This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Demon complains about being silenced

Judaea, AD 30.

The celebrity demon Nitram, who was scheduled to possess the soul of Mr Rusay, a local pastor, has complained about the actions of "that rad-trad, far-right Jesus", who has cancelled his speaking engagement and sent him down to the pits of Hell.

demon in Lake of Fire

"All I wanted to do was build bridges."

Nitram, a prominent Demoncrat supporter who has publicly stated "Don't believe what they say about the Last Trump," is well known for his outspoken views on religion. His speaking engagement, occupying the soul of Mr Rusay, would have allowed him to put out a stream of blasphemy and heresy. Following an online petition (anyone know what this is? Some sort of prayer? St Mark doesn't say) Jesus was called in to cancel this engagement.

However, all is not lost, as Nitram's talk on "Why Jesus was a great sinner until he met the Canaanite woman, but that's not a problem" has been rescheduled for the Lake of Fire Lecture Theatre, where he expects a warm welcome.

casting out demons

Begone to the Tablet!

Supporters of Nitram, including H'gierevi of Crux and Legion of the National Catholic Reporter, have also complained about far-right rad-trad campaigns designed to reinforce Christian teaching. The debate for the soul of Catholicism continues.

Tim Kaine goes to Confession

This probably breaks several of the rules about the secrecy of the confessional, but we must take the risk. The penitent may have been a different senator, with a different priest, but the story is the same.

Senator Tim Kaine: Father, bless me blah blah blah, I can't be expected to remember the right form of words, can I? I'm a busy man.

Bishop Knestout of Richmond, VA (for it is he): Of course not, your importantship. Still, it's good to see you, and I am honoured to receive your confession in person, especially as I know you are incapable of sin.

When the Confession doesn't have any really meaty bits.

Tim: Yes, I wouldn't have come to Confession unless I knew that someone of the rank of bishop would be available.

Knestout: Now, how can I help you?

Tim: Well it's hard for me to think of any really interesting sins. I did make a rude noise during the State of the Union address. Also, I knocked over an old blind lady who was blocking my way this morning, but that's perfectly normal, isn't it?

Knestout: Totally normal, your wonderfulness.

Tim: Oh, and I chewed gum and spat it out during Mass.

Knestout: You're not being totally honest here, are you?

Tim: True. That was 3 years ago, and I confess it every time. I've not actually been to Mass recently.

Knestout: It seems to me that you're a typical modern Catholic. Keen on same-sex marriage and abortion, I see. Nothing else?

Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton

Tim Kaine with an unidentified friend.

Tim: Um, well suppose, hypothetically, that I voted against the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, admitting that I saw no problem at all with the idea that children should be tortured, dismembered, and ripped screaming from the womb, with their corpses thrown into a bin marked "biological waste"?

Knestout: Well, technically, you'd be excommunicated and I should announce it publicly. Meanwhile, you would need to do a penance which involved wearing a sign saying "I'M A SCUMBAG" round your neck for the rest of your life. Still...

Tim: Still?

Knestout: Look, I won't mention it, if you don't. I absolve you from your sins blah blah blah (now you've got me doing it!)

Tim: Thanks, padre. EXIT.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Pope Francis announces a cultural revolution

In his latest document Gaudeamus Igitur, our great Chairman Francis has announced a "cultural revolution" in pontifical universities. Thousands of capitalist running-dog theologians will be purged, and the rest sent out to the people's farms to plant rice.

Pope and Mao swimming

Our chairman, in excellent health, seen here swimming in the Tiber with some friends.

Members of the ruling Jesuit party applauded Chairman Francis's latest "great leap forward", condemning the "paper tigers" of traditional Catholicism. This follows the notorious "long march" (in fact a long aeroplane journey) towards a new Catholicism.

Naturally the Chairman's supporters have been enthusiastically waving their little red books: these contain the thoughts of Chairman Francis, including his new translation of the "capitalist" Lord's Prayer, and his new "people's" Beatitudes.

little red book

The Thoughts of Chairman Francis.

Francis has promised to "let a hundred flowers" bloom, each symbolizing a new change in Church teaching. Critics of the regime have now largely disappeared, as "reactionary" party bishops have been sidelined and replaced by state-approved functionaries.

Sometimes, there has not been enough spineless people to go round. The Chairman's latest innovation is to replace them with wobbly blancmanges, believing (rightly) that nobody will be able to tell the difference.

