This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Tuesday 29 December 2020

How to revive a dead Apostolic Exhortation

This is the latest instalment in our series "How to be a good pope", intended mainly for those who one day expect to be sleeping with the Keys to Heaven under their pillow, and giving out red hats to all their best mates. (To judge by the number of hits this blog gets, only people expecting the very top job will actually read this.)

Now, one thing that popes do is to write encyclicals and apostolic exhortations. Most of these are destined to gather dust in the Vatican library, and most of your cardinals will be borrowing copies of How to hide your drug habit and Money-laundering for beginners rather than one of Pope Leo XIII's 88 encyclicals (yes, really), and he was an Agatha Christie compared with you.


"I feel another encyclical coming on..."

So you decide to have a special year to celebrate your writings, and maybe clock up some more royalties. You are just over halfway through a year of celebration of "O SOLE MIO", your encyclical about the environment, and after an initial rash of jokes about plastic straws and Greta Thunberg, the world simply refused to take note, and went back to thinking about God instead.

They're not getting away with that! Even before the O SOLE MIO year of admiration is over, hit them with a new year (in fact fifteen months) dedicated to your other masterpiece AMOROUS LASCIVIA. In order to get it past the censors, attach the name of a great saint who won't answer back - Joseph, perhaps, who was well known for saying very little.

Ah, but you're saying, AMOROUS LASCIVIA went down very badly. Four cardinals spotted that it contradicts the previous 2000 years of Catholic teaching on marriage and the family, and sent in some Dubia. Two of them have since died, but the other two are beginning to suspect that you are never going to answer them - how faithless of them, in another twenty years or so you will have worked out which of the 32 possible combinations of YES and NO is the one least likely to embarrass you most reflecting Catholic teaching.

Pope Francis and Dubia

Sometimes, Dubia can be TOUGH.

Just ignore them and set up a website with lots of pictures of YOU doing family-type things - you know, smiling at children as if you liked the little beasts, blessing families, etc. Try to avoid the one featuring father, mother, father's previous wife, father's mistress, and mother's live-in lesbian lover, no matter what Fr James Martin says; also the one where the kids wouldn't smile and you hit them.

Now, you need a good programme of events to keep things going. Organize a "We love Amorous Lascivia" conference with distinguished speakers such as Austen Ivereigh and Massimo Faggioli. You may have to do it by ZOOM: some of the speakers will prefer this as they won't have to wear trousers. Next get those unsold AMOROUS LASCIVIA tee-shirts and coffee mugs from the cellar. Be imaginative!

There, that'll stop them worrying about the mess you got into with the Pachamama Synod!

Sunday 27 December 2020

Christians are white supremacists

We are truly grateful to one Jen Bokoff for reminding us that "Merry Christmas" is a white supremacy slogan, and a sign to the world that you intend to enslave people of inferior cultures, and, quite possibly, exterminate them.

Jen balls

That's telling us!

Of course this goes back to the universally recognised fact that Jesus was a blond-haired Aryan type, and nothing whatsoever to do with ancient Judaea. Moreover, as Jen will confirm, His message was not "Peace on Earth" but more a sort of "Let's smite all the foreigners!"

Clearly, "Merry Chistmas" is a totally inappropriate thing to say at Christmastide, and the alternative words "Bah! Humbug!" are the most truly woke way of recognising the feast. There are other things one can do to mark the occasion, such as scream "Black lives matter!" at your neighbour, possibly just after looting a shoe shop or throwing a statue into the river. You might also try saying "Merry Floydmas" in honour of the most saintly person who ever lived. And don't forget to take the knee!

Cardinal Sarah

"I never knew I was a white supremacist until Jen told me to Bokoff!"

Our thanks again to Jen for putting us straight on this. Next week, how St Peter was literally Hitler, and why "Happy New Year" is sexist and racist.

Thursday 24 December 2020

The 2020 Advent Calendar

This year's Advent calendar shows us all that is best in contemporary catholicism:
  • A great year for Biden and AOC, generally regarded as Top Catholics;
  • A red hat for Uncle Wilt Gregory, who provided spiritual support to Donald Trump;
  • The generally-admired Vatican nativity scene, which showed us the true meaning of Christmas;
  • Pachamama!
  • Masterpieces of church architecture, as seen in the World Cup of ugly churches;
  • Uncle Ted!
  • Cupich, Kasper, Marx, Becciu, Nichols, representing the big boys in the college of cardinals;
  • Jimbo and Austen, furiously scribbling best-sellers with a slightly Catholic theme;
  • BOFF!
  • A collection of liturgical scenes and miscellaneous items; and, last but not least,
  • The Holy Father demonstrating the ancient art of Papa-Slappa.
Advent calendar

And a happy and blessed Christmas to all readers. Stay saved.

