This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Thursday 31 May 2018

Irish people plan a mass suicide pact

Following the result of the referendum on abortion, and the decision by Irish politicians to press for euthanasia next ("anything to annoy the Catholic Church"), many Irish people feel that they should now go the whole way - instead of merely exterminating the very young and very old, why not wipe out the entire population?

Ireland, empty

Ireland as it will look: empty.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has already given his backing to this mass suicide pact, explaining that "It is surely God's will to return Ireland to the state it was in when He created it - empty. Or, if it wasn't, don't expect me to speak out until after we've all been killed!"

The actual mechanism of the mass extermination of the Irish people is still to be decided. Historically, potato famines were very popular, but nowadays the only consequence of a potato famine would be that the Irish would no longer have to put up with that arch-bore Gary Lineker advertising his unhealthy snacks. Still, that alone makes this seem like a good idea.

Repulsive man eating crisps

Enough to make you yearn for another potato famine.

Clearly some more systematic way for the Irish to destroy themselves is required. Prime Minister Varadkar has organized a survey asking people which groups they would like to see exterminated first, and the following sections of the population were particularly disliked:

children, adults, the young, the old, the middle-aged, the religious, the non-religious, the whites, the blacks, the other races, tinkers, tailors, soldiers, sailors, rich men, poor men, beggarmen, thieves, fathers, mothers, males, females, people of undecided or indescribable sex/gender, tourists, local residents, hairy people, bald people, heterosexuals, homosexuals, anything else-sexuals, people called "Martin", people not called "Martin", the employed, the unemployed, the sick, the healthy, ...

For each of these groups it is possible to find someone who dislikes them, so into the suicide booths they go!

Ah yes, the suicide booths. Well they will look like this:


New-look suicide booth (no longer required for its original purpose).

There have already been some comments from devoutly religious British politicians on the MIDA ("Make Ireland Dead Again") plan. Theresa May thinks it's a wonderful idea, but Jacob Rees-Mogg doesn't. Still, if MIDA is a success, then the United Kingdom is certain to follow suit.

Administrative note: for the last 5 days I have not received e-mail notifications about comments posted on this luvvly blogg. So I have only just realised there was a backlog. Sorry.

Monday 28 May 2018

St Theresa of Downing Street

Catholic priests are not normally allowed to marry (and this includes Bishop Toribio Ticona, whom Pope Francis has just put on his "Raise this guy to the cardinalate" list, in error for his "Throw this guy to the dogs" list).

Thus there are very few of the rare breed known as "clergymen's daughters" in the Catholic Church; of course the Anglicans have plenty, and even some rare fish known as "clergywomen's daughters", who call their mother "father".

Theresa May and Vincent Nichols

St Theresa (alias V. Nichols) shares a bottle of ketchup with a cleric (J. Etchingham).

Clergymen's daughters are often saintly creatures, and today we pay tribute to St Theresa of Downing Street. Her father would have been so proud of her, when she showed her support for same-sex "marriage". Those embarrassing bits in the Bible about homosexual acts being sinful, and marriage being an institution for a man and a woman, were long since discarded by the Church of England, which strives always to keep up with the latest fashions in morality. But there was more...

scandalous tweet

St Theresa expresses her support for King Herod.

As a clergyman's daughter, St Theresa is familiar with many Biblical characters, and she has always had a weakness for King Herod. "A real man," she drools, "who knew how to deal with children!" Thus she was delighted when Ireland decided to vote for mass infanticide, and she felt obliged to send her support. Good luck with explaining that to the DUP, her partners in government.

Of course, St Theresa is not the only party leader with this point of view. St Jeremy of Corbyn and St Vince of Cable would doubtless agree with her, if anyone cared for five minutes what they thought on any issue. How wonderful to see a Government of National Unity!

Let's finish with a happy picture of the Mays leaving a church.

Theresa and Philip May

An everyday Anglican scene: that awkward moment when nobody else turned up.

Sunday 27 May 2018

Pope cancels visit to Ireland

Following the Irish referendum on abortion, in which the main message (apart from "We think killing babies is OK") was "We hate Catholics", Pope Francis has decided to cancel his planned visit to Dublin this August.

Apparently, the visit was planned to coincide with concluding events of the World Meeting of Families. However it is clear that the Irish model of a family is not (as it used to be) mother, father, 8 children, and a pig (as recommended in Amoris Laetitia), but now simply a couple, possibly even same-sex, probably unmarried, and with no children whatsoever. So what's the point?