Monty Python blancmange

A typical Francis-appointed cardinal (with modernist crozier).

Sunday, 28 January 2018

I stand by Fr James Martin SJ!

Today's big question is the following: if someone is demonically possessed, should we stop them from speaking in church? Fr James Martin SJ has received another ban, this time from Our Lady of Lourdes Church, in the Diocese of Metuchen, NJ, and it all seems dreadfully unfair. Luckily the talk will still go ahead, probably at the sewage farm in French Town, NJ, the most appropriate venue they could find.

Justice for Jimmy

Standing by our most famous alt-Jesuit.

Contrast that cruelty with today's Gospel, where Our Lord met a man possessed by an unclean spirit. Actually, the man's teaching was less controversial than Fr Jim's stuff: for example, he said, "I know who You are: the Holy One of God!" Not something you'd expect Fr Jim to say. Of course, St Mark may have missed out some details: perhaps the possessed man was also telling anyone who would listen that the Holy Spirit was female, or that Jesus should go and chat to a Canaanite woman to find out what His real mission was. You can't mention every detail.

The point is that Jesus didn't try to shut him up, or move him to another venue, he simply used dialogue, and built bridges with the man. "Be quiet! Come out of him!" was the formula. The demon left the man, and went into a herd of Jesuits grazing nearby, who rushed down the hill and - I'm sorry, I seem to have turned over two pages at once.

Martin awaiting exorcism

Be quiet! Come out of him!

So, being known for our mercy, we stand by Fr Jim. Probably with a megaphone, so that we can shout COME OUT OF HIM! whenever the great man starts to speak.

We should note that Fr Jim blames his downfall on a far-right website named "Tradition, Family and Property." You have to watch out for these far-right fascists, in their black shirts (or shorts), shouting "What do we want? Tradition! Family! Property!" when what they should have asked for was "Modernism! LGBT relations! Ruin!" Yes, again Martin hits the nail on the head.

Spode and Wooster

Fr Spode of the Black Shorts tells off Fr James Martin.

We are also told that "another far-right online site that traffics in hate and is similarly obsessed with homosexuality" is Church Militant. Obsessed with homosexuality, unlike Fr James Martin SJ, you notice. The picture below, of its leading light, Michael Voris, shows the depths of shame and degradation to which Church Militant has sunk.

Voris and Eccles cake

In a shameless act of right-wing hatred, Voris eats an Eccles cake.

Remember that Fr James Martin SJ is an adviser to Pope Francis, and so, by association, is mostly infallible. Of course he is.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Trump criticised over award to Francis

The "Holy Father" of the Republican Church, Pope Donald, has been severely criticised by pious Republicans over his award to President Francis of the Vatican State.

"No, it's not chocolates. Guess again."

When the leaders met in May last year, Donald gave Francis various gifts, including the works of Martin Luther King ("I know you admire Martin Luther") and a bronze sculpture named Rising Above ("I've kept the receipt, so you can exchange it if you don't like it").

However, criticism in the Republican Church - the religion with the strongest pro-life credentials - is mounting. This is because Francis is known to be distinctly weak on this issue - he is a friend of Emma Bonino and Lilianne Ploumen - and gifts from Donald to Francis might be interpreted as saying that Pope Donald approves of President Francis's views.

The "other" church in America, the Democrats, is of course much less interested in pro-life issues, and although it is severely Protestant ("No Donaldry!"), it has not yet condemned Pope Donald for his award to President Francis, except in the sense of "Whatever Donald does is wrong."

Spin-doctors at the Washican have stressed that the gifts to Francis were "purely diplomatic protocol" and do not imply any endorsement of him. "In fact the award was actually meant as a slight," said one cardinal. "Can you really imagine President Francis sitting by the fireside of an evening reading the works of Martin Luther King, if there is football on the telly? And the sculpture is just going to get in the way."

Rising above. "Francis has already tripped over it three times."

Indeed, given that Francis gave Pope Donald a copy of his famous work Laudato Si', it is hard to be sure who was being slighted.

Friday, 26 January 2018

The Pope Francis book of vegetables

Everyone should explore the Pope Francis Lexicon, in which a bunch of oddballs, alt-Catholics, freaks, heretics, Protestants, loonies and "insightful contributors" each write on one-word themes favoured by the Pope. Readers may expect articles on Alzheimer's, Coprophagy, and neo-Pelagianism (all terms favoured by the Holy Father), but instead they will find Curia, Dignity, and Gossip, to pick three at random.

