This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Friday 29 September 2017

The Catholic Bishops' Conference corrects the Pope

Most Holy Father,

With profound grief, we are compelled to address a correction to Your Holiness on account of the propagation of heresies effected by the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia and by other words, deeds and omissions of Your Holiness.

St Michael and the dragon

An English bishop addresses a fraternal correction.

Actually, we didn't want to do this, as we were hoping to stay in your good books long enough to get Vincent Nichols some preferment, and make him a strong candidate for the papacy when the next conclave comes round. The St Pancras Mafia were already standing by to promote his case and throw dirt at Sarah, Tagle, and all the other contenders... However, the time has come to speak out.

So, let's get down to business. Amoris Laetitia simply doesn't go far enough. We bishops are simply not being told whether we should allow people to divorce and re-marry, and then take communion. You need to speak out and say that we should scrap marriage completely: this would be a ``correction" of the New Testament, but worth it, we feel.


They say AL is Thomist and Jerryist, but it seems to have hit you in the face.

We must also take issue with your use of language such as "rigid", "fomenter of coprophagia" and "fundamentalist" to describe those who don't share your modernizing views. THIS IS PATHETIC. Our cardinal comes from Liverpool, the land of Archbishop Warlock, who would have described these b******s as b****y ****-eating b*****s! That's telling them!

Also, some complaints must be made about your evident fondness for Lutherism. Isn't this unfair to our friends in the Church of England (if ever there was one holy, Catholic and apostolic church, then that must be it!) not to mention. Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, etc.?


The answer to Lutherism!

Finally, what about same-sex marriage and abortion? It seems clear to us that you disapprove, which means that your views are indistinguishable from those of that arch-Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg! When he was being attacked by the secular media, certain reactionary bishops such as Egan and Davies, more inspired by the New Testament than the Tablet, went as far as supporting him.

However, the vast majority of us took a more pragmatic view and said ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, following Jesus's words, "Blessed are ye when ye do not offend people, as then ye will not lose your friends!" Nobody is ever going to be sure what we believe, especially when we get Stonewall to write documents for the Catholic Education Service!

Sorry, Holy Father, you've let us down, and if Cormac were alive now he'd be turning in his grave!

Signed: most of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales.

Monday 25 September 2017

How to deal with a filial correction

This is part of our self-help guide, "How to be a good Pope", and it deals with your approach to Correction.

About a year ago you received some "dubia" from senior cardinals, asking you to explain Catholic teaching, with particular reference to your apostolic exhortation "The Joy of Sin". As is traditional when Popes are asked to give leadership to their flock, you ignored the dubia entirely, and left it to your poodles - Spider, Bean, Ivory, and a bunch of ludicrously over-promoted cardinals - to gnaw the ankles of anyone who mentioned them.

Pope with hammer and sickle

Time for some firm government at the Vatican!

Now things are getting more serious, as 62 devout Catholics trouble-makers have written a long letter accusing you of spreading heresy on 7 counts. Your first reaction is one of relief - phew, they left out the other 35 charges - but it is all rather embarrassing.

The dubia issue was settled easily enough, and after a year a couple of the cardinals died mysteriously. Fortunately, you have an alibi. However, getting rid of 62 priests and scholars may not be so easy. Take them on a bus trip over a cliff? Invite them to a party with poisoned cakes? Mmm, we'll have to think about this.

Cardinal murders

Not guilty!

Only one thing to do: issue a new Motu proprio, AD HOMINEM. This entitles people - if they are mates of the Pope - to hurl insults as they wish. The alternative is for us to argue that the letter is in error when it accuses you of being a naughty pope, but you haven't actually got any arguments, have you?

Right, let's attack Dr Joseph Shaw first. He's a Latin Mass junkie, and so is obviously sneering at you because you can't decline "unus-una-unum" (and many of your most notorious Jesuit friends can't decline "sex"). You discard him.

Pope John XXII

Our hero, Pope John XXII. From the days when popes were real popes.