Wednesday 23 December 2020

Austen Ivereigh not expected to resign

One of the closest confidants of Austen Ivereigh, the celebrated Catholic journalist, has denied rumours that the great man is about to resign from his various prestigious positions (Fellow of Campion Hall, scribbler for various publications, best-selling author - The Pope Francis Cookbook and Keeping Fit with Pope Francis are this Christmas blockbusters), and devote himself to Catholicism instead.

Pope and Austen

"'Pope Francis is very very very very wonderful.' You do have a way with words, Austen."

Pope Francis, who has long been Austen's biggest - indeed, only - fan, has emphatically denied saying that his friend would chuck it all in at the end of 2020, having fulfilled his life's work. "Little Austen has a lot more to offer the world," explained the Holy Father. "Not just a few more books about me - Self-defence the Pope Francis Way will be out soon - but also his forthcoming treatise on Pachamama for Catholics."

So, it seems that there will be no imminent conclave to appoint a new Pope's Minder: this is perhaps fortunate given the difficulty of travelling to Rome at the present time, although various potential sycophants such as Fr James Martin SJ and Massimo Faggioli will be sorry not to have their chances to become the Pope's new Very Best Friend.

Covidicus, Chapter 11 meets Brexodus, Chapter 22

Translator's note: Sometimes we find that two distinct chapters of the Bible are identical: for example, 2 Kings 19 and Isaiah 37 (not to mention the book of Rosica, which is copied from numerous other texts). Here is another case in point.

Continued from Brexodus Chapter 21 and Covidicus Chapter 10.

1. In the last month of the year, Bo-sis was ready to sign a treaty with the new Pharaoh, Ursula of Lebanon, so that the children of Bri-tain would finally be able to make peace with EU-gypt.

2. However, the Frenchites, the Spanishites and the Dutchites were very fond of fish, and their fishermen spake out saying "For many years we have fished in the Red Sea, yeah, even in the waters of the children of Bri-tain. Let us continue to do so."

3. "For our starving children ask us for fish, and we have to give them a serpent. (Which, actually, the Frenchites quite like.)"

4. Meanwhile, the plague continued to rage, and even as the mighty vixen began to protect the elderly and infirm, Bo-sis had ill tidings for the people. Indeed the tiers began to flow as never before.

5. For the Londonites were cast into a fourth great tier, where there was a weeping and gnashing of teeth. And there they remained.

Pool of tears

The pool of tiers.

6. However some were able to flee Londinium, by digging a tunnel under the great highway known as the twenty-fifth M, and then fleeing through the countryside disguised as bank managers from Birmingham.

7. But now the holy season was approaching, in which the people were accustomed to feast on turkeys, to drink wine, and to praise the gods of gold and silver, bronze and iron, wood and stone.

8. But Bo-sis told them to feast alone, and he wrote on the wall the powerful words "MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN," which, being translated, is "HANDS, HANDS, FACE, SPACE."

9. However, the people were still permitted to attend the temples to worship. This did not please the High Priest Welby of the Anglicanites, who spake out saying that the aged ones should not go to the temple, but stay at home watching the box that is called Goggle.

10. For it was written, "Your old men shall see tele-visions and your young men shall dream dreams."

11. Moreover, the learned doctor Daw-kins, whose life story is recorded elsewhere, was also wrathful, and he cried out saying, "Bah! Humbug!" which later became the title of his next book on religion.

Dawkins tweet

St Richard throweth a tantrum.

12. Meanwhile, the criers of news shouted out "EU-gypt fish talks! Read all about it!" but this turned out to be a mistake, for no such talking fish was found.

13. Then Bo-sis explained to the people that the plague had been so unpopular, that he had ordered a new plague, which came from the southeast and was even worse than the old one.

14. This made the Frenchites exceeding wrathful, and their emperor, the mighty Macron, closed the frontier between Bri-tain and the land of the Frenchites. that none might pass.

15. And the children of Bri-tain wailed in torment, for they could no longer eat of the snail nor of the leg of the frog, and they were likely to starve.

Continued in Covidicus, Chapter 12.

Monday 21 December 2020

Hark! The Herald's writers sing

A little Christmas carol to commemorate the Catholic Herald's cutting its ties with Mary Kenny, Fr John Zuhlsdorf and Fr Dominic Allain, to complete its transformation into a less intellectual version of HELLO.

