This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Friday, 13 May 2016

Pope to ask CDF about the history of trolling

Pope Francis has said that the historical role of trolls in the Catholic Church needs to be clarified, and he will ask the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith what is known.

The Pope told a meeting - not held on an aeroplane, for reasons unexplained - that the people described as trolls in the New Testament were mostly interested in inventing new interpretations of scripture, proposing new doctrine, and harassing the faithful.

Laurel and Hardy

Fr James Martin and Fr Thomas Rosica demonstrate what deaconesses might look like.

In the Acts of the Apostles, there is an explicit mention of trolls, as follows:

1. And there came unto Paul a troll, whose name was James, saying "Let us hear women preach in church."

2. "For then they can tell us their experiences during the Mass."

3. "For would it not be more fun to hear from Tina the Batty about her holiday in Corinth and her unusual ailments, than from Peter, with his perpetual droning on about Christ's teaching?"

4. Then Paul said, "No, actually, it would not. Do not be silly."

5. And James cried out, "Woe is me, for I have unleashed a torrent of misogyny!"

6. But Paul replied, "Actually, nearly all the women here seem to agree with me. Perchance they are misogynists too?"

History of trolls

The role of the troll in Church history is well-documented.

In 2001, the International Theological Commission, which advises the CDF, concluded that trolls in history were not normally allowed to serve as priests. Their usual function was to assist at baptisms, by hiding under bridges and jumping out at people.

Although some exceptions have slipped through, trolls are still generally forbidden from serving as priests in the Catholic Church. In extreme cases, they are silenced and never heard of again - as in the case of Tony Flannery (see his articles in Trolls and Trollmen and the Tablet, his speech to the Ballydancer Peat Farmers, and his latest book This is my final word on the subject until tomorrow).

Although Pope Francis's Jesuit training means that he is programmed never to give a straight answer to any question, commentators are not expecting Catholic teaching on trolls to change.

Fr Martin gets cross

A distinguished theologian threatens his enemies with mercy.


  1. The Presbyterians were ahead of the curve on this - they’ve always had Moderators. So when a troll pipes up “Calvinism is slavery! Free booze for all!” he gets banned from the kirkblog before causing any distress/inevitably hurt feelings/outrage to your average kilt-wearing porridge-eater in the pews.

  2. Oh dearie, dearie me, this is about deaconesses, isn't it? Again. Yes - AGAIN. There have been many studies of this in past years, I'm surprised the Holy Father has to ask the CDF about that. I know Argentina is a long way away (it's not even in the Eurovision Song Contest, is it?) but surely one or two have been translated into Spanish?

    This whole brouhaha, or shenanigan, reminds me of badgers. You see, the agribusiness lobby and the Min of Ag would dearly love to see badgers totally eliminated from existence, (and indeed everything else living except GM crops and factory farms - so hygenic and profitable) so they keep commissioning "studies" to prove that badgers are the transmitter of the cause of TB in cattle.

    And every time, despite the killing of thousands of Meles meles over the years, the studies come back inconclusive, results disputed. But they keep on doing the studies - why? In the hope that, one day, they will either find the evidence that supports what they want to do, or that everyone will get so bored of the dispute that they'll let it through on the nod.

    1. It sounds similar to the insistence on continuing to study embryonic stem cells. Not one successful use of them has emerged, while using adult stem cells has given promising results -- but let's ignore that and keep trying to use embryonic cells, because someday we may find something, and it will create a new market for aborted babies' body parts.