

  9. Hmmm…

    Better an empty chair than an empty suit…er, cassock.