Leo Varadkar explains his policies for the family.

Ireland also suffers from a severe shortage of Catholics. The choice for the Pope lies between meeting people like Archbishop Diarmuid Martin the spineless ("the man who makes even Vincent Nichols look like a spiritual leader"), or Fr Tony Flannery the egocentric rebel and his Association of Catholic Priests ("the man who makes Fr Jack of Craggy Island look like a peaceful holy man").

One possibility is that Pope Francis will go to Belfast instead. There, the Protestants are Catholic, and the Catholics Protestant, at least when it comes to moral issues, and so the Holy Father may not be so unwelcome.

It's also possible that Francis will want to go to the mainland of Great Britain and meet Theresa May, although the old girl has also expressed her delight in the "success" of the Irish referendum. Unless the saintly Jacob Rees-Mogg is Prime Minister by August, which is about as likely as the saintly Cardinal Sarah becoming Pope by then.

Pope Francis meeting Theresa May.

Or maybe Pope Francis will go back to Chile in August. This may be a wise move as most of the Chilean Catholics are in Rome and out for his blood.

No, Pope Francis tells us that his best bet is a quiet week or two in a coastal resort such as Margate or Cromer. Fr Spadaro's got his eye on a lovely seaside cottage called "Dundictatin" which might just suit him...

Friday 25 May 2018

The snakes return to Ireland

Well, St Patrick did his best. For many years Ireland was a Catholic country, and not just the "you wouldn't notice" sort that we see with Fr James Martin, Cardinal Marx, or Cardinal Nichols. The snakes had been driven out, and there was a general feeling that killing babies, the weak, the old, the disabled, someone whose face you don't like, or someone with a different political opinion, was an activity condemned by decent people.

But then things changed. It just took a few key words to brainwash people: "Magdalene Laundries", "Savita", "Tuam". None of these was really very relevant. Unlike "blood", "slaughter", "murder", "dismemberment", "pain", which would seem to be more linked to the abortion debate.

Leo Varadkar

A particularly venomous creature slithers into Ireland.

The Irish politicians seem to be mostly of the serpentine variety, but then so are the journalists, including such luminaries as Tintin O'Foole, whom I mention because I came across him for the first time today. With luck I won't have to come across this little snake again.

How about the Catholic Church? Well Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, known internationally for his spinelessness, did make some comment that could be interpreted as being pro-life, but as usual he did it very quietly, holding a handkerchief over his face so that nobody would know he'd said it.

Francis tweet

Pope Francis forgot...

Don't expect any laughs from this post, folks. I have nothing but contempt for those who are not pro-life, and they can rot in Hell. And probably will.

Tuesday 22 May 2018

"Go to a gay orgy!" says Pope Francis

In a surprise change to 2000 years of Church teaching, Pope Francis has declared that homosexuality is great, it's what God really prefers, and all gay people should get down to some serious bridge-buildingTM as soon as possible.

Admittedly, the comment was made in a private meeting with a homosexual man, the Chilean Juan Carlos Cruz, who may have made the whole thing up, rather than - as is usual for changes to Catholic doctrine - in an aeroplane speech. But Fr James Martin SJ, himself a notorious bridge-builder, has said that it's all true, so who are we to judge?

Juan Carlos Cruz

The new prophet Juan Carlos.

Apparently, Pope Francis explained that God is really fed up with heterosexuals, as they contribute to climate change by having babies. As Jesus said, "I suffer from little children who come unto me." Instead, the Holy Father encouraged Mr Cruz to take part in some serious gay orgies, suggesting that Cardinal Coccopalmerio might be able to give him more information.

Vatican creche

A gay orgy at the Vatican.

Rigid traditional parrot-faced Pharisee Catholics were today somewhat disconcerted by the Pope's latest teaching, which contradicts several books of the Bible, the Catechism, and numerous statements by Doctors of the Church, Popes, and other theologians over the centuries. But of course Pope Francis knows best.

Sunday 20 May 2018

How to preach a Royal Wedding sermon

Some day you may be invited to preach the sermon at a royal wedding, at which some lesser piece of royalty is joined in holy matrimony with a celebrity. There are not many unattached princes of marriageable age around at present, but who knows, Prince Andrew may have hit it off with Oprah Winfrey. So be prepared!