Pope Francis lexicon

I'm still cracking up over "Insightful contributors".

However there is now a new book out, which promises to be both bodily and spiritually nourishing. It's the Pope Francis book of vegetables, in which insightful contributors write about the vegetables that have influenced the Pope's thought.

We only have space for three excerpts.

ASPARAGUS, by Tina Beattie.

Asparagus to most of us is a phallic symbol, which typifies the misogynistic hegemony of the Vatican. The Mass is an act of homosexual intercourse, and who can eat asparagus without being reminded of this? Although Pope Francis has done a lot to modernize the Catholic Church, his gynophobia will be seen as a blot on his rule. "Tina, can you do the flower arranging next Sunday?" they say to me, when what they should be saying is "Tina, can you celebrate Mass for us, drop the bit about God, and explain to us why the whole point of Catholicism is women's rights?" Asparagus!! I hate it!!


Human nourishing, human flourishing, ... whatever.

BEANS, by Massimo Faggioli.

Although my main diet is "gelato", or ice-cream, eminent professors of theology cannot live by ice-cream alone, and so my incredibly large brain is often fuelled by a plate of beans. Runner beans, broad beans, baked beans, kidney beans... all these help me understand the way that the Catholic Church has been moving, ever since it was founded in 1965. You will observe that the right-wing fundamentalist extremists who disagree with me hardly ever eat platefuls of beans, and it may be this that explains their spiritual blindness. Pope Francis is a man who looks to the future, and realises that the past never happened. The future is beans, not has-beans (an intellectual's little joke there!)

baked beans

The 57 varieties, replacing the 10 commandments.

POTATOES, by James Martin.

The word "potato" is often used as a homophobic slur against the LGBT movement, because all words are. Still, many modern theologians tell me that Jesus was very fond of potatoes, and that the "bread" of the Last Supper is a mistranslation for "fries". But back to more important things, namely, the need for all of us to embrace homosexuals, especially in church. Pope Francis has appointed me as his special adviser on potatoes, gay issues, and building bridges - and I have been asked to keep an eye open for new interpretations we can put on the Bible - and it will not be long before we have a gay pope!


Three potatoes of the same sex in a loving relationship.

For more in-depth articles, including Cupich on Spinach, Radcliffe on Radishes, and Ivereigh on Turnips, see the book.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

A guest post from Peter Hitchens (age 11)

In skool we have been studdying the CATHLIC MATERS under Queen Elizzabeth, who was CHURCH OF ENGGLAND cheers cheers, and not a nasty Cathlic like her sister BLODDY MARRY. Mr CRANNMER our histry teecher told us to go and read the "orthoritative text" on the refformation, which is 1066 and all that. This tells us that queen elizzabeth was a GOOD THING and was known as GOOD QUEEN BESS, especially by all the people she had executted.

hitchens tweet

The book is jolly exciting, as it hav lots of bludshed in it, and people being hung, drawn and quatered cheers. I asked mr crannmer if we could do a skool play with fotherington-tomas in the roll of edmund campoin, but he said no, hitchens, fotherington-tomas may be a cathlic but you must show MERCY. This is wot he calls being ECUMENICKLE chiz chiz. I discard him.

We hav also been reeding fox's book of maters, which explanes that all the angliccans that died were HEROES and all the cathlics were traitors. Who would have thort that religoin could do that my dere?

molesworth man trap

The hitchens-peason anti-cathlic trapp.

Anyway, in brief the story is that all cathlics were giulty of TREESON, because POP PUIS V in ROM said that GOOD QUEEN BESS was a HERETTIC and not SAVED and shuold not be the QUEEN. So it was ILLEGAL to be a cathlic preist, and also to go to MASS. In fact it was probabbly ILLEGAL to beleive in God, becuase I asked MR WELLBY the skool chaplin, and he says that the traditoin of ATHIESM in the church of enggland is very strong even to this day.

Margaret Clitherow

This is MAGARET CLITHEROE who was a secret agent for POP PUIS chiz.

We also studdied the MATERDOM of magaret clitheroe, who was a sort of MARTYR HARI spy for the POP and spent her time sheltering cathlic preists rather than doing the PATROITIC THING and handing them over to be hung, drawn and quatered. She was killed by having HEAVY WIEGHTS squashing her, which was a GOOD THING and made everyone VERY HAPPY.

