This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Thursday 31 January 2019

King Herod claims to care for children


King Herod the Great

King Herod of Judaea has hit back strongly against claims that his policy of killing all children under the age of two years old could be described as barbarous, inhuman, or simply murderous. In a tweet that set the record straight in no uncertain terms he said:


In previous comments, Herod had explained that his child-killing policy was totally humane, and that the infants in question would be kept comfortable as they went to their deaths.

"I love children," he went on. "Why I have two myself!"

"Four, your Majesty."

"Oh, really? Well, it's hard to keep track of these things."

Although mass murder of children was originally supposed to be "safe, legal and rare", it is now increasingly seen as a policy that saves time and energy for everyone.

Elsewhere in Judaea, Governor Quasimodo has eagerly embraced the policy of caring, loving, considerate and sympathetic infanticide. We attempted to contact High Priest Dolittle for a comment on this, bur he was out to lunch and not expected back for six hours.

Cuomo and Dolan

"Can you remind me? Are we for or against abortion?"

Saturday 26 January 2019

Fatman and Martin the Boy Wonder

Theme music: Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, Fatman! (arr. Marty Haugen).


The Caped Crusader

Over to Dolan Manor, just behind St Patrick's Cathedral in New York, where millionaire socialite Timothy Dolan is settling down to a light snack of lobster thermidor aux crevettes with a Mornay sauce, garnished with truffle pâté, brandy and a fried egg on top, and spam. His protégé, Jimmy, is using his "Boy's Own Engineering Set" to build a bridge, and painting it in rainbow colours to match the leotard he is wearing.

The phone rings, and Alfred the Butler (any suggestions?) answers it.

Alfred (nonplussed): The Riddler to speak to you on the Fatphone, sir.

Riddler: Here's a good one for you, Fatman! What do you call someone who promotes abortion, but who is still regarded as being of good standing in the Catholic Church? Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

Dolan: He's rung off. Quick - to the Fatcave! Maybe the Fatcomputer can help with this one.


Fatman's arch-enemy has a riddle for him!

In a flash, Dolan puts on his robes and becomes Fatman! Likewise, Jimmy is now Martin the Boy Wonder! They slide down a specially toughened pole, and arrive in the Fatcave!

Fatman: There's a message on the Fatcomputer, Boy Wonder! It says that Governor Cuomo of Godless City has signed a new abortion law. Also I've got 50 people on Twitter asking me why I don't excommunicate him!

Martin: What? And make yourself unpopular? Think of all those parties and dinners you'd miss if you started standing up for Catholic values! Play your cards right, and my friend Stephen Colbert will invite you on his show.

Fatman: Exactly. Well I'll just block these troublemakers on Twitter. Hmm, one's called Eccles. I wonder who that is?

Martin: Look! Here's some real crime, Fatman! A Covington schoolboy has been seen aggressively standing silently wearing a red MAGA hat, while national hero Big Chief Flaming Pants Magua was quietly banging a drum in his face. Magua says "I wanted to scalp um, but he wear red hat. Me, big national Vietnam hero, fire many arrows at Vietcong when only 5 years old."

Nathan Phillips and Nick Sandmann

Excommunicate him for smirking!

Fatman: Sounds bad, Boy Wonder.

Martin: Can we excommunicate him, Fatman? Please, please, please! Bishop John Stowe says that it was Hitler who invented the red hat, and nobody wearing one can possibly be pro-life.

Fatman: Oh, we really shouldn't get involved, Boy Wonder. So, back to the Fatkitchen now! I'm hungry!


A national hero.

Monday 7 January 2019

The World Cup of Bad Cardinals - the runners

I don't know, I turn on the phone each morning to see what spiritual nourishment the world has to offer me, and every day there's another cardinal disgracing himself. If it isn't Dolan cosying up to Joe Biden, or Napier praising Occasional-Cortex, the pro-abortion dancer with the part-time brain cells, it's Rhino Marx bleating about a change in sexual morality.

Rhino Marx

The forgotten Marx brother.

So, after hitting my head against the wall seven times (Biblical), I decided that the only way for us saved laymen to express our disgust was to run a World Cup of Bad Cardinals.

Now, the World Cup of Bad Hymns was a great success, except that Marty Haugen still hasn't got in touch to thank me for his silver medal. We won't have 64 entrants this time, just a maximum of 32, so we should get through the tournament more quickly. Remember that 1 in 12 of the Disciples was unsaved, and my estimate is that we'll find a similar proportion of the 200+ cardinals in the same position.

