This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Wednesday 26 June 2019

Pope Francis explains the miracles of Jesus

As all modern Catholics know, there is an easy explanation for the "miracle" of the feeding of the 5,000; namely, that it was all a matter of the happy picknickers sharing what they already had. This theory has now been endorsed by no less than Pope Francis himself.

Explaining away miracles is a good way to make Catholicism popular among atheists, as these guys have always had problems with believing in God, the supernatural etc., and these ideas are not, strictly speaking, needed in modern Catholicism.

Pope Francis went on to explain some of the other alleged miracles of Jesus:

The miracle at Cana (John 2). Yes, indeed the host's wine ran out. But the guests at the wedding knew that the host was an old stingy-chops, and smuggled in their own bottles and hip flasks, which (as it is recorded in the gospels) contained much better stuff, anyway.

Wedding at Cana

"That reminds me, I do have a few bottles with me."

The paralysed man (Mark 2). This was the chap who was let down from the roof of someone's house, and was told, "Take up your bed and walk." It's clear what happened here: old Habakkuk was the laziest man in Capernaum, and had taken to his bed, rather than do an honest day's work. Jesus knew this, and told him to get up.

The man possessed by demons (Luke 8). This is greatly exaggerated, of course. The man was actually singing a selection of hymns such as "Gather us in", "Walk in the Light", and "Kumbayah". This upset a herd of pigs with great musical taste, and they all rushed into the sea to escape. Seeing this, the man instantly sobered up and went on to compose "Lord of the Dance". No, that can't be exactly right. But something like that happened.

James Martin

Sorry, I couldn't find a picture of a man possessed by demons.

The raising of Lazarus (John 11-12). Of course, raising people from the dead is impossible. No doubt, Lazarus wasn't really dead, but was pretending to be dead for tax reasons. You try sitting around in a tomb for a few days, and people will naturally come to the conclusion that you have passed on, especially if you hang a sign saying "R.I.P." on the door.

Walking on the water and stilling the storm (Matthew 8 and 14). This is greatly exaggerated, and no doubt Jesus had found a underwater causeway: alternatively, He had been practising some sort of circus act. As for stilling the storm, well the trick is to say "Be still" just as the weather is getting better. Any competent meteorologist can do it.

Holy Island

St Peter decides to try going by car.

Answering questions (Matthew 22). No, we don't have an explanation for this one. Pope Francis has been unable to answer five simple Dubia ("it would be a miracle if he could"), so it is a complete mystery how Jesus managed to tackle some distinctly thorny questions from the Pharisees and Sadducees. It's simply amazing.

Monday 24 June 2019

The bishops get tough on forced abortion

Yes! Our England and Wales bishops have at last shown that they are prepared to take a moral lead! Faced with the case of an NHS trust which wishes to force an abortion on an adult Catholic woman with moderate learning difficulties (say, one step down from Diane Abbott), they did not hesitate to condemn the brutal decision by Mrs Justice (ha ha) Lieven in the strongest possible terms.

Well, they hesitated for three days. But I suppose yesterday was Sunday, and some of the bishops may have been attending church.

Catholic bishops

"On the one hand..." "On the other hand..." "There are two sides to every question." "Remind me, are we for or against massacres?" "We mustn't offend anyone, must we?" "When do we get the doughnuts?"

But finally, there came the statement we had all been waiting for:

By and large, all things considered, we think that forcing women to kill their kids may not always be the best solution. But we don't want to make an issue of it. Still, we think you ought to know that some of us are slightly disgruntled by the whole affair.

That's telling them!

Apparently a few phrases were deleted from the original statement, because the bishops could not agree on them. These included:

Brood of vipers. Blood-crazed doctors. Murder. Bunch of psychos. Jackals. They're booked for the Lake of Fire - trust us, we know about these things.

But, on the whole, we think that the bishops' statement (which will be totally ignored, anyway) has really shown those fiends where they get off. Well done, my Lords!

Sunday 23 June 2019

Amazonis Laetitia

The Instrumentum Laboris for the forthcoming Amazon synod has been released, and here are some excerpts from the document, which was edited by Cardinal Piranha, the special nuncio to the Amazon jungle. We expect to see many future synods named after rivers, including the Mississippi Synod, the Yangtze Synod, and - most heretical of all - the Rhine Synod, at which the German bishops will be instructed to "wash away all the old teachings".