Then there's Deacon Donnelly, a.k.a. Protect the Faith (which turns out to be incompatible with protecting the Pope). He was stamped on a few years ago by Bishop Campbell, and asked to stop blogging and go for a completely voluntary period of rest and reflection, or else. He seems to have escaped his chains. You discard him.

Oh, and Fr John Hunwicke. I'll bet he wrote all the clever bits of the letter. We can't understand the Aramaic jokes on his blog, anyway. You discard him.

To be honest, you haven't read the letter, and you don't intend to read it. And now that you've blocked the Correctio Filialis website from being accessed in the Vatican (thanks for the idea to our dear friend Kim Jong-un!) nobody else will read it either!

Kim Jong-un

"I have received this letter signed by 62 scholars. We know where you live..."

O.K. team, you know what to do. Spider, deploy the sockpuppets. Bean, keep banging on about how you are more intellectual than the gang of 62. Ivory, play a floating role of tweeting odd comments and writing absurd articles for Crux. Get your mates at the Tablet and Fishwrap to help. Summon the cardinals from their LGBT meetings and get them to attack!

But you, Francis, must under no circumstances answer the letter, or even read it.

Thursday 21 September 2017

The Catholics sign a peace treaty

We are very pleased to announce that the warring factions in the Catholic Church (basically the traditionalist/orthodox group and the liberal/modernist wing) have agreed to settle their differences, and sign a peace treaty. This will allow more time for smiting the Protestants, who have been getting off far too lightly recently.

Pope Francis SJ agrees to answer the five Dubia raised by his dear friends Raymond Burke, Walter Brandmüller, and the two more who were casualties in the Great Catholic Wars. He also agrees to stop insulting other Catholics, to keep his mouth shut on aeroplane trips, and to learn Latin once and for all.

the two Ronnies

Argentina, 1991. Fr Bergoglio meets his hero Austen Ivereigh.

Fr James Martin SJ has agreed to stop trolling the Catholic world with lunatic remarks about homosexual marriage being the only moral lifestyle, the Holy Spirit being female, and Mary Magdalene being the first Pope. He will be allowed to continue selling his book about building bridges, although it will be re-catalogued as "Catholic Comedy".

Groucho Marx

No more sniping at Cardinal Marx and his abandonment of Catholicism!

Bishop McElroy of San Diego will apologise for describing his fellow-Catholics as a "cancer", and promise never again to write articles for America while under the influence of Rosica (made with gin, hair restorer and anti-freeze).

Mr Bean

No more jokes about Massimo Faggioli being "Mr Bean"!

Father Thomas Reese's plan, that updates to the liturgy, the catechism and the Bible should be installed automatically, and probably overnight when nobody's looking, will be abandoned. They would require a total reboot of the CatholicTM operating system, and probably introduce infection by the Jesuit virus.

Laurel and Hardy in drag

No more cruel pictures of Fr Martin and Fr Rosica!

Amoris Laetitia will not be withdrawn, but it will become an excommunicable offence ever to refer to it again, either favourably or unfavourably. Admittedly we shall lose all the spiritually nourishing bits about how good it is for married life if the wife cuts the lawn and the husband does the laundry, but these can probably be found in the Sunday newspapers' "Lifestyle" columns.

Colbert poncing around

All today's pictures featured comedians, so, for a change, here's Colbert doing Catholic stuff.

Next week: Tina Beattie, Father John Zuhlsdorf, Jacob Rees-Mogg, and Cardinal Cupich agree: "We all believe the same things really!"

Tuesday 19 September 2017

Everyone who disagrees with me is cancer!

A special guest post from Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, reprinted by kind permission of America magazine, the Jesuits' own journal of spiritual nourishment.

Bishop McElroy

Bishop McElroy receives a certificate listing his merits.

There has been a lot of criticism of my friend Fr "E.L." James (Martin), on account of his new sex book, "Fifty shades of gay". Why, even Cardinals Sarah and Napier have spoken out against him. Still, the less said about that the better, let's consider the ordinary Catholic in the pew. THEY ARE CANCER. Yes, they are. Well, to be fair, some are blackwater fever, others are bubonic plague, and the mildest of them are probably just a runny nose. But YES, they are SICK.

