This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Monday, 20 November 2017

Fr James Martin Brown investigates

With apologies to G.K. Chesterton.

Through the quiet streets of Manhattan there walked a short, dull Catholic priest. Nothing about him suggested anything out of the ordinary, unless it was the rainbow-patterned socks that he wore. With him was a chunky, flamboyant man, also dressed unconvincingly as a priest. This was "Flambeau" Rosica, the communications expert whose Lightly Salted media empire had brought him worldwide fame.

James MArtin being scandalous

The Innocence of Father Brown.

The two priests were discussing deep theological questions, and had come to an agreement that if, as the great theologian Spadaro had proved, it was possible to argue that 2+2=5, then many of the conclusions drawn in the Bible must have been wrong.

"It is an impenetrable mystery to me," admitted Flambeau. "How could the Catholic Church have been wrong for 2000 years? It was not until the era of Pope Francis the Great that we realised that the old Doctors of the Church were completely ignorant."

James Martin and the talents

New York's got Talent!

Father Brown thought for a while, and, as they walked the dusty streets, he saw a sign, IGNATIAN GAY BAR. "Let us stop off there for a while," he suggested, "and perhaps build a few bridges."

They plunged into the red-curtained tavern, which was not only cosy, but even luxurious inside. Once seated, Father Brown explained some of the other parables that had been misinterpreted for so long.

"The sower and the seed," he began. "It was always thought that the seed that fell onto fertile soil and grew was somehow the most worthy. But did not the seed that fed the gentle birds have a more sacred destiny? The farmer was clearly a capitalist, trying to exploit the workers, and he probably supported Donald Trump."

Rosica and Cupich

A mystery for Flambeau: how did this man ever become a cardinal?

"Then again, Jesus totally misunderstood the parable of the Good Samaritan. It was the Jesuit who walked past the injured man - stopping only to sell him a copy of his new book - who was the real hero of the story."

"Too true," commented Flambeau, sticking his leg out to trip up a passing waiter and roaring with laughter. "Then there was the Prodigal Son. What a wretch he was, deserting those happy pigs, who wanted him to feed them, and rushing back to stuff himself on fatted calf!"

"Talking of which, why don't you have another plate of fatted calf yourself?" urged Father Brown. "Your chair doesn't seem to be collapsing yet."

"When you practise Ignatian Discernment," he added, "you see all the parables in a new light. Take the rich man and Lazarus, for example. Obviously the villain here is Abraham, who refused to accept the rich man into his bosom. I would never refuse to accept a rich man into my bosom."

They left the tavern, and Flambeau drew Father Brown's attention to a photograph. "Can you explain this?" he asked.

Karen Oliveto

No headscarf?

"It seems that this is Karen Oliveto, a Methodist Minister who accused Jesus of being a 'bigot'" noted Father Brown. "She is apparently a lesbian, so we should make her welcome. However, the Islamic connection is not entirely clear to me..."


  1. The Parable of the Vineyard Workers is another one…. The capitalist landowner paid the same daily wage to everyone, including the geezers who only started their shift at 5pm. So he obviously wasn’t paying the Minimum Wage to the ones who’d been hard at work all day. James Martin is right - Jesus had a bit of a blind spot when it comes to recognising institutional injustice to the poor.

  2. Think you could be on to something here bruvver, with the dynamic duo crime fighting the possibilities for new adventure are endless. Holmes and Watson,Batman and Robin,Bodie and Doyle,Starsky and Hutch,Cagney and Lacey. Yes now there is no such thing as gender the terrible twosome would excel as the fiesty,sassy Cagney and Lacey! I hope this will be a regular feature now? Could also branch out into other tv genre, I was an avid fan of the programme Rosie and Jim when growing up!

  3. In Jim’s brief twitter post there, he has managed to cram in three obvious mistakes in the space of less than fifty words.

    > The Greek word is wrongly transliterated. It should be “talanton” with an “a” in the middle.

    > If a talent was really equivalent to 15 years’ wages or more, that would mean that the first servant, who got five talents, was handed at one go more money than he could have earned in his whole lifetime. The answer, of course, which can be found in any Greek dictionary, is that the primary meaning of talanton is “weight”. Like peso in Spanish, which also means “weight”, talent was simply the name given to many different coins minted in different countries and at different times, and having many different values.

    > Does Jesus really intend us to understand that the “honorable servant” is being handed first prize when he ends up cast into outer darkness where shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth? I don’t think so.

    Must try harder, young Jim. Stay in after school and write out a hundred times, “In future I will be careful not to make so many silly mistakes.”

  4. Having each had 2 beers with the fattened calf, they complained when the tab was for 5.

  5. Father Brown is the love child of Inspecteur Clouseau.
    This could explain a lot .