This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Wednesday 28 February 2018

Vatican to host Winter Olympics

There have been snowfalls in Rome this week, a direct result of a billion faithful Catholics taking the papal advice in Laudato Si' seriously, and thus saving the planet. Accordingly, St Peter's Square has been transformed into a venue for winter sports, which are so much more popular than papal audiences these days, and it has now been agreed that the Vatican will host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Eskimo and igloo

Cardinal Nanook of the North stands by the dome.

The Catholic Church is very strong in certain events, such as snowball fights - it will have a natural advantage when the referee shouts "Let him who is without sin cast the first snowball" - and building snowmen, especially ones that look like saints.

pope snowman

Graven images are OK, but don't worship them!

These traditional sports are likely to replace some of the sillier Olympic sports such as Curling (feel free to disagree). We are happy to give our readers a preview of what we may expect at VAT2022.

snowball fight

Traditionalists in a snowball fight with the Modernists, but versus populum not ad orientem.

Archbishop Arthur Roche was a renowned ice-skater in his youth (yes, I now know this is a lie invented by his admirer, Damian Thompson), and he is anxious to shine as well. However, things have not gone well so far.

ice skater

Archbishop Roche wonders what went wrong.

When it comes to the more "artistic" sport of ice-dancing, there are some strong contenders, and here we see four eminent Catholics waiting to be measured for their tutus.

4 dreadful Catholics

"I'm used to skating on thin ice," comments Fr Martin.

Finally, the Holy Father himself will be only 85 at the time of the Vatican Olympics, and he is also planning to take part in his PopesleighTM.

Pope in bobsleigh

Going downhill very quickly... is this a metaphor for something?

Saturday 24 February 2018

Charity accuses "transpotphobic" teacher of hate crime

It is worrying to read that the charity "Teasmades" has called the police after a teacher refused to acknowledge one of his pupils as "transpotted".


The Director of Teasmades.

The Catholic (and indeed medical) position is clear. Many children go through a phase of singing the immortal hymn "I'm a little teapot, Short and stout. Here's my handle, Here's my spout" (arr. Dan Schutte), and this leads some of them to believe for a while that they are in fact teapots. But transpotterism is a psychological condition, and there is no way that such kids can really be teapots.

I'm a teapot kids

Should these kids be given surgery to fit handles and spouts?

The Catholic Catechism (based on quotations from the book of He-brews) is clear. Transpotted children and adults should be treated sympathetically: for example it is not permissible to describe them as "potty". Teasmades, however, is going too far in saying that they should be encouraged in their fantasies, and describing it as a "hate crime" when someone refuses to buy into such delusions.

James Martin

"I'd rather have a cuppa!" Fr James Martin SJ wants to put the "tea" in LGBT.

Under the Equality Act, schools have a duty to accommodate transpotted children, for example by providing them with cosies, and places where they can pour out their troubles. This does not include medication, such as injections of tannin, as it would clearly be wrong to mess around with young children's biological make-up. As for surgically fitting them with handles and spouts - an operation available on the National Health Service - this should clearly be forbidden to children, and discouraged in general.

Trudeau dancing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a famous "transpot". It may explain a lot.

Monday 19 February 2018

Pope Francis has got a little list

It was time that someone set the Pope Francis book of insults to music, and it will now form part of Gilbert and Sullivan's latest opera, The Dictator, subtitled The Fourteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.

Pope singing a song

Take it away, Holy Father!

As some day it may happen that a victim must be found,
I've got a little list – I've got a little list
Of the Catholics that we are trying to drive underground,
And who never would be missed – who never would be missed!

There's the creed-reciting parrot-Christians meaning what they say –
The fomenter of coprophagia - he has had his day –
The self-absorbed Promethean neo-Pelagian -
And airport bishops, who are quite authoritarian,
Museum mummies, and of course the fundamentalist –
They'd none of 'em be missed – they'd none of 'em be missed!

CHORUS (Spadaro, Martin and Rosica): 
He’s got 'em on the list – he’s got 'em on the list;
And they'll none of 'em be missed – they'll none of 'em be missed.

Pope and Spadaro

"I'm sure they'll not be missed."

Mr and Mrs Whiner, and the others of their race -
And the old triumphalist - I’ve got him on the list!
And the existential tourist with a pickled-pepper face -
He never would be missed – he never would be missed!
Then the sloth-diseased acedic Christian - he'll be going soon,
The slaves of superficiality, the sourpuss priest-tycoon;
And the modern gnostics, rigid Christians, who are too polite -
The Christian bats who still prefer the shadows to the light!
And then the querulous and disillusioned pessimist –
I don’t think he'd be missed – I’m sure he'd not be missed!