Amazonis Laetitia

As always, the Catholic Church is guided by her faith in the Mother Earth Goddess, and her attendant Spirits, of which we mention Viracocha, Quetzalcoatl, Bergoglio, Maradiaga, etc. It has naturally been discovered that doctrine has evolved since the boring old 1st Century, and along the following lines.


"Peace be with you!"

Marriage of priests. Following detailed researches into Church customs, it has been agreed that priests shall be allowed to marry, but none should have more than six wives. Coincidentally, this brings us into line with best practice in the Church of England, whose founder also had six wives; thus it may be regarded as an ecumenical gesture.

Human sacrifices. This is a theological grey area, but very important, and so we have relegated the new doctrine to an ambiguous footnote on page 94. It is generally agreed that human sacrifices are at best an optional form of the liturgy (like the "sign of peace" but less offensive), and we expect the German bishops to take a lead here. Provided that "discernment" and "accompaniment" are stressed, who are we to judge?

Incan sacrifice

The Spirit of Vat-Inca II.

Women priests and deacons. Traditionally the Catholic Church has said that it is impossible to ordain women to holy orders (see the encyclical Retro in Cocinatorium ("Get back in the kitchen").) However, there is evidence (thank you, Fr Martin!) that in fact three of the twelve apostles were women, and one was not at all sure, and we haven't even mentioned the view that Mary Magdalene founded the Church. So it is definitely a grey area, and if it's one thing the Church is here for, it is to provide Jobs for the Boys (and Girls!) So we will mumble ambiguously about this one for a few months until suddenly everyone notices that lots of the priests are in fact female.

Liturgical blowpipes. Here we are stressing the traditional Christian line that firing poisoned darts at your neighbour (tipped with the venom of the serpent Blasus Cupichus) during Mass is considered to be bad manners; still, some bishops may choose to allow the custom. The priest, on the other hand, may fire suitably blessed blowpipes at unruly members of the congregation, although like the Extraordinary Form Mass, this is something we do not really encourage.


Fr Blopipe practices his rituals.

Dubia, Filial Corrections, Rude letters from theologians, etc. These will be ignored, as usual, except that if we find out where you live, you may suddenly disappear. Understood?

Saturday 8 June 2019

The new version of the Lord's prayer

Pope Francis has set up a special Vatican committee to provide a new modernist translation of the Lord's prayer, and we were privileged to hear (by means of an Ecclesbug (TM)) an account of their discussions.

Right, guys, Pope Francis wants a new translation of this prayer. We could start with the New Testament Greek if you like?

Oh no, that's all squiggles to me. How about using the Latin? Does anyone speak it?

I did a bit at school. Caesar adsum jam forte. Pompey aderat. That sort of stuff.

Caesar adsum jam forte

Caesar adsum jam forte. Pompey aderat.

Great! We can probably work that in somewhere. Now, let's start.

Pater noster, qui es in caelis.

Our holy Father who is... er, in caelis?

In the cellar? That's where he lives now that he has become even more humble.

Sanctificetur nomen tuum.

Sanctified be your, er nomen. Gnome? Is this a reference to Austen Ivereigh?

Adveniat regnum tuum.

Adveniat, er, Advent? Advent rules you? How about "Advent rules OK"?

Fiat voluntas tua.

Your wish was a Fiat. I think the Pope wanted a really humble car, you see.

Pope and car

My other car is a Fiat.

Sicut in caelo et in terra.

Does he play the cello? Well I've heard of Maradiaga on the fiddle... So far I've got "As the cello on the ground" - doesn't seem to mean much.

Look, if we aim for a meaningful translation we'll be here all day, and we'll miss Cocco's party. Shove it down as it is.

Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie.

This is the bit about bread, isn't it? Shall we make the prayer more up-to-date by changing it to "pizza"? Give us some pizza today?

Et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris.

Something to do with debts and nostrils? Help us pay for our cocaine?

Hurry up, Cocco's party's starting soon.