And don't give me any of that "Sober up you loony old coot" stuff. Pope Francis called for diatribe, and that's what you're getting. Diatribe, dialogue, diarrhoea, we gottem all.

Fr James the best-seller

As Fr James says, "The Holy Spirit helped to sell my book!"

God the Father inspired the Old Testament, and God the Son inspired the New Testament. Now God the Holy Spirit (or Pope Francis as he prefers to be known) has given us a third testament - Amoris Laetitia. He has even installed a new Pontifical Institute for Adultery to guide us through this new Catholicism.

Since writing his book about gay sex on bridges, Fr James has been scorned, vilified, mocked, laughed at, and - I regret to say - told in no uncertain terms that he is a screaming heretic. But his books sell, and that's what really matters. Remember that Jesus Christ was very keen on LGBT issues, and all claims that He ever regarded chastity as a virtue are simply BIGOTRY. And those who make them are SMALLPOX.

Fr James etc.

We congratulate Fr James and his partner on their new son (although he is a little undersized).

Can't you spice this up a little, Bishop? Antonio Spadaro says this piece is weak and understated. Ed.

Saturday 9 September 2017

The Pope's Magnum Principium

The Pope has published an apostolic letter (or Motu Proprio for those of a rigid disposition) entitled Magnum Principium. The term means "great principle", so after four years of this remarkable papacy, it has finally been revealed what the Pope's Great Principle is.

Is it: Faith? Hope? Charity? Humility? Mercy? Jesuit fudging? True doctrine (stop sniggering at the back)?

Nothing like Pope Francis, but would probably do just as good a job.

No, it's "I can't be bothered to run the Church myself, and so the Bishops' Conferences - which are already deciding on their own interpretations of Amoris Laetitia - will now be able to have their own Mass translations." Well, we say "translations", but "free variations on a theme in accordance with 'some principles handed on since the time of Vatican II' (???)" is nearer the point.

Over to Father James Martin SJ, the Pope's special adviser on doctrine, and a man with lots of original ideas.

"I'm going for a special Jesuit translation, which will omit the General Confession entirely, since we don't recognise any sins these days. Well, except voting for Trump, ignoring climate change, or refusing to laugh at Steve Colbert's tasteful jokes."

One of Steve Colbert's tasteful jokes.

"Then the Creed will become a free for all, in which the congregation will be encouraged to join when they feel like it, and remain silent over the bits they disagree with (this may be all of it!) We shall also have a few minutes at the end of the Creed for worshippers to add their own new ideas - for example about the Holy Spirit being female, and Mary Magdalene the first pope."

"But the highlight will be the sign of peace, when the Priest - this is too imortant for a Deacon - will invite people to participate with the words 'GIVE US A KISS'. The men in the congregation (for doctrinal reasons women are not welcome here) will be asked to come up and embrace the priest."

Practising for the Sign of Peace.

Others have their own ideas for rewriting the Mass. Many experts in Latin have pointed out that the correct translation of "Et cum spiritu tuo" is NOT "And with your spirit", but "And also with you". Or, more correctly, "Cheers, mate!" So this is likely to change.

And just because two countries speak the same language, that is no reason for them to say the same words. American Catholics (the few who attend Mass) will probably go for the LGBTSJ translation above, while English Catholics (we can't call them Anglo Catholics, unfortunately) will have a form of words known as "Vin-acular" based on the Liverpudlian traditions of Cardinal Nichols. Finally, Australian masses will include an interval for "tinnies", and the final part will be based on the traditional Latin prayer "Saltatio Vindobonensis Cum Matilda" or "Waltzing Matilda".

We live in interesting times, my friends.

"This should last a lifetime, Arthur. Or until some fool changes it again."

Thursday 7 September 2017

Mogg "the wrong type of Catholic"

Criticism of Jacob Rees-Mogg continued to flood in today, after it suddenly became clear - to people who must have spent the last few years in the Burmese jungle or somewhere - that he was the wrong type of Catholic.