CHORUS. He’s got him on the list – he’s got him on the list;
And I don’t think he'll be missed – I’m sure he'll not be missed!
Pope and Cupich

"Buddy, can you spare a paradigm?"

And that type of leprous courtier, who just now is rather rife,
The restorationist – I’ve got him on the list!
Promoters of the poison of immanence, causing strife –
They'd none of 'em be missed – they'd none of 'em be missed.
And those cardinals who know their faith, 
                                 but will not change their mind,
Such as – What d'ye call him – Raymond Thingy,
                                     and Walter -  Never-mind,
And then there's Gerhard What's-his-name, and Robert You-know-who –
The task of filling up the blanks I'd rather leave to you.
But it really doesn't matter whom you put upon the list,
For they'd none of 'em be missed – they'd none of 'em be missed!

CHORUS. You may put 'em on the list – you may put 'em on the list;
And they'll none of 'em be missed – they'll none of 'em be missed!

Burke and Sarah

"Let's go for a drink - I don't think we'll be missed."

Saturday 17 February 2018

The Pope praises the Eccles blog

In some conversations in Chile, faithfully transcribed by Fr Antonio Spadaro, Pope Francis has lavished praise on this, the Eccles blog.

"So many Catholic blogs faithfully record everything I say or do," explained the Holy Father, "and this leads readers to conclude that I am a heretic. On the other hand, there isn't a word of truth in Eccles's lovely blog, from beginning to end. Therefore readers of it do not question my orthodoxy, my sanity, or my fitness for the role of Deputy God and Corrector of Catholic Teaching."

Fr Spadaro catches up on "Eccles".

"As for the other blogs," continued the Pope, "I don't even read them. I'm too busy not reading letters from Cardinal Burke, and from people in Chile. It takes me several hours every day to not read anything that comes my way. My loyal sidekick Spadaro, the Jeeves to my Wooster, the Robin to my Batman, and the Fool to my King Lear, does all my reading for me, don't you, Boy Wonder?"

"As for that book by Marcantonio Colonna - and we know who you are, it didn't take us long to spot someone riding round Rome in a 16th century costume - well, I haven't read that at all. But I can assure you that it is false from beginning to end, especially the bit about my being caught in General Galtieri's wardrobe dressed as a nun. Or was it my being caught in a nun's wardrobe dressed as General Galtieri? Anyway it never happened."

Not the best way to be inconspicuous in Rome.

"Reading Eccles's blog, on the other hand, has kept me sane. It is full of spiritually nourishing advice, and many of the ideas he comes up with provide inspiration for my own policies. I ask myself 'WWED' - 'What Would Eccles Do?' and then try to take it even further."

"Well, that's all I've got time for now, I need to go out and insult a few more Catholics. Luckily Eccles has drawn my attention to a fine 19th century list, which includes terms such as 'goldfish-catcher', 'turnip shepherd' and 'proprietor of midgets'. I must try and work these into my next homily."

The Amoris Cube - an Eccles invention - is harder to solve than the Rubik cube.

Wednesday 14 February 2018

Pope Francis becomes a constitutional monarch

Catholics have the difficult task of reconciling the following two propositions:

1. The Pope is the Vicar of Christ, the successor of St Peter, the big cheese of the Universal Church, and an all-round infallible bloke.

2. Pope Francis spends all his time making a fool of himself, his knowledge of Catholic doctrine is at best hazy, and he has the mindset of a South American dictator.

As a result of the GLORIOUS REVOLUTION OF 2018, the Pope is henceforth a constitutional monarch, whose duties are limited to opening supermarkets, having tea with visiting dignitaries, and carefully avoiding the expression of an opinion on any subject whatsoever.

Pope Francis and Queen Elizabeth

"And what do YOU do?"

In the end, a Pope limited to purely ceremonial activities (for example, he may offer Mass, but is forbidden to preach a homily) is a lot less trouble all round. "But won't we miss the encyclicals and apostolic exhortations?" you ask. Well, actually, no we won't. We are already bombarded with far too much stuff from popes. Given that Catholic teaching does not and *cannot* change, why do we need more verbose stuff with Latin titles to tell us this?

Ah, you may say, some issues never arose in previous centuries. Do transgender men cause climate change? Is it sinful to eat crocodiles on a Friday? How about crocodile-skin handbags? Should we destroy the Daleks, or would they be saved if they switched to wind power?

Dr Who and Davros

A Doctor of the church discusses theology with a leading Jesuit.

Well, there's no point asking the Pope to rule on these issues. Synods don't seem to be the answer, as Cardinal Baldisseri will only rig them. Ho hum, it may be all down to Ignatian discernment (= guesswork) after all.

