This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Monday, 13 January 2020

Pope Benedict writes a book

Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI has written a new book in collaboration with Cardinal Sarah, and the reviews are already coming in from influential people who haven't read it.

Robert Mickens, once fired from the Tablet for being an utterly vile person:

"Why isn't the Rat dead yet? He's got no right to carry on living after he abdicated. I sent him a coffin for Christmas but he refuses to use it. Anyway, he seems to be totally gaga, and obviously didn't write the book."

Benedict-Sarah book

Causing a meltdown in liberal circles.

Massimo Faggioli, the thinking girl's sex symbol:

"The pope emeritus operates in the political-mediatic ecosystem with a freedom typical of the neo-liberal ideology: what the market can bear." (Yes, he really said that. It's a theology professor's way of saying "Shut up, Benedict, you're yesterday's man. When you became Emeritus they took away the keys to Heaven and you stopped being infallible. I'm allowed to express my views, but you are not. So shut your gob.")


"I only wanted a cup of coffee, but when I started to explain the multilayered crisis in the hermeneutics of her menu, the waitress ran away screaming."

Fr James Martin LGBTSJ, who needs no introduction:

"I am in two minds here - swinging both ways, you might say. Pope Benedict is a good man, but we can't have him setting up a parallel magisterium, following 2000 years' worth of dead popes, in conflict with Pope Francis's new magisterium. Besides, did you know that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene?"

Austen Ivereigh, Pope Francis's official attack poodle:

"I have it on good authority from Fr Nosuchperson that Benedict has been in a coma for the last seven years, and could not possibly express an opinion on anything. I blame that unscrupulous courtier Cardinal Sarah for making up the whole thing."

Benedict and beer

"Here's looking at you, Austen!


  1. I am happy to accept Massimo as the recognised authority on all things gelato, but... a *sex symbol*? I've clearly outed myself as #notathinkinggirl

  2. The last Pope and the next Pope are saying nothing remarkable.

    The Catholic Church has always had married priests, only in greatly varying numbers at different points in history. They are of course the norm in several of the Eastern Catholic Churches, although there, as in Eastern Orthodoxy, it is often the case that most or all priests are in practice the sons of priests, while most or all priests’ wives are priests’ daughters. Something comparable has existed in numerous Protestant bodies, and still does. Do we really want to end up like that? I only ask.

    Unlike the absolutely impossible ordination of women (an ordination ceremony performed to the letter on a woman, even by the Pope, would never have any sacramental effect), celibacy is a pastoral question, not a doctrinal one. And for those who like their Vatican II, Presbyterorum Ordinis 16 simply does not compromise the discipline of priestly celibacy in the Latin Church, but the very reverse.

    Nothing could be more appropriate theologically and pastorally in the present age than the preservation of that discipline, while those who blame it for the shortage of priests in the tiny number of countries where there is such a thing need to be asked in exactly which of the last 60 years they imagine sex to have been invented, and exactly when they expect the rest of the world to become aware of it. Never mind what use they think that marriage would be in controlling a man whose sexual interest was in teenage boys.

    As for the exceptions to the Latin discipline, which are mostly for convert Protestant clergymen, they make perfect sense. We must be ruthless in counteracting those who would pass on what they know to be entirely baseless claims about celibacy and “pollution”, about celibacy as a Medieval innovation, about celibacy as concerned with questions of property, and so on.

    However, having mentioned endowments, it must be said that the Church of England, in particular, has married bishops and married presbyters because it can afford them. Where do the proponents of such a change among us imagine that widows’ pensions and the rest are supposed to come from? Or would they have our priests adopt the Eastern discipline and work the land?

    Furthermore, as the Church of England has discovered, the benefits of spouses cannot legally be denied to civil partners, or now to legal spouses of the same sex. And then there is divorce. In any case, the mass laicisations of the 1960s and 1970s, at least ostensibly on the celibacy issue, now belong to a distant age.

    All in all, the last Pope and the next Pope are saying nothing remarkable.

  3. As the Flowerpot Men used to sing, 'Was it Bob or was it Ben, wrote a traditional book just then? Which of those two orthodox men - was it Bob or was it Ben?' - 'It was both! It was both!' Mind you, 'Cardinal Sarah' - surprised the critics (no names mentioned) didn't pick up on that...

  4. Damian Thompson : "Well, this is a very interesting development, and moving beyond the facile characterisations of the Pope Emeritus and the very conservative Cardinal Sarah as being very much the champions of the previous pontificate, one wonders what sort of impact the publication of these clearly traditionalist views shall have upon the opinions of the more educated English Catholics of the upper middle classes."

  5. If the base premise is erroneous, i.e., Benedict's abdication was legally valid per canon law, therefore the conclave electing Bergoglio was valid therefore Francis is the pope, then whatever Bergoglio does means nothing.

    If the base premise is correct, i.e., that Benedict's abdication was invalid per canon law making the conclave that elected Bergoglio invalid and therefore Bergoglio is not the pope and Benedict is still the pope, then we need to listen to Benedict.

    We're in big trouble, folks. Are there no canon lawyers out there brave enough to call a screeching halt to this travesty? No canon lawyers at all on the planet who feel called by Our Lord to stand up for Him and the Church?

  6. This one has to go in your Greatest Hits, Eccles.

  7. These last few posts have been truly memorable Eccles. Thank you for your continued satire, which is much more interesting than polemical articles and long-winded comments in Blogdom.