This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Thursday, 16 February 2017

The Apprentice

Welcome to The Apprentice, with me your host, Pope Francis. As you know, previous hosts, such as Donald Trump (USA) and Alan Sugar (UK), were considered to be too charming, meek, mild, and conciliatory, but nobody has ever claimed that of me!

Pope Francis angry

"You're fired!"

So our four contestants are Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Coccopalmerio, Cardinal Napier and Cardinal Schönborn. Your task was to sell the new wonder cleaner Amoris Laetitia. Trials in Argentina, Malta and Germany suggested that it could remove all feelings of guilt by converting those nasty lurking sins into something sweet-smelling. Now, you four contestants, you actually didn't manage to sell the product at all, so what are your explanations?

Burke. I'm afraid I had some reservations about this product, and I even sent you some questions about it. However, you never answered, and so I couldn't find any convincing reasons for people to adopt AL.

Francis. We ask the questions! You're fired! Go to Guam, wherever that may be.


"In order to avoid committing adultery, it is sometimes necessary to commit adultery. But AL will remove the guilt."

Coccopalmerio. Well I wrote an advertising pamphlet for AL, with the slogan. If you can't help having sex, then protect yourself with Amoris Laetitia. This didn't seem to work, and anyway I forgot to turn up for the press conference.

Francis.You're fired, too! Buzz off, you stupidly-named idiot!

Napier. My marketing strategy was to Tweet a blizzard of quotations from AL, in the hope of making people feel good about it.
If you're in a loving relationship, then remember that candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker! (AL 1043).
In a marriage, two's company, but three's a crowd. However, after a period of discernment, you may discover that three is also company. (AL 6666).
Roses are red, violets are blue. The Pope is infallible, unlike you. (AL 9745832).

Francis. A good try, but no good. You're fired too.

Schonborn balloon mass

"Receive a free balloon with every can of AL!"

Schönbörn. I went for the slogan. Swallow Amoris Laetitia! It's Magisterial! You told me that this would work. But it didn't.

Francis. Remember, that if things are successful, I take the credit, and if they're not, you take the blame!

Well, it seems that YOU'RE ALL FIRED. I'd better start appointing some more cardinals.


  1. Parker Brothers has finally addressed the needs of families yearning for nurturing and togetherness. The Saturday Evening At Home (Catholic Edition) version of Monopoly has been released !

    Pick a cardinal, bishop, parish priest, retired pope, deacon, friar, nun, and even wimmin priest as your piece ! Move around the Vatican as you roll the dice... say Mass in the Sistine Chapel, move to the friendly environs of Santa Marta, enjoy a private audience with the pope (complete with luncheon), sleep in a canopy bed designed by Bernini, lurk in the secret archives, tour catacombs, give your very own Wednesday Audience, attend synods, and even give an airplane press conference !
    As you move around the board, you may find that friends and acquaintances re-assign you and send you to remote territories. Or you may receive unexpected windfalls from the Vatican Bank ! Distribute condoms in third world countries ! Celebrate Mass versus polem ! Eat at local trattoria ! Fight the lions at the Coliseum ! Eat fish on Fridays !
    AND Don't forget ...
    The "get out of Confession Free" cards !

    1. Please, lions are to be fought at the'Colosseum'. The 'Coliseum' is a London theatre - no lions, just Tabletistas.

  2. And when you go out tell those immaculate Franciscans to do 90 more push ups and then hit the shower.And,not in malteze,Burky!

  3. Is being sent to Guam similar to being sent to Coventry?

  4. Verily, this was the most amusing thing I read in a long time! Thank you, Mr. Eccles!

  5. This is strange, I was sure Francis knew where Guam was, I recall him fiddling with a globe, putting one finger on Italy, closely examining the opposite side, then landing with the other finger on Guam. He seemed very satisfied, too.

  6. I have to agree with A nonny Mouse. This very funny indeed. As I remember from WWII Guam was a hell-hole which took the Americans quite some time to clean out. No doubt Cardinal Burke will have a similar difficulty. He is an American after all!

  7. I nominate Cardinal Fang.

    Well, things can't get much more ridiculous.

  8. I'm about the only person here to have been to Guam. We flew an RAF VC10 in there (during the Vietnam war)and had to sleep in a massive hangar with the B52 crews ... who came and left at all hours. Hence the saying Cardinal Burke borrowed from the B52s', "Here today, Guam tomorrow".

    Something I learned here (a few posts back): it's against the law to cycle on the pavement. So I'm off to buy a bike ... so I can ride it in the road (Cycleogically sound).

  9. I love this, dear Eccles. Very creative and fun.

  10. It took me a while, but the gesture in the opening photograph is rather , well, either revealing or unfortunate.
    Fortunately, with the creation of the Congregation for the Approval of Papal Images, the moustache has been suppressed......say, has anyone noticed, is there a magisterial Society of the Shaved Moustache ? and the Resistance has also taken to shaving in order to engender confusion ?