Well thats all ive got time for now, but you can lern more about the GOLDEN AGE of RELIGOIN on my twitter account or the MALE ON SUNDAY.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Pope appoints a new leader for China

In return for Pope Francis's generous gesture in allowing the Chinese government to sack validly ordained Catholic bishops and appoint its own rather dodgy nominees (the "Henry VIII" option), Xi Jinping has agreed to step down as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, President of the People's Republic of China, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission (also, Lord High Everything Else), to allow the Holy Father to appoint his own nominee.


Fa-go Li*, tipped as the new President.

*Chinese for "bean shoots", number 47 on the menu.

It has been agreed that nobody in holy orders will be allowed to take up the post, and so those eminent Chinese Par-o Lin, Ro-si Ca, Spa-da Ro, and Ji-ma Tin (among others) are excluded from this prestigious post. Among the Chinese laymen available, it seems that Fa-go Li and I-va Ree will fit in best with the Communist ethos required.

Meanwhile Cardinal Zen has admitted that he is in fact a Buddhist and not a Catholic at all. The faithful were becoming suspicious when in Masses he always began with "If the Lord is with thee, it is Zen. But if the Lord is not with thee, that is Zen too," and moved on to the "One hand clap" of peace. Since many leading members of the Catholic Church are in fact Lutherans, and Vincent Nichols is a Hindu, this has not come as any great shock.

Last Supper

It began as a "set meal for 13" but then...

The power struggle between those sinister Chinese, Fa-go Li and I-va Ree, for the supreme leadership is likely to be furious, and we may expect to see bloodshed before a decision is taken. Little Bo-Bi Mik was also expected to throw his hat in the ring, but since he is currently very very cross with Pope Francis about what happened in Chile, it is unlikely that Pope Francis will back him.


Support I-va Ree, he's got a proper Chinese suit!

Meanwhile, Tee-na Bee, Catholicism's leading laywoman (well, after that Plou-men woman), is furious that she is not being considered for high office. But let's face it, Tee-na, women just don't get the jobs they deserve!

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Pope Francis goes into orbit

It has long been realised that Pope Francis is a little bored with Planet Earth, and does most of his good work (e.g. developing new Catholic doctrine, weddings, funerals, mass-ordination of journalists to the priesthood, etc.) while flying in the PopeJet. The fact that he is 35,000 feet above most of his flock gives him a "buzz" as well as an air of authority.

The time has now come for him to leave terra firma entirely. The first plan was for him to fly round the world for ever in the PopeJet, but this would require regular in-flight refuelling. So the only reasonable answer is for Pope Francis to be the first Pope in Space!

"I now pronounce you Man and Wife - whoever you are!"

There has been much talk about making space travel available to all - well, to all who can afford it - mainly from Richard Branson, who hasn't even managed to make train travel available to all. The Catholic Church is anxious to cash in on the Virgin brand, for obvious reasons, and the Pope has agreed to perform "the sacrament of your choice" for anyone who turns up at the PopeStation.

The papal flight to Chile was very productive, for, in addition to marrying/blessing the marriage of/regularizing the marriage of* Chief Trolley Commander Carlos Ciuffardi Elorriaga and Deputy Lifejacket Demonstrator Paola Podest Ruiz, who had spent 8 years vainly looking for a church, the Pope also conducted the funeral of a passenger who had died, or at least wasn't at all well, before shooting his body out over the Andes.

*Depending on which account you read.

Incidentally, it is said that the reason the Pope signalled out C.T.C. Elorriaga for a wedding was that this was the first heterosexual male flight attendant that the Holy Father had ever encountered.

An army of deacons stands by to assist Pope Francis.

Meanwhile, old-fashioned earthbound priests are now encouraged to close their churches and invest in private aeroplanes, especially since there is now a huge demand from Catholics for "stunt" weddings. For a small fee, your priest will even agree to make a parachute jump with you, while performing the marriage service.

Anyway, this whole saga has re-established Pope Francis as "the man at the top", and nobody has mentioned Lilianne Ploumen for at least two days. Which was probably the whole point of the exercise.

"Remember, in Space nobody can hear you scream. Which is a good thing..."

Thursday, 18 January 2018

How a pope should give out medals

This is the latest instalment in our self-help guide "How to be a good pope", designed to help those of our readers who may suddenly find themselves catapulted into the Chair of St Peter.