Michael Curry preaching

Don't be discouraged if someone looks the other way and turns off his hearing aid.

"Why me?" you ask. "Why can't Welby do it himself? All right, he's a great bore. But how about Nurse Sarah Mullally, the bishopess of London? Ten minutes of politically correct waffle, that will go straight to the heart, won't it?"

No. For whatever reason, the lot has fallen on you. An estimated 2 billion people will be listening in, so you must DUMB DOWN. No learned discourse on the spirituality of the lesser kings of Judah, or the precise translation of some particular word in the synoptic gospels. No, they want SEX.

I'm sorry. They want LOVE. Statistically, it has been shown that nearly 30% of people who get married are actually in love. Now, no C.S.-Lewisite subtleties about "Four loves" - Storge, Philia, Agape, Eros. Just bundle them all together and dig out some quotations about Love.

Obviously Jesus talked a lot about Love, and you can mention this. But don't forget to bring in some more important theologians such as Martin Luther King, and - if you like - Groucho Marx and Tommy Cooper ("Heard the one about two aerials meeting on a roof, falling in love, and getting married? The ceremony was rubbish but the reception was brilliant.")

Tommy Cooper

The ideal preacher, but sadly no longer with us.

After about 5 minutes of LOVE we can move onto another theme. Two ideas in one sermon may seem a little excessive, but let's use FIRE as well. Without fire there would have been no industrial revolution. Without fire, there would have been no cars to bring you to church. Without fire the fire brigade would be unemployed. Keep going.

Somewhere about now you can throw in some Biblical reference. Maybe to Balm in Gilead (also taken up by Edgar Allan Poe in "The Raven"?). Of course this will be over the heads of the non-religious.

Austen Ivereigh goes balmy

When Mr Catholic Voices went a little balmy.

If you have any say in the wedding hymns, you can get them to sing that old Gospel Song "Stan Balmy", which seems to consist of this magic phrase repeated 946 times. This is what we call liturgical coherence.

Oh, slip in a reference to Teilhard de Chardin, even if you do call him "Tired Day Chardan". This will go down well with your celebrity audience, who will mostly think he's a fashion-designer.

Anyway, finish off now. Get back to LOVE, and hope that the happy couple haven't already got tired of each other. Money can't buy me love. Love is a many-splendoured thing. Thirty-love (one for Serena Williams there).... There is power in LOVE, which is why it is like FIRE.

Brighton pavilion

A new palace for the Duke of Sus-sus-sus-sex.

See, easy, wasn't it?

Friday 18 May 2018

Did the Pope say "Yanny" or "Laurel"?

In the immortal words of the Daily Mail, the Internet was divided this week by a recording of Pope Francis finally answering the Dubia posed by Cardinal Burke and his colleagues. Did he say "Yanny" (an ecclesial term for "Yes") or "Laurel" ("No")?

This is not the first time that people have been divided over the Holy Father's words. Did he say "Divorced and remarried Catholics can receive Communion" or did he say "No, we're not changing Church teaching, you adulterous weasels"? Nobody can be sure.

Pope and Welby

Did Francis say "Get lost you heretic" or "We all believe the same thing really"?

Then again, did he say "It's open house in the Catholic Church: of course Protestants can receive Communion, even though they don't believe in it!" or did he say "Get those Lutheran frauds out of my Church and tell them not to come back until they've converted!"?

These are difficult issues, and the SPADARO WORMTONGUETM speaking device that the Pope was given to help him make public announcements does not seem to have simplified the issue.

This is not the first time that the Internet has been "hilariously divided" (a Daily Mail term meaning "we're going to show you more of the same boring old tosh"). Remember that dress?

Women bishops, ha ha

What colour dresses are these models wearing?

In the picture above some see a group of dignified and holy women dressed for a religious ceremony. Others see a bunch of clowns posing as bishops. Which is correct? We shall never know.

Friday 11 May 2018

Catholic Church opens new college for lying politicians

Following the Government's decision to renege on its manifesto promise to lift the faith-based admissions cap on free schools, which has made it impossible for the Catholic Church to open new schools, it has been announced that the Church will nevertheless be opening a new college whose purpose is to to educate lying politicians in the difference between right and wrong.