Obviously, I'm excluding Pope Francis, out of respect for the office he bears, and let's leave McCarrick to rot in his beach house - he resigned from the College of Cardinals, anyway - but there are plenty more to choose from. Living ones only, though.

McCarrick and chums

"I think we've got this one sewn up!"

Update: these are the 32 fine cardinals who will be competing. Some lesser-known villains were eliminated by lottery, but I think all the superstars are present.

Baldisseri, Becciu, Bertone, Braz de Aviz, Coccopalmerio, Cupich, Danneels, De Kesel, Dew, Dolan, Dziwisz, Errázuriz, Ezzati, Farrell, Gracias, Kasper, Ladaria, Mahony, Maradiaga, Marx, Napier, Nichols, Ouellet, Parolin, Ravasi, Schönborn, Sodano, Tagle, Ticona Porco, Tobin, Woelki, Wuerl.

Yes, yes, I know, this is a highly offensive ad hominem attack on the Princes of the Church, but, in the words of Terry-Thomas:


"You're an absolute shower!"

Oh, and thanks to @Rach_StBern, who "borrowed" it from Fountains Abbey, we even have a prize to hang round the neck of the winning cardinal.

May the worst man win!

Saturday 5 January 2019

Seven reasons to prefer the Novus Ordo

As a contribution to the debate started by Fr Longenecker's Twelve Things I Like about the Novus Ordo Mass and One Peter Five's Twelve Reasons Not to Prefer the Novus Ordo, let us look at seven aspects in which the Novus Ordo beats the Extraordinary Form hollow.

An opportunity to chat.

It's very dull coming in to an EF Mass just before the start. You will normally find the church in total silence, with people praying, meditating, who knows what? Come to a jolly NO service, and we have none of that! A steady buzz of conversation - gossip, rumours, quarrels, chat about what people did last week, the shops, ... this is how it would have been like in Biblical times, when Jesus could hardly get a word in edgeways because of chatter about the price of fish, the latest rumours about Judas Iscariot's beach house, and the discomfort of the seats at the Last Supper.


Waiting for the priest to arrive.

The vernacular.

Go to an EF Mass and it's all in Latin, and even if you go a hundred times you will never be able to understand a single word of it. But go to Scotland, to France, to Poland, to Samoa, and you will find that everyone speaks Vernacular, as Vatican II told them to! Don't worry, you'll soon learn the Hungarian for "Lead us not into temptation", or "Let us not fall into temptation", or "Oooh, don't tempt me!" or whatever the Pope would like us to say this week.

No kneeling.

Well, there is some kneeling, but you can usually avoid it. After all, the Pope does. All postures are welcome. In France they stand up and block your view at the Elevation of the Host. In the Vatican they sprawl on cushions sniffing cocaine - well, some of them do. You can stand, sit, kneel, hop around on one leg, wave your hands in the air... drawing attention to yourself as a particularly holy person is very popular (I think it started with the Baptists).

Mad organist

Marty Haugen lets rip.

The hymns.

Oh, Gregorian chant is so boring! It may have meaningful words, dignified music, and a general air of sanctity... but, admit it, wouldn't you rather have "I am the Lord of the Dance," or "Gather us in," or even "Shine, Jesus, Shine" - all good quality sources of spiritual nourishment where the words may be heretical, banal, and boring, but they are at least the sort of songs you can sing when totally blotto (even if you may have difficulty when sober)?

Clowns, puppets, and balloons.

These are not a compulsory part of the Novus Ordo Mass (except in parts of Germany and Austria), but they are certainly a popular feature. When did you last see a priest holding up a Kermit the Frog puppet when giving a general Absolution? I think I've made my point.

Liturgical dancing

We also recommend liturgical dancing.

The Grope of Peace.

The Novus Ordo Mass is so tactile. Cuddle your neighbour, pinch her backside, or - for neighbours you aren't so keen on - give him a hearty kick in the ankle. This week's top score at St Tharg's is 36 Signs of Peace - this took brother Bosco about ten minutes to complete. Admittedly, he's now facing charges of assault, grievous bodily harm, and manslaughter (how was he to know that Sister Dominatrix would have a heart attack?) but it's all Biblical, innit?

The Communion.

Kneeling down and receiving on the tongue are so rigid. Sidle up and grab the Host from the priest. Use the standard Vatican II liturgical response "Thanks, Daddy-o" rather than a silent "Amen". Do not cross yourself. Look! As with all these rituals, just do it whichever way you want. God doesn't expect our reverence, our sincerity, or even - these days - that anyone believes in Him. Ask the Bishop!