Now, as Pope you have lots of gongs that you can hand out to your friends. For example, the Badge for Amoris Laetitia Learning and Study (BALLS) is for those who unquestioningly agree with everything Amoris Laetitia says, showing aggression when anyone asks them to explain something.

Likewise, the St Ignatius Medal for Profoundly Lecherous Explanations (SIMPLE) is for Jesuits who suggest that naughtiness - especially between members of the same sex - is all right really; while the Francis Order of Logic (FOOL) goes to those who maintain, in the face of all opposition, that 2+2=5.

Lilianne Ploumen

"Look! The Pope loves me!"

There are also some older awards that your more rigid predecessors instituted. For example the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great. These are for giving out in a "goodie-bag" to any visiting dignitaries who come to see you, together with a chocolate model of Martin Luther, a copy of Amoris Laetitia, and a comical red nose.

Now, as Pope you are a very busy man, with lots of other duties to perform. Obviously, you've managed to save some time by cutting down the praying and worshipping, but you still have to keep your "frequent flier" platinum status, and catch up on your unanswered correspondence - some cardinals have been waiting for answers from you for over a year.

So you delegate the award of the goodie-bag to one of your lackeys, who probably didn't bother to check the credentials of the people who received them. And here's the problem.

King Jong-un

"The Pope loves me too!"

Among the lucky recipients of your latest batch of medals are five euthanasiacs, four torturers, three war criminals, two serial killers, and an abortionist in a pear tree. Well, that's fairly normal, if you will insist on giving awards to politicians. But it's embarrassing.

Your critics are going to say, "The Pope should withdraw the honour. The buck stops here. We don't think he's very pro-life anyway. Remember Emma Bananas?"

Your fans are going to say, "Of course he knew nothing about it, and will never find out, as he doesn't read the paper, and anyway he's far too busy partying in Chile right now, and have you noticed that it's always the same people who criticise the Pope? The rigid ones who believe in Christian doctrine! Didn't you read America's latest survey in which 99% of women who never go to church said he was a living saint? Now get lost, I've got to practise the piano."

young Pecknold at the piano

Playing the piano versus populum, as recommended by Vatican II.

And you? What will you do? Why, nothing of course. You're in Chile, where they don't have the internet, or newspapers, or telephones. And by the time you get back there will be some new scandal to amuse people. Well done!

I'll be the Eminence Grey, sir!

To celebrate Cardinal Vincent Nichols's recent complete and utter silence on moral issues such as abortion, and his new support of the dissident organization Quest, we have rewritten a classic song in his honour.

Any resemblance between the following song and the "Vicar of Bray" (words and historical background here, and a sung version here) is purely deliberate.

In good Pope Pius' golden days,
When I was just a laddie,
I knew that if I wanted power,
I'd have to be a traddy.
At football matches I wore red,
Dressed in the finest satin.
In Liverpool they speak broad Scouse,
But I spoke classic Latin.

And this is law, I will maintain
Unto my dying day, Sir.
That whatsoever Pope may reign,
I'll be the Eminence Grey*, Sir!

*Eminence Grise, a person of great power.

Pius XII

"That kid's up to no good."

When John the saintly came to rule
And called a great assembly,
I really thought "Oh, this is dull,
I'd rather be at Wembley!"
The Council's rush for drastic change
I could not but acknowledge,
So feeling "cool" and "modern", I
Went to the English College.

And this is law...

When Paul the Sixth possessed the throne
Amidst reforms spectacular
I dropped my Latin, and soon learnt
To pray in the vernacular.
And as the liberals seized the church
I grew each day much bolder.
I got ordained and offered Mass
With God behind my shoulder.

And this is law...

John XXIII and Paul VI

"Watch out, that young chap is up to no good."

John Paul the first did not stay long
But soon we got the Second:
Quite orthodox was I just then
And soon preferment beckoned.
From Westminster (auxiliary)
To Birmingham translated -
As Archbishop, I knew that now
For greatness I was slated.

And this is law...

When Benedict became the Pope,
He thought I was inspiring,
To Westminster he sent me then
Since Cormac was retiring.
Summ-or-um Pont-i-fic-um now
Meant Us-us An-ti-qui-or.
It caused most liberals, like me
Despair, regret and fear.

But this is law...

John-Paul II and Benedict XVI

"Watch out, he's up to no good."

At last they drove old Ben away.
Pope Francis came, and said that
To mark the year of Mersey, now
I'd get my longed-for red hat.
I praised the clarity and style
Of good Pope Francis' preaching,
Though soon the outraged world found out
He'd dropped all ancient teaching.