"You may think it easy for a politician to know what is honest and decent conduct, and what is the self-serving action of a lying scumbag, as we bishops describe it," said Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, "but there is a clear need for education in this sector. If someone gets elected to public office having made certain promises, then he is certainly going to burn in Hell if he breaks the promises and attempts to remain in office. I am now going round to the Houses of Parliament to sing 'Liar, liar, pants on fire' to Damian Hinds, the Education Secretary, before formally excommunicating him and enrolling him in our new college."

Damian Hinds

Damian Hinds (loosely described as a "Catholic") on his way to the new college.

A special dispensation from Canon Law has been made allowing the new Damian Hinds College for Liars to open, so that more than 50% of the pupils can be non-Catholics. Since the first intake will consist entirely of MPs, there will be no shortage of eager pupils, both Catholic and non-Catholic, seeking instruction in the arcane skill known as "telling the truth for once".

As for Archbishop McMahon - since his pathetic performance over the Alfie Evans case, he has been taking iron tablets in the hope of growing a backbone. It seems that he may have taken too many.

Malcolm McMahon

Archbishop McMahon vows to "get smiting".

Thursday 10 May 2018

Ernst Stavro Blofeld SJ - hero or villain?

A Damian Thompson special. Already Austen Ivereigh and Robert Mickens are rushing to Blofeld's defence, so it must be good.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld SJ is a priest living in New York, who has cornered the market in heresy and world domination. As editor-at-large of the SPECTRE magazine, he is the most famous Jesuit in the United States; probably the most popular, too. And also the most disliked. Hated, even.


Fr Blofeld, author of The Jesuit Guide to World Domination.

What is there to dislike about this scrupulously polite Jesuit? Compared with the activist Fr Goldfinger ("You expect me to talk? No, Cardinal Bond, I expect you to die.") he is not particularly liberal. Yet, in middle age Fr Blofeld has moved to the left, and embraces the fashionable consensus on almost every issue that alienates conservative Catholics.

Although he does not have a good head of hair, I know that Fr Blofeld is fond of custard and the music of Gladys Mills, so... I'm sorry, I thought I was still writing for the Telegraph. This is the Catholic Herald, isn't it? Start again.

You only live twice

"You only live twice" - a typical heretical teaching from Fr Blofeld.

Blofeld's sex life (I thought that would get you reading again) is a mystery to all. When he joined the Jesuits he was asked whether he was a virgin and said no. However, he has not been known to sleep with members of either sex, although he has expressed himself anxious to build bridges with the LGBT community (this is an obscure Jesuit expression, and nobody would explain to us what it means).

The truth is that Fr Blofeld is, like many of us, a victim of the culture wars. His obsession with world domination has caused him to ally with the destructive side in every Catholic debate, alienating himself from Catholics who honestly disagree with his political opinions. This is not the true nature of Ignatian spirituality, which rarely concerns itself with firing nuclear missiles, destroying satellites, or holding the world to ransom.

Fr James Martin

"The name's Martin. James Martin." (You're getting confused, Damian.)

If the engaging Fr Blofeld really cannot see the problem, then perhaps he should be learning, rather than teaching, fearless methods of self-examination.

Tuesday 8 May 2018

Met Gala's "Heavenly Bodies" offends the faithful

An "art" exhibition in New York, backed by His Eminence Cardinal Timothy Dolan, and described as the epitome of non-religious Catholicism, has caused almost universal disgust in the Catholic world. Models wearing costumes that show no taste or sensitivity have been on display.

On a blog such as this, intended for family reading, we do not normally show rude pictures, but on this occasion we shall make an exception. The real shocker was to see fancy dress such as the following, which can only be described as "blasphemous".

women bishops

Rihanna and friends dress up as bishops.

Contrast this with the quiet dignity shown by a senior Anglican bishop who put in an appearance.


Dame Sarah Mullally, Anglican Bishop of London.

However, the promoter of "Heavenly Bodies" had many other horrors up his sleeve.

Kate Bottley

Barbara Windsor from "Carry on Nurse", transformed into a mock-priest.

Still, it was not just the female models who caused offence. Jim Martin, a male model, writer of trashy books, and notorious bridge-builder, took part dressed as a Jesuit priest, and he even managed to fool some people into thinking he was the real thing.

James Martin

An obscene parody of a Catholic priest.

"How could the Vatican allow displays such as this?" you may ask - surely, one of the worst distortions of Catholicism since the bishops of England and Wales decided to speak out on the Alfie Evans case? Why, even Piers Morgan, not normally thought of as a strait-laced Catholic, was horrified. As with many things that emanate from the Vatican, the explanation is beyond us.