Et ne nos inducas in tentationem.

We all know what he wants there. Do not let us fall into temptation.

Why not "fall into the Thames"? That would be snappier, wouldn't it?

Sed libera nos a malo.

Malo is apple, I'm fairly sure. Is this a reference to Adam and Eve?

Free us from apples!

Adam and Eve

Free us from apples!

So, what we'll give the punters from now on is:

Our holy Father, who is in the cellar,
Sanctified be your gnome.
Advent rules OK.
You wanted a Fiat
As the cello on the ground.
Give us some pizza today, 
And help us pay for our cocaine.
Do not let us fall into the Thames,
But free us from apples!

Well, guys, I think we've done a good job there. Pope Francis will be delighted.

Friday 7 June 2019

Do women have the right to bare arms?

This week's big question arises from a tweet from Fr Kevin Cusick, namely,

Ladies, a priest I know was forced on Sunday to ask a woman at Mass to cover her shoulders. Please help the priest to protect the purity of the men at holy Mass by choosing to dress modestly. The alternative is awkward for all involved. Thank you.

Venus de Milo

Not welcome at Mass.

This caused a mighty backlash on Twitter, and the good Fr KC felt obliged to drop out, rather than simply replying "You is not saved only I is saved," to his critics, which would be guaranteed to stun them into silence (it always works for me). We asked our experts to comment:

Sister Judy Piranha of the "Nuns on the Train": Coo-eee, Kevin!!?? Come along to our convent, and you'll see far more than naked shoulders!!?? Doesn't your constitution give women the right to bare arms??!! As a retired major-general, you should know all about that!!?? Anyway, Little Judy is just DYING to meet you, and give you a good time!!?? Byeeeee!!??

liturgical dance

Bare shoulders are only part of the problem.

Fr James Martin, LGBTSJ: I hope you're all having a good Pride Month, following on from Gay History Month, Catholic Lesbian Month, Transitioning Deacon Month, Priests who like Gay Sex in a Vat of Olive Oil Month, etc. etc.! There's something for everyone in our church, and nobody I know will be excited by a woman's bare arms - except for most of the other women! Anyway, must dash, the Jesuits have got a male stripper coming to Mass this evening!

Fr Jack Hackett, Craggy Island: GIRLS!!!!

Bishop Libby of Derby

Bishop Libby, a part-time onion-seller.

Bishop Libby: We Anglicans brought women's rights kicking and screaming into the 1960s, and burning our bras was only the first step. And the Catholics copied us - there isn't a single cardinal who wears a bra! Not even Tobin. Well, they couldn't get one in his size... Now, girls, remember to dress decently and tastefully, as I do!

Fr Kevin Cusick (mostly saved): You see what I have to put up with?

Monday 3 June 2019

Bishop Tobin makes a humble apology

Bishop Thomas Tobin (not to be confused with Cardinal Joe Nighty-Night Tobin, whose views are rather different) managed to upset a lot of people by reminding Catholics that Gay Pride events are an invention of the Devil, and that people taking part will be assigned to the Lake of Fire faster than you can say "James Martin."

Being a bishop, he did not use those exact words (although St Paul would certainly have done). Since this blog has now decided to become a work of accurate record, following an embarrassing incident in which people were led to believe that Prof. Massimo Faggioli was actually a Count Massimo Faggioli, we are posting the original tweet verbatim.

Tobin tweet

Oops... Bishop accidentally reminds people of Catholic teaching.

Anyway, after an outcry from the Catholic community worldwide (including Piers Morgan, ha ha ha), the good bishop has backpedalled with the standard non-apology, which goes along these lines:

I deeply regret that you are such a load of wusses that you throw a wobbly whenever a bishop reminds you of Catholic teaching. I can only apologise sincerely, by saying "Keep your hissy fits to yourselves, you brood of vipers, and go to confession!"

This backtracking appears to have satisfied everyone, and is being spun as BISHOP SUPPORTS LGBT EVENTS AFTER ALL, TOBIN WITHDRAWS HOMOPHOBIC ABUSE, and TOP CATHOLIC SAYS "CAN I COME ALONG?"