And this is law...

Pope Francis and Vincent Nichols

Any time you feel like retiring...

So now I have run through the list
Of popes I've had to follow,
And if I don't become the next,
Then life will seem quite hollow.
For Quest and ACTA I support,
I let "gay" masses flourish,
And this is what you'll get from me
When e'er Pope Francis perish.

Still, this is law, I will maintain
Unto my dying day, Sir.
That whatsoever Pope may reign,
I'll be the Eminence Grey, Sir!

Monday, 15 January 2018

A retirement plan for the Pope

Vatican memorandum - confidential.

In view of the Pope's increasingly bizarre behaviour - for many people the award of the title of Commander in the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St Gregory the Great to the blood-drenched abortion-campaigner Lilianne Ploumen was a final sign that he had flipped his lid - we are putting together an attractive retirement package for the Holy Father.

Pope and Ploumen

"Just the Ploumen's lunch for me, please."

Whereas Pope Benedict XVI has used his retirement to concentrate on praying, studying, and beer-drinking, these activities do not appeal to his successor, and we have had to find other ways of keeping him occupied.

One apartment in Francis's retirement home has been furnished as an aeroplane cabin, and - since he is not significantly more modest than Donald Trump - we have branded it as Air Francis. It is expected that the ex-Holy Father, or do we mean Holy ex-Father, will spend hours wandering round this, inventing new Catholic doctrine. Some actors will be hired to sit around all day listening to him, and they are encouraged to clap whenever another piece of the New Testament goes into the dustbin.


"The situation's serious. Pope Francis has woken up."

Apart fom this, we are a little short of ideas. What exactly does the Pope do when he's not talking? We could arrange some video games for him, I suppose; Vatican chain-saw massacre, is a good one, in which you have to dismember as many cardinals as possible. Extra points if they are wearing a cappa magna or saying Mass in Latin. We think this game should keep our client amused for hours.

We have arranged for another room, labelled simply Jesuit meeting room, where Francis can have parties with Spadaro, Martin, Sosa, and the rest of the gang. The Freemasons are kindly helping us with the decor.

Spadaro and Boff

"Now you're no longer Pope we can paint the Vatican red!"

We should perhaps provide the retired pope with a small study and a laptop with which he can write his final messages to mankind. Admittedly Francis's publication list so far is a little variable in quality: from his time as a research chemist we have his thesis Why cyanide is perfectly safe, and from his time as a bishop in Argentina a small biography Austen Ivereigh - the Great Performer; also, more recently, the work we're not allowed to mention, although its initials are AL.

Francis is already preparing his magnum opus Why I was right and all previous popes were wrong, although we understand that he currently has writer's block, and hasn't got much beyond "BECAUSE I SAY SO"; still, he'll probably be with us for another 20 years or so, and we think he may be able to expand on this a little.

Finally, if anyone has any further ideas for keeping Francis occupied, then the new pope, Cardinal Blase Cupich, Pope Francis II, will be glad to hear them!

Friday, 12 January 2018

Sherlock Holmes and the Dictator Pope

Not many of my readers will know that my friend Sherlock Holmes was a faithful Catholic: it is true that, having been brought up by Jesuits, he neither attended church nor obeyed Catholic moral teaching, but this should not be held against him.

Many will remember his epigram about "The curious incident of the cardinal in the night - the cardinal did nothing in the night, that was the curious incident," referring to the Archbishop of Westminster's failure to give any kind of a moral lead on Catholic teaching. As a result of this, and similar cases, Holmes was often consulted on delicate Catholic matters.

Thus, one morning, we were sitting in Baker Street discussing the new Encyclical Humanae Mortis, which had driven Holmes to inject himself with a seven percent solution of "coke" - the scientific name is "Coccopalmerio" - when our servant Mrs Beattie opened the door to admit a man dressed inconspicuously as a South American general.

General Galtieri

Our illustrious client.

"Mr Holmes, I need your help," said our client. "A book has been written about, er, a friend of mine, and we need to trace the author in order to, um, pay him homage. The Swiss Guards are already standing by with torture implements."

"I am at your service, Holy Father," replied Holmes (to my gasps of "amazing, Holmes, how did you penetrate his disguise?") "Shall we go to Rome, and make enquiries?"

