This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Pope Francis moves to Avignon

January 7th 2017, St Raymond of Penyafort, Patron Saint of Canon Lawyers.

St Raymond of Penyafort

St Raymond of Penyafort

Not one of my favourite saints: for some reason canonists called Raymond tend to upset me. Anyway, at dawn my servant Spadaro (whose duties include a little light cleaning, cooking, and insult-writing, and who feeds the papal sockpuppets) rushed into my humble chambers brandishing a letter from Raymond, Cardinal Burke.

Dear Sir or Madam,

Following your lack of response to our five dubia, we have the honour of informing you that Amoris Laetitia is an heretical document, and you are therefore officially in schism with the Catholic Church. Your title henceforth is Antipope Francis, and your Twitter handle @antipontifex. I enclose a plane ticket to Avignon, where spacious rooms at the Hotel Héretique have been booked for you.

papal palace, Avignon

The Hotel Héretique - Michelin gives it 5 stars.

In due course, we shall be electing a new pope to replace you - with luck it will be me, Pell, or Sarah - and definitely not Cupich, Nichols or Farrell - so please leave the apartments as you would wish to find them. Please make sure that you take Spadaro with you.

Yours ever,

P.S. You passed on five questions. The answers were NO, YES, YES, YES and YES.

"Mutiny!" I cried. "Call the Swiss Guard!"

"They've all resigned," said Spadaro. "All we've got to replace them is Austen Ivereigh in his pyjamas, armed with a garden rake."

Austen Ivereigh

The Antipope's English Guard

"Ivereigh? I remember him. Didn't he write Pope Francis, the Great Dictator? He's remained faithful to me? I'm touched."

Well, it was time to get up, once I had consulted the enneagram to help me decide on my actions: 8: today you will take a long journey, and embark on a new exciting career. Beware a man with the initial R.

Obviously, as an Antipope, I was no longer supposed to wear white, so I put on black vestments, packed a suitcase, and headed for the airport, accompanied by my faithful servants.

Pope Francis

So farewell, then?

Apparently it's not a bad life being an Antipope - I shall still be able to insult Catholic bishops, priests, deacons and worshippers, to attend Lutheran services, and to write Apostolic Anti-Exhortations. Feeling lucky, are we, Burke? We'll see who gets the most attention!


  1. I had a great laugh, seasoned with a pinch of profound sadness. A strange feeling indeed.

  2. Dear sir or madam cracked me up. In fact, the whole thing was genius. You do narf cheer me up dear Eccles. I look forward to ne posts all the time.

  3. The Pope in his Christmas message to the Curia tells us:

    "With the Motu Proprio of 8 August 2013, the Holy See’s Financial Security Committee was established for the prevention and countering of money laundering, the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. This was to bring the IOR and the entire Vatican economic system to the regular adoption of, and fully committed and diligent compliance with, all international legal norms on financial transparency."

    Does this mean that the IOR or Vatican Bank has agreed to stop developing nuclear weapons? Or will Trump have to take the Vatican out?

  4. Sur le pont d’Avignon,
    L’on y danse, l’on y danse,
    Sur le pont d’Avignon
    L’on y danse tout en rond.
    Les scismatiques font comme ça
    Et puis encore comme ça.
    Sur le pont d’Avignon
    L’on y danse tout en rond.

  5. St Raymond of Penaforte also very apposite (besides the prénom) as being second Master General of the Dominicans (after St Dominic). And they had trouble with heretics in the Avignon area long before the Great Schism of the West...
    Btw 'scHismatiques ('hard' c.) And a (more optimistic?) variant: 'l'on y passe, l'on y danse'.