"Sorry, leaving dismembered mice on the floor is against my religion."

Said one commentator, Suzanne Moron of the Guardian: "Of course to us modern liberals, the word Catholic is synonymous with bigot, but we might be prepared to tolerate him in public life - say, as a cleaner at the House of Commons - if he would only repudiate his views on marriage and abortion. It's six times now that his wife has failed to do her civic duty and have a termination."

A distant relative, Sadiq Rees-Mohammed, M.P. for New Damascus (formerly the London Borough of Hackington), joined in the criticism. "When I went on the Piers Morgan show and was asked whether I supported the decapitation of infidels and the chucking of gays off the roofs of buildings, I explained that my religious views were a personal matter, and that put an end to the discussion! It would have been an Islamophobic hate crime to press me further!"

death to juice

Sadiq Rees-Mohammed.

Peter Sutcliffe of the British Serial Killers Advisory Service agreed. "This 'pro-life' attitude of Mogg's is frankly, disgusting. When I was active in public life as the Yorkshire Ripper, I never felt that human life was valuable, so why should he? What a bigot!"

Rees-Mogg was defiant today. "Frankly, I'm not keen on stealing, false witness, and adultery, either," he confessed. "This does make me exceptional among MPs, where expenses-fiddling, lying, and extra-marital affairs are rather expected. The Whips keep asking me if I am feeling all right."

lions and Christians

The traditional way of dealing with religious bigots like Rees-Mogg.

Pope Francis was unavailable for comment, but one of his key advisers, Cardinal Cupich, commented: "The last thing the Church needs at this time is Catholics who actually believe in something. I myself have never fallen into that trap! No, give me an atheist, or a Catholic like Piers Morgan, every time!"

Monday 4 September 2017

What was the quality of the service you received?

Thank you for attending divine worship this weekend. Please take the time to fill in the following ecumenical questionnaire, as we are constantly trying to improve the quality of our services.

1. What was the first thing you noticed on arriving at your place of worship?

a) A man high up in the tower shouting "Allahu Akbar!"
b) The jolly ringing of church bells, intermingled with the screams 
of someone who had caught his foot in the bellrope.
c) Hooting and swearing from drivers trying to park their cars.
d) A solemn silence.
e) An axe flying past your head and a cry of "Odin is great!"
Michael Palin the Viking

"Welcome to our humble service of worship. I'm the vicar."

2. Did you have difficult finding a seat?

a) No, as there were only three people present.
b) Yes, but I kicked out old Granny Bannister, and took her place.
c) We do not sit in our church, but meditate while standing on our 
d) No, but a bouncer removed me, hissing "Get out of the bishop's 
e) No, because I was part of the clown procession, and had a reserved 
bath of custard to lie in.
bishop in custard

The liturgical significance of custard has been under-estimated.

3. Which (if any) of the following sacred beings were mentioned during the sermon?

a) Pope Francis.
b) Fr James Martin SJ.
c) Lord Oates, the Quaker Maximus.
d) The crocodile god.
e) Rowan Williams.
f) Donald Trump.
g) The Duchess of Cambridge.
Martinian heresy

"I take as my text the 2000th tweet of St James to the Twitteratians"

4. The sign of peace. What do you do?

a) We don't have it, although we are allowed to smile at our neighbours
if we don't get too excited.
b) As little as possible, but usually one or two people catch me.
c) I embrace as many as I can, and later go round to the houses of 
all the people I missed.
d) I grab my neighbour's hand firmly, and squeeze until he cries 
for mercy.
e) In our church we smoke a pipe of peace.
pipe of peace

No, I don't know, either.

5. What music was there?

a) Gregorian chant.
b) Sankey's Sacred Songs and Solos ("Throw out the lifeline 
across the dark wave; There is a brother whom someone should save").
c) 100 Hymns for Hippies.
d) Something old, tuneful, and spiritually nourishing.
e) The Kevin Mayhew book of Bad Hymns.