We took Pope Francis's private jet to Rome, and the flight passed quickly, since our client remained standing throughout the journey, developing new Catholic doctrines "off the cuff": these will one day astound and delight the world. That evening, Holmes and I settled into an apartment in the Vatican. Holmes took out his violin as an aid to concentration and played a haunting arrangement of Stephen Walford's renowned concerto for piano and Balinese nose-flute (with its famous marking "Play whatever the Pope wants").

After two or three minutes the door opened and an African cardinal strode in. "SILENCE!" he bellowed angrily, and threw a book at my companion's head, stunning him slightly.

The Power of Silence

"... so many noisy popes..." (paragraph 40)

Once I had bandaged his head, Holmes and I made a tour of the building. We were standing outside Cardinal Coccopalmerio's apartment when we heard impassioned cries of "No! Yes! YES! YES! YES!"

"I see that they are working on an answer to the Dubia," I remarked to Holmes. He gave me a funny look that I did not understand, and began to analyse the mystery we were trying to solve.

"Watson, my theory is that the book The Dictator Pope was not written by the real Marcantonio Colonna, as he has been dead since 1584. More likely, it was written by a liberal Catholic, tired of trying to defend the Pope's obvious failings."

Marcantonio Colonna

"I have an alibi. I am dead."

"Amazing, Holmes. Could it be Spadaro? Ivereigh (no, it's too well-written)? Massimo Faggioli? James Martin (no, there's no obsession with homosexuality)? Rosica?"

"These are deep matters, Watson, and perhaps I am wrong. But the case presents interesting features. For example, why is the book produced only electronically, and not on paper? Did Cardinal Baldisseri steal all the printed copies?"

Putting on his liturgical deer-stalker, Holmes led me into Mass, where Cardinal Paradigm was going to preach about Parolin Shifts in Amoris Laetitia. To me it sounded like complete heresy, but then Homes explained that this sort of nonsense was necessary if a cardinal wished to be considered papabile, and Cardinal Paradigm probably didn't believe half of what he was saying.

Parolin dressed in white

"We have found the man who stole the Pope's vestments" announced Holmes.

To be continued?

Saturday, 6 January 2018

How to spot an unsaved person

Let's start the year as we mean to continue, with works of mercy, which include smiting the heretic (or at least, instructing the ignorant and admonishing the sinners).

Father John Z has recently blogged about being blocked on Twitter by Rosica [Rosie] and Faggioli [Beans/Mr Bean] - two people who get a lot of praise on this blog - and he has a point. In fact, everyone on Twitter, including @pontifex, is blocked by Rosie, so Fr Z gets no points for that. Somehow Beans hasn't yet blocked me, but then he is a man of great intellect, at least by the standard of most beans.

For me, the simplest way to find people heading for the Lake of Fire is to see who blocks me on Twitter. So let's start with the most Eminent, and work downwards.

Cardinal Napier

"You're blocked!"

Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier came out well during the 2015 Synod on the Family, signing a letter complaining about the absurd way it was run. However, he later backed down, and became an uncritical fan of Amoris Laetitia, even though it contains some distinctly dodgy passages.

In fact, he turned into a combination of Candide and Polynanna, tweeting random phrases from the dreaded AL. "Love is never having to say you're sorry." "Love is like a tin of sardines, we're all looking for the key." "Some people claim that marriage interferes with romance. There's no doubt about it. Anytime you have a romance, your wife is bound to interfere." That sort of thing.

Several people asked him questions, in particular, about why heretical interpretations were being put forward, and not contradicted by the Vatican. For a while he blustered and flustered, but anyway in the end he gave up trying to answer questions and blocked poor Eccles, who only wanted to learn from the master.

tweet from Napier

It's a pity that he's destined for the Lake of Fire, as sometimes he said what more cardinals should be saying.

We move on to the Bishop of Lancaster, Michael Gregory Campbell OSA. A man who nearly made it into the top flight of English bishops (along with Egan, Davies, Hopes, and one or two more), he has done some very good things: for example, speaking out against abortion, and telling ACTA to go boil their heads. We haven't seen much of ACTA lately, but maybe that is because they have already won (Vincent Nichols seems to like them), or maybe it is because they were banished to Gehenna by Michael Campbell. I don't know.