Anyway, these are minor issues, and can be sorted out, provided that the general policy is conservative, i.e., change nothing.

Pope and Trump

"Have you come far?"

The Pope will of course be allowed to make a Christmas broadcast, just as his opposite number Queen Elizabeth, the Supreme Governor of the Anglican Church does.

"In January we visited Chile, and I had great pleasure addressing cheering crowds, which in some cases ran into double figures. I had such a good time that I have persuaded my friend Archbishop Scicluna to go there for a little winter break. We have also been making friends with the Chinese, and they tell us that from now on they will save us the trouble of appointing bishops, but simply pick them from the Central Committee of the Communist Party! Why didn't we think of that before? Also I opened a new abortion clinic on the invitation of my good friend Mrs Bonino..."

Pope and crown

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

Yes, from now on Catholicism makes a lot more sense. And when we get a new Pope, we can go back to the old system.

Valentine's Day massacre to go ahead

In Chicago, Cardin Al Capone has confirmed that, even though it is Ash Wednesday, the traditional Valentine's Day massacre will go ahead.

Cupich and big crozier

Cardin Al Capone - and isn't that the biggest crook you ever saw?

As we've been told ad nauseam today is both Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, and St Valentine's Day, the day for buying chocolates, flowers, gin, scrubbing brushes, copies of Building a Bridge, etc. for your loved one, depending on their inclinations and how much you love them. But can we celebrate both at once?

Following his sensational lecture at the Von Heretic institute in Cambridge, at which he told the world that, although "strictly speaking" chastity is required (don't you love that phrase?), it must sometimes be abandoned, Capone is now preparing to massacre the Catholic faith in other ways.

Pope and Cupich

"Did I appoint Cupich as a cardinal? Silly me, I mean Chaput!"

In particular the great man - the cardinal who put the "bile" in "papabile" - is launching a series of Amoris Laetitia seminars, to tell the US Bishops how to interpret it. A cheaper option would be to pulp all copies of AL and admit that it is a turkey, but... well, it's too late now. Or is it?

Catholics are looking forward to seeing how the Vatican will celebrate Easter on April 1st (All Fools' Day). It's possible that an all-star line-up of celebrity fools will be present in Rome - Cupich, Marx, Kasper, oh the list is too long to give in detail. Then perhaps Pope Francis will surprise us by admitting "You've all been fooled! Amoris Laetitia was just a joke designed to test you! Now I know which of my cardinals to put up against the wall." And out will come the papal machine-gun.

Cupich glasses

Out of respect for his office, Capone will be offered a blindfold.

No, I think not.

Tuesday 13 February 2018

Pope Francis is now popular again

Following recently-reported events, Pope Francis's popularity rating, which had dropped to 2% as a result of events in Chile and China (etc.) has now shot back up to 98%.

This was largely caused by his unprecedented step in holding hands with a little girl with Down's syndrome, when she interrupted his papal audience.


"It's just adults I can't stand."

The range of comments we have received includes the following:

"Isn't Pope Francis wonderful? Any previous pope would have told the kid to push off. I'm not a Catholic, but I can see that he is my kind of pope. Of course I am also pro-choice, and would have seen no problem with aborting this kid!"

"Yes, the Spirit of Vatican II has entered the Church and changed all the paradigms! Before the 1960s, it was an excommunicable offence to interrupt a papal audience, and the child would have been locked up in a dungeon. Now, however, we are opening gates, building bridges, and knocking down walls."

"That's one in the eye for all the pope-bashers! Francis may not have a clue about doctrine or civilised behaviour towards his colleagues, but he's a darned fine babysitter!"

Robert Kelly and kids

A traddy pastor, who doesn't want to be interrupted by children.

Rumours that the whole event was staged by Fr Spadaro as a way of reviving the Pope's flagging popularity are of course exaggerated. However, there is a plan afoot to invite the world's most glamorous mass-murderer, Kim Yo Jong, to a papal audience, in the hope that some of her charisma can rub off on Francis. Moreover, she may be able to give him some useful tips for dealing with Marcantonio Colonna, the Dubia cardinals, the filial correctors, Cardinal Zen, ...

Kim Yo Jong

A meeting of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

Friday 9 February 2018

It Looks Nothing Like Pope Francis - the winners!

