This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Friday, 15 May 2015

Britain’s leading lay Catholics

To celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Tablet, and the 25th anniversary of its ceasing to be a Catholic paper, we are printing excerpts from its list of Britain's leading lay Catholics - or, to be more precise, those powerful people who have done so much to make the Catholic church conform to Tablet values.

wicked witch

Hecate Popestrangler, ACTA Sturmbannführerin.

Hecate is the coordinator of the Midsomer branch of ACTA, and she has done more than anyone else to foster dialogue between the bishops and the rebellious laity. Comments about her work include "It's that old bat on the phone again, My Lord," and "Tell her to jump in the lake." A regular columnist for the Tablet and qualified liturgical dance instructor.

Ben Turpin

Adolf Herod, Amnasty International Infanticide Division.

Adolf, a pious Catholic, hides his light under a bushel. So much so that he is single-handedly responsible for changing Amnasty International from an organization that cared for prisoners into one which pushes for abortion. Dr Herod is also an influential member of the Catholic Youth in Asia campaign, which is pressing for a humane death for everyone over the age of 60.


Harriet Cyberman, Secretary of State for Cotton Wool.

Harriet is one of the most powerful Catholics in the country, and is said to have the Prime Minister's ear (obvious joke omitted). A keen proponent of same-sex marriage, equality, diversity, dexterity, elasticity, viscosity and toxicity, Harriet lives in Hampstead with her wife and three test-tube babies. She greatly admires Chris Patten.

Sid Vicious

Professor Sidney Vicious.

Professor Vicious is on our televisions most nights, whether it's as a guest on Strictly Come Chainsaw-Massacring or I'm a psychopath, get me out of here! Whenever the BBC needs someone to explain how Catholics are just like everyone else - and even believe exactly the same things - Professor Vicious, the Regius Professor of Astrology at Myra Hindley University, is there to oblige. His new translation of the Mass, with added expletives, is recommended by the Tablet.


  1. What about Ed Moribund; Harriet Harmchildren; Richard Dimkins and Jimmy Sovile?

  2. For many years, when the BBC in particular wanted the view of the indigenous Catholic laity expressed, they used to wheel out an old boy called Norman St John Stevas. He was a prominent Tory politician, ending up in the House of Lords, barrister, personal friend of the Queen, among other me a snob if you like, but I used to wonder exactly how representative his views (always presented as representative, remember) and interpretations could be of yer actual average Catholic layman or woman. At the very least, it must have meant the average non-Catholic viewer got a skewed impression of the population of the pews. I think of him now pronouncing on the lay reactions to the contraception rules in Humanae Vitae, himself a lifelong practising closet homosexual. He could hardly say, now, that's of no relevance to me, could he?

    1. I too remember Norman S.J.Stevas and indeed he was always presented in the manner you describe Charles. Is he still with us?
      I remember, in particular, finding out that the St. John part of his name is pronounced Sinjon...a bit like Cholmondely being pronounced Chumly. He always came across as being rather precious.

    2. I didn't get where I am today by pronouncing Cholmondely as Chumly. On the other hand, I think Cardinal Marx should be pronounced Vladimir Lenin.

    3. @JARay: No, he died a few years ago, God rest his soul.

      I don't know whom the media approach for Catholic reactions, now, probably Richard Dawkins.

    4. @ FrereRabit: With great respect, I disagree. Remember the French student of the 1960s who carried a banner "Je suis Marxiste, espèce de Groucho."