Unfortunately, the Diocese of Lancaster website, and so, by association, the bishop, blocked me on Twitter, probably because I criticised the big mistake of Mike's reign at Lancaster. Remember? He suppressed the Protect the Pope blog. Why did he do it? Well the story is that various people were very upset by it (I don't think Tina Beattie was a fan), and somehow Vinnie Nichols, in one of his first moves as Cardinal, decided to lean on Mike. A sad case.

Bishop of Lancaster and nuns

Tea and sympathy for the bishop.

I still read the bishop's blog, and it used to contain a regular "Here I am having tea with nuns" picture. However, once I pointed this out, the pictures stopped appearing. I hope that Mike is still getting lots of tea from nuns, even if he is too bashful to admit it.

Going down the food chain, we come to mere priests like Rosie and Jim (Rosica and Martin), Spider (Spadaro), and lesser forms of life such as Austen Ivereigh (the Voice of Catholicism), plus comedy vicars like "Rev" Kate Bottley, and professional atheists such as Owen Jones, Stephen Fry, and Richard Dawkins.

These people are already in the world to get as much publicity for themselves as possible, despite their incredibly limited talents, so let's not discuss them. But there is a surprise in the tail!


Could Spadaro be saved after all?

As a unique act of MercyTM, Fr Antonio Spadaro has recently unblocked me, along with a whole swathe of other saved persons. My own cynical theory is that he suspects that one of us is the great Marcantonio Colonna, author of The Dictator Pope, and he is watching us carefully to see who it is. I admit nothing.

Anyway, everyone knows that MC is really Fr Zuhlsdorf...

Friday, 5 January 2018

Why the Pope is right about everything

What I did in my holidays, by Stephen Rex Mottram Walford, aged 9.

In my holidays I went to Rome to talk to the Pope, who is a big fat man who is always right about everything. They say he is "incorrigible", which means that it is impossible to correct him, because he is always right. He's also got a Magisterium, which means that nobody can ever ever say he's wrong or the smoke of Satan will choke them to death. Cor lumme!

Walford, Pope, 266 shirt

"They were sold out of 666 shirts."

"What do you do, little boy?" the Pope asked me.

"I play the piano," I said.

"Oh, you tickle the Ivereighs?"

At that moment a small man with silly glasses who was cleaning the Pope's shoes with his tongue looked up sharply.

"Oh sorry, Austen, I wasn't referring to you," said my friend the Pope. "Don't worry."

"They tell me that one of my cardinals is on the fiddle," he continued. "It's traditional for this to happen while Rome burns. Perhaps you can do a duet with him."

The Pope told me that he is directly appointed by God, who is a big man with a beard. This is why everything he says is right, and if you disagree with him you are a nasty nasty dissenter, and will go to Hell, which is a nasty place a bit like Luton, and you will never again be invited to tea with the Pope.

Cardinal Marx

I think this may be God.

"So you see, my lad, if I want to repeal Curriculum Vitae, which is something Pope Paul VI wrote, then I can do so, and you know I am right. The same goes for those bits of the New Testament that aren't very popular."

"What happens if another Pope comes along later and says something different?" I asked, for I am only nine years old and the Pope is a lot older than I am. So I may have to come and worship a new Pope.

The Pope said something under his breath which I didn't understand because I am only nine years old, but it ended with the word "SARAH!". Then he spat on the floor, which Mummy tells me is rude, unless a Pope does it, when it is the Will of the Lord.

I think I understand now that a new Pope can say that Pope Francis was wrong, but the Holy Spirit will make sure that he doesn't. Only Pope Francis can say that someone else was wrong. This is called Theology, and I was told to ask our teacher Mr Faggioli to explain it. We call him "Beans" in Year 6.

The Pope took me to see the Sistine Chapel, which is a big room with funny paintings on the ceiling. He told me that his adviser Father James Martin had recommended that it should be repainted with rainbow-coloured stripes, as that is more welcoming to gay people. Mummy says being gay is sinful, but Mummy is rigid, and Pope Francis says we should get rid of her. Maybe my father can divorce her and marry Fräulein Kasper from next door, as that is what is recommended in the world's greatest book Amorous Lascivia.

Sistine Chapel

Cardinal Maradiaga says he knows a man who will offer him a good price for these paintings. No questions asked.

Anyway, it was very nice meeting Pope Francis who is always right, and he is not at all like it says in the very rude book The Dictator Pope. I was with him for an hour, and he didn't send anyone to the torture chambers, so that proves he is merciful as well as always right, doesn't it?

Very good, Stephen! You really do understand the consequences of Vatican II.
M. Faggioli.