Tom Tobin

Bishop Thomas Tobin

In next week's news: Bishop Tobin advises that theft is against Catholic teaching, and is justly condemned by the TBRPPBMEF (thieves, bank robbers, pick-pockets, muggers, embezzlers and frauds) community.

Saturday 1 June 2019

How can a Pope tell lies?

As the latest instalment in our self-help guide, "How to be a good pope," intended for those of our readers who are already getting themselves measured for the white zucchetto, "just in case," we address the thorny problem of whether a pope can tell lies.

The simplest answer, of course, is no. Infallibility guarantees that, whatever you say, it is automatically true. Of course, as Rex Mottram would put it, you were actually telling the truth in a spiritual sense, but others are too sinful to see this.

Benedict, Francis, basket

"This is the complete dossier on McCarrick."
"I'll say I know nothing."

Let's take a case in point, the sordid story of "Uncle Fred," once one of your favourite cardinals, and now sadly disgraced. Your predecessor as Pope knew about some of his activities, and, when the St Gallstone Mafia launched a coup and got you the top job, he told you all about him, and advised you to keep Uncle Fred chained up in a dungeon. So you let him go.

This is the story told by Archbishop Vinegar, and now other evidence is coming out. Donna Whirly was involved too. In fact it seems that everyone in the Vatican knew about Uncle Fred EXCEPT YOU.

McCarrick, Wuerl, Dolan

The Pope says he knows nothing!

So many people say you're lying! They really don't understand how Holy Fathers work, do they? Luckily you have friends who know that popes cannot lie (when Peter denied knowing Jesus, it wasn't a lie, it was simply because he had forgotten who He was, it could happen to anyone).

First, there's little Austen Ivory, telling the world that He didn’t know about McCarrick's past, or the sanctions (how could he know?) while at the same time throwing in a few character assassinations, in line with your new Motu proprio, AD HOMINEM. Other mates will rush to your defence, such as Robert Muckins, who still hasn't recovered from the news that your predecessor, whom he called "The rat" refuses to die. He manages to be even less coherent than Austen, no mean feat!

Unfortunately Fr Martin James LGBTSJ is not available to join in the fun, as he is in hospital having an operation. We have no idea what it is, but when she comes out, she will no doubt support you too.


The Archbishop of Barcelona also knows nothing.

Anyway, here are a few useful phrases which should help you get through this tricky time:

I know nothing.
I have an alibi.
Nobody told me.
I wasn't there.
I plead infallibility.
It's a case of mistaken identity.
It must have been some other Pope.
You don't have any DNA evidence, do you?
If I have a weakness, it's my inability to lie.
If you can't trust the Pope, whom can you trust?
I reserve the right to remain silent.
     (Well, it worked for those Dubia...)
Jesus and Pontius Pilate

What is truth?

Transylvanians fear Pope's visit

In Transylvania, honest peasants are decking their homes with garlic and crucifixes, and refusing to go out after dark, as Pope Francis arrives on the latest of his world trips.

No, it is not the Holy Father, "He who can never tell lies," that they fear; rather it is the entourage of journalists, theologians, priests, vampires, and werewolves, who accompany him wherever he goes.

Dracula, Lugosi

Fr Antonio Spadaro.

Said Bram Stoca, a humble peasant from Bran, "Probably there is no truth in the rumours that Austen Ivereigh sleeps in a coffin, that Robert Mickens can turn into a bat, or that Fr Rosica can only be killed with a stake through his heart, but I am taking no chances."

The local Lord of the Manor, Count Dracula, is equally perturbed by the prospect of the invading hordes, not least as they are likely to take "customers" away from his own private Banca de Sange.

Dracula, Lee

"Any chance of a job with the Tablet?"

Some say that the Transylvanians' worries are unfounded, but for hundred of years peasants have told their children in hushed tones of the legend of the National Catholic Reporter, of Michael Sean Winters, of Fr Thomas Reese SJ, and even of Count Massimo Faggioli himself, of whom it is said in 1 Maccabees 5:4 (and no we are NOT making this bit up):

And he remembered the malice of the children of Bean: who were a snare and a stumblingblock to the people, by lying in wait for them in the way.

Peter Cushing

Fighting an NCR journalist with the only thing he fears.