Tobin, Farrell, Cupich

Three extras from the new "Pope Francis" film turn up dressed as cardinals.

The actors in the above photo managed to gatecrash the event by persuading the organizers that they were real cardinals, but the mistake became obvious once they opened their mouths.

Fortunately, Cardinal Dolan was on hand, and he always knows how to maintain the dignity of a Prince of the Church.

Dolan, Rockettes

Liturgical dancing.

Saturday 5 May 2018

Cardinal Marx bans the cross

On this, the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx, the founder of, er, Marxism, one of his illustrious descendants, Cardinal Reinhard "Rhino" Marx has taken the opportunity to explain that from now on the German Catholic Church will prohibit the use of the Cross.

prats at Karl Marx grave

You can fool some of the people all of the time.

It began with Rhino condemning the hanging of crosses in public buildings, which is only reasonable, for why should people be allowed to use the patented, trademarked, symbol of the Church without paying Royalties, like good Catholic Germans do with their Church Tax? But on further reflection, His Eminence has decided that the cross is a hated symbol of traditional Catholicism and needs to be exterminated completely.

Rhino Marx

"I used to wear a cross, but it's a hammer and sickle from now on!"

German Catholics are being told to abandon the "sign of the cross" and from now on will be making the "sign of the hammer and sickle": this is definitely more complicated, and osteopaths will be on hand to help anyone who gets into difficulties. The change from "Cross" to "Hammer and Sickle" is expected to be approved at the highest level in the Church - as with the Protestant heresy, the Germans lead the way - and Pope Francis, advised by top theologian Cardinal Walter Kasper, has agreed that it is a better symbol of modern Catholic belief.

Pope and hammer/sickle

Vorsprung durch Ketzerei.

Meanwhile, the German bishops - who sometimes make even the English bishops look orthodox - are debating whether a Protestant married to a Catholic should be allowed to receive Communion. That is, a Communion in which he (or she) doesn't believe. My distant kinsman Fr Bob Eccles has written some absurd letters in the Catholic Herald on this subject - apparently it isn't about what you believe, or what Christ taught, but more about what makes people happy (I paraphrase).

But the German bishops are divided, and they asked the Pope to rule on this matter. Do we go along with all the Catholic teachings of the last 2000 years, or do we have a free-for-all, in which the Host may be consumed by Protestants, Muslims, Atheists, and even British High Court Judges?

Pope and Katy Perry

The Pope asks his new best friend, Katy Perry, for advice.

We don't know what advice Pope Francis received from his new theological adviser, but in the end he decided to play safe and treat the German bishops' enquiry as a Dubium. This means it was filed in a shoe-box labelled "Questions I am never going to answer".

So the ball is back with Rhino and his chums. The good Cardinal is said to be very hammer-and-sickle about the whole affair.

Tuesday 1 May 2018

Eccles explains it to the bishops

All right, in you come. Nichols and McMahon at the front please, you've been getting very bad marks lately. Your auxiliaries next to you. The rest anywhere. Moth! Keep away from that candle flame, you'll burn yourself. No laughing, Stock. Egan, you're a bright lad, but try and sit away from the bad bishops, as they're only trying to lead you astray.

Bash Street Kids

The bishops are ready to learn.

Now, Pope Francis has asked me to explain some Catholic doctrine about children, the family, euthanasia, and so on. He was horrified that you seem to be so weak on Catholic teaching. Even Parolin was shocked.

Now, boys, what do we do when a child is seriously ill? Starve him to death, take him somewhere where he can be looked after, go to law to stop the parents having a say in what happens to him, ignore him completely? Any suggestions?

Smith, don't do that! Burns, stop scratching. Arnold, put that away!

All right, here's an easier one. Who is most likely to give love and care to a sick child? His parents, a judge with a strong anti-Catholic prejudice, a doctor who wants to withdraw food and drink?

Yes, these are difficult ethical issues, at least for a bishop with the intelligence of a goldfish.


Very offended at being mistaken for a Catholic bishop.

All right, Nichols, I know what you're going to say. The Holy Father is trying to seek political capital - pushing pro-life and family concerns onto the agenda - rather than curling up on the floor and letting Alder Hey tickle his tummy. Well, take it up with him.