"The organist is sick, but Mr Banerjee has agreed to play 'Shine, Jesus, Shine' on the nose-flute instead."

6. What was on offer after the service?

(a) Coffee and Eccles cakes in the church hall.
(b) Gin, toiler cleaner and hair-restorer, chez Anti Moly.
(c) Cold tap water (we are tops for asceticism).
(d) The priest's own-brand spinach wine.
(e) As much liturgical custard as we could drink.
Hogarthian orgy

"More gin, vicar?"

Thank you for completing our questionnaire, and if you have any further comments please keep them to yourself.

Friday 1 September 2017

Latin abuse amongst young people

The history of the problem.

It is hard to believe that, until about 50 years ago, it was considered socially acceptable to get "high" on Latin. For example, Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci, a leading writer of the 19th century, wrote a successful memoir Confessions of a Latin-speaker, in which he admitted that he had been obtaining spiritual experiences through the use of Latin Masses, and even softer drugs such as the Rosary, Veneration, and even simple prayers.

Pope Leo and Bovril

Rumours that Pecci also experimented with Bovril are probably exaggerated.

In the 1960s there was a long-overdue clampdown on Latin, and the Spirit of Vatican II (if not the actual congress itself) drove use of it underground. Of course there were always hippies who continued to indulge in it, and we all remember Woodstock, that great open-air Latin Mass of 1969, featuring such bands as Gloria in Excelsis, Credo, and Agnus Dei.

However, it was generally agreed that the use of Latin Masses could severely cut one's time in Purgatory, and - in Catholic circles at least - spiritual experiences were frowned upon. Too fit in with the Zeitgeist (German for "Spirit of Vatican II"), it was necessary to root ones worship in more secular rituals, such as the Sign of Peace, the use of clowns and puppets, liturgical dancing, and of course hymns that were indistinguishable from pop songs.

Laudato sing song

Laudato sing-songs for tree-huggers!

But there is a problem!

Yes, I was coming to that. Although it is fiercely denied by bishops, priests, school chaplains, and the like, the "yoof" of today are beginning to experiment with Extraordinary Forms once more. A few sample comments from young people whom we interviewed:

"Until I tried the older form, I hadn't realised that Mass was all about God. I thought the highlight was supposed to be the Sign of Peace, as that's the point at which people started getting interested."

"This Gregorian chant is COOL. Can we get Gregory to write some more?"

"Call me 'rigid' if you must, Pope Francis, dude, but I'm hooked!"

girl in mantilla

One of the warning signs of Latin abuse - a mantilla!

What is the solution?

Of course it is the duty of every Catholic to drive the Latin Mass underground. Although that liberal pope, Benedict XVI, made it easier to get access to Latin, there are still many reliable bishops who will tell you, "It's still illegal!" And there are priests who argue "Get lost, there's no demand for an Extraordinary Form Mass. And you're the 50th person I've had to turn away today!"

Make it a thing to be ashamed about. "Yes, your grandparents experimented with such substances - even your ancestors did for hundreds of years - but we modernists know better than they did, just as Pope Francis's Magisterium is better than anything the previous Popes and Doctors of the Church taught!"

No, the only safe way to worship is in Vernacular. So if you're in Swansea it will be Catalan, or if in Barcelona it will be Welsh. Because Vernacular is a very useful language - nearly as important as Italian, the language preferred by great thinkers such as Bergoglio, Spadaro, Faggioli, Coccopalmerio... Whoever wrote anything worth reading in Latin or Greek?

bishops dancing

Hands up, everyone who wants to look "with it"!

It is the "yoof" who are the problem. We invite them to World Yoof Day, where they can sing and dance, celebrating Mass with plastic cups and watching bishops acting like pantomime dames; but they will insist on looking for something deeper.

We're not worried about the older Latin junkies - who cares what they think, and anyway they're going to die off. No, it is the "yoof" that need protecting, and that means "NO LATIN".

Where are the police? Why aren't they doing something? Doesn't it count as a hate crime to use Latin?


Protect our kids, and ban this book!