There are numerous pictures, models, effigies, etc. of Pope Francis in circulation, most of which look nothing like the Holy Father. As Pope Francis prepares to pack his bags and flee to Argentina, we present some of the worst, with thanks to various contributors.

pope lookalike

A new "Looks nothing like Pope Pius XIII" line will be on sale soon.

pope lookalike

Shine, Jesus, Shine!

pope lookalike

A "gay" couple celebrate their (undersized) designer baby.

pope lookalike

"But I prefer a good fudge."

pope lookalike

Look more like a space alien than a pope.

pope lookalike

Change the name on the base, and it can be anyone you like.

Whereas, we all know that Pope Francis is really the actor Jonathan Pryce.

Jonathan Pryce

Jonathan Pryce.

Except that Pryce (or possibly Francis) was once a James Bond villain.

James Bond villain

Pryce (or Francis) in "Tomorrow never dies".

Wednesday 7 February 2018

The Code of the Moggs

"I say, Jeeves," I asked my faithful valet one morning, "what do you make of this Moggmania that everyone's talking about?"

"A perfectly normal reaction, sir," replied the f.v. "Mr Rees-Mogg has announced that he is an orthodox Catholic, and so he is pro-life and believes in traditional marriage. This seems to have struck a chord with many people."

Thugg and Mogg

Thugg versus Mogg.

"But dash it, I say, Jeeves, aren't there any clerics to do that sort of thing? Why should it be left to old Moggers?"

I should explain at this point that Moggers and I go back a long way. We were both inmates at Aubrey Upjohn's prep school at Bramley-on-Sea. I once won a prize for Scripture Knowledge, but only because Moggers was ill on the day of the test. Of course, he won the prize easily in all the other years.

After being released from Upjohn's asylum, Moggers and I toddled off to Eton together, and the old bean is now one of my best friends. We meet regularly at the Drones Club to throw buns at "cloudy" Welby and the other heretics.

JRM and Mary O'Regan

Professor O'Regan (Divinity) compliments Moggers on his scriptural knowledge.

Still, I didn't expect him to end up as a great spiritual leader, like that boy Dolly Lama, or the Argentine exchange student "Chop Suey" Bergles.

"I'm afraid, sir, that clerics no longer promote Catholic values," explained Jeeves. "Cardinal Nichols, for example..."

"Never mind my Uncle Vincent," I snapped at Jeeves. "He's very much the black sheep of the family. We don't mention him in polite company."

"Very good, sir. By the way, I really would not advise those 'gay Muslim' socks. We do not wish to be mistaken for the Prime Minister of Canada, do we, sir?"

Justin Trudeau and those socks

A male model shows off his 'gay Muslim' socks.

"Good Lord, Jeeves, I thought they were rather natty! But I dare say you're right. I don't want strange people following me in the street. Take the socks and give them to Uncle Vincent."

"Thank you, sir. By the way, there is a telegram for you."

I read the missal.


"I haven't heard from 'Chop Suey' Bergles for years, Jeeves. What has become of him, I wonder?"

"I understand that he has become Pope, sir," replied my manservant. "There is some dispute about whether he received a certain letter."

POpe Francis and Cardinal O'Malley

"Now remember, Bergles, the letter is in your case."

"Oh, what a tangled something-or-other we weave, when first we tumty-tumty something, eh, Jeeves?"

"Indeed, sir. If you will permit me, I shall suggest to Pope Francis that he employ the tactics of Mr Rees-Mogg."

"Take up Catholicism, you mean?"

"Precisely, sir."

Monday 5 February 2018

What to do if a cardinal hands you a letter

It's time for another instalment in our "How to be a good pope" self-help guide, for those readers who may one day get dumped in the Hot Seat.

Suppose, just suppose, that a few years ago one of your cardinals handed you an eight-page letter detailing some really nasty things that happened in Chile with the connivance of one of your bishop pals. You have gone on record as saying you never received any such letter. But then, OOPS! Cardinal O'Malley insists that he did give you the letter.


Cardinal O'Malley, or maybe some other O'Malley.

Admittedly you don't have a very good record of dealing with letters from cardinals. Burke and co. might wish to remind you of those dubia you never got round to answering. Zen may remind you that he told you that the real Chinese bishops are all being tortured in dungeons while you cut deals to allow communist puppets to take their place.

Should you admit that you've been caught "doing a Kasper"? You remember that your mate "screwy" Kasper said some stuff which basically boiled down to "I don't like darkies," and then denied it. But it had actually been recorded, possibly on the advice of top Jesuit Fr Sosa, who believes nothing, including the Gospel, unless it is tape-recorded.

Kasper and friends

"No really, some of my best friends are Africans."

No, of course you don't admit anything. You can get your stooges (Spadaro, Faggioli, etc.) to deny that the letter was ever received. If it was important, why wasn't it sent recorded delivery and handed over by a properly qualified postman, rather than a totally unqualified cardinal?

There is also the Rex Mottram / Stephen Walford "infallibility" argument. In a spiritual sense the letter was never delivered at all, but, being sinful, Cardinal O'Malley failed to realise this.

Pope Francis and a letter

If you imagine a letter in this picture, you are unsaved.

Just remember, you're the Pope. You are infallible. You cannot lie. There was no letter.

Still, check behind the sofa, just in case! .

Meet the Buzzfeed hack firing bitter pills at Father Z

Until I came across this piece, a hatchet job on "blogger priest" Father Z, I wasn't really aware that Buzzfeed did semi-serious journalism.

In fact, it usually turns up on Twitter via its moronic quizzes. Which Famous Serial Killer Are You? Which Heretical Jesuit Are You? Which Fatal Illness Are You?

Buzzfeed garbage

Excuse my French! Apparently someone is paid to produce this garbage.

Still, we stumbled across something, and it turned out to be the immortal prose of one Joseph Bernstein. In the eyes of little Joseph, anyone who is not a committed Democrat is probably alt-right. Three of the sad little figureheads of Catholic Liberalism (or do I mean Liberal Catholicism?) are wheeled out: alt-Jesuit Jimmy Martin (catchphrase, "it's HATE"), odd-bod theologian Massimo Faggioli, and "Catholic Whiners" founder Austen Ivereigh. They all get a chance to put the boot in.

Well, I don't always agree with Father Z: indeed I have blogged about his fondness for guns (but he's American, and they still need them in Wisconsin for predatory redcoats, Injuns, buffaloes, drug-dealers, Democrats, Jesuits, etc., so I guess he has an excuse). There's also his excessive use of red ink, and, worst of all, the fact that I'm not allowed to comment on his blog, whereas so many less-saved people can do so. Oh, and he plugs "Mystic Monk" coffee, when my own "Numinous Nun" brand is far better.

Fr Z

An oldie, but a goodie. Fr Z takes the cure.

Well I looked up Joseph Bernstein, and his track record for boring articles is pretty good. Some time I must find out who Chelsea Manning is (all I know is that he was originally called Aston Villa Manning), and try and get excited about a museum that wants all its donors to believe in climate change...zzz...zzz...

Sorry, where was I? Oh yes, the bitter pills fired at Father Z. Well, as Father DL notes (more-or-less), Mr Weinstein doesn't realise that Catholicism is more about tradition/modernism and orthodoxy/heterodoxy than straightforward right/left politics. Although you nay suspect that Benedict XVI votes for the Partito Italiano Conservativo, while Francis leans towards the Marxisto-Leninisto Socialisto Partito.

Francis and Benedict

"Sigh! I guess our prayers are cancelling each other out as well."

Anyway, I need to change my name from Eccles to something extravagantly long, so that I can then be referred to affectionately as "Frater E". Something like Ecclesiasticolongendorf should do the trick. Then I too can be noticed by... drat, I've forgotten his name already. That Buzz Lightyear person.

Sunday 4 February 2018

The Destruction of Swedom and Germannah

1. And the people of Swedom and Germannah did great evil in the sight of the Lord.

2. Now some of them were Lutherans, but the Lord said "I shall not destroy them by fire, for they know no better."

Pope and Antje Jackelen

"How nice of you to come and celebrate 500 years of heresy!"

3. However, the Catholics of Germannah had no such excuse, and the Lord was grievously offended by their deeds.

4. For there was a man named Rhino Marx, who had been set up as a leader of the Catholics of Germannah.

5. He came of a noble lineage, for his father was Karl, and his brothers included Groucho, Chico and Harpo.

Rhino Marx

Rhino, the last of the Marx brothers.

7. And in Germannah Rhino had decreed that there was only one possible sin.

8. Thus the man who committed adultery, the thief, the murderer, the bearer of false witness, and he who coveted his neighbour's ox were all deemed to be righteous.

9. But woe unto him who paid not his church taxes, for he would be excommunicated.

10. And Rhino Marx had a bed of iron, like unto that of Og of Bashan. For he had grown so fat by spending his church taxes on fatted calves and beer, that no wooden bed could support him.

Marx and Francis

"Guess what the Church is going to do next, Holy Father!"

11. Then one day Rhino spake out, saying, "Let us bless the unions of man with man, and woman with woman, which are very common in the lands of Swedom and Germannah."

12. "For there can be no evil in this if they have paid their church taxes."

13. And the Lord was exceeding wrathful, and said "I have made enough allowances for this fat buffoon."

14. "The time cometh soon when I shall rain brimstone and fire down on the land of Germannah."

15. And it was so.