Editor Dan Hitchens can only gasp in amazement, since from now on its owner, William Cash, is expected to publish more articles of the I'm not a Catholic but hey! aren't chasubles cool? variety, together with the probing analysis of Cash's Auntie Doris's postman, Not many people know who that dame with the baby is on the Christmas stamps, and Cash's old mate Major "Blotto" Smythe-Farquharson-Vodka's contribution I've always been scared of gargoyles since one fell on my head.

The important thing is Cash.
Hark! The Herald's writers sing,
"William Cash, where is thy sting?"
Catholics all sent away:
Father Z and Mary K.
Torkington and Allain too
Now have met their Waterloo.
Holy Smoke and Coppen fled,
Hitchens just a figurehead.

Hark! The Herald's writers sing,
"William Cash, where is thy sting?"

Sunday 20 December 2020

Mary, did you know?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy
Has come to make you new?

Twitter poll

Yes, she did. Now stop singing that rubbish song.

Friday 11 December 2020

Vatican explains its Christmas Nativity Scene

December 11th 2021.

After the 2020 fiasco, in which their Christmas Nativity Scene featured Fisher-Price toys, a spaceman, and a statue of Moloch, the Vatican has produced what Pope Francis has described as a "traditional crèche" for its 2021 offering.

Doctor Who scene

Nobody could be offended by this one!

Said a spokesman, "Our sculptor has been influenced by 1970s British television in his design. Although there are also influences from ancient Peladon."

He went on to explain that the young lady on the left was clearly the Virgin Mary, and actually a resembled a human being rather than the 2020 rag doll. The older man on the right was Joseph, and also designed to resemble a real human being.

The one-eyed egg was not of course supposed to be Our Lord (who is missing entirely to avoid offending non-Christians), but was almost certainly an angel. The two warriors were in fact shepherds, as it was a well-known fact that first century shepherds always wore armour to protect their sheep against wolves (cf. Gospel according to St James Martin).

Moloch statue

Moloch, included in the 2020 nativity scene as an ecumenical gesture.

Reactions from the public have been largely favourable. Dr Taylor Marshall, in his show, described the scene as "very moving", and Austen Ivereigh added "I see the one-eyed hexapod as an embodiment of Pachamama, whom we all adore. See my new book Pope Francis talks in his sleep, consisting of magisterial eavesdroppings on the papal slumbers."

By the way, Dr Marshall, if you ever read this, "Eccles" rhymes with "freckles". Stay saved.

Wednesday 9 December 2020

Eccles on the norty step

Unfortunately, Rasputin and his Twitter servants didn't recognise a quotation from the song Star Trekkin'.

Twitter message

Click to enlarge.

The World will hear from me again! (And that's a quotation from Fu Manchu.)

How to translate the Mass

The story so far: at the time of Vatican II, it was decided to rush out translations of the Mass into the vernacular. Not the true vernacular, as phrases such as "Cor, strike a light, guv", "Eee ba gum", and "Och aye the noo" were used very sparingly; but a sort of casual and imprecise vernacular, all the same.

Now, when I say translation, I really mean "variation on an original theme". The people translating the Mass didn't even have the benefit of Google translate, so they had to guess what the Latin words meant. Actually Google itself seems to have been got at, as it turns the Latin Gloria into:
Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.
We praise you,
thank you,
we adore you,
we glorify you,
Thank you for your glory;
Lord God, heavenly King
Father Almighty.
Which looks distinctly wonky.

Gloria, with angels

"Do any of you speak Vernacular?"

Anyway, for about 40 years, people muddled on with a B-grade translation, not quite sure whether the peace on Earth was intended for everyone, or just people of goodwill, or those whom God loves. There is also this problem about whether the Precious Blood is shed for many, for all, or just me and my mates.

So, in 2011, an English translation was produced, and it caused hysterics among liberal Catholics. For example, the precise theological concept "consubstantial" had previously been vernacularised into "of one being", or "being of one oneness", or possibly "one of one beingness", or maybe "being of one beingness". Whatever it was, it was a waffly as possible. The new translation made worshippers use a 4-syllable word which required thinking about... my dear, it was awful!

Arthur Roche and Pope Benedict

"I've added some cartoons to make it more popular."

The French and Italians wanted to go their own way. "Lead us not into temptation" appears to be what Jesus said. But we can improve on that. "Zut alors, ne nous laisse pas entrer en tentation parce-que la plume de ma tante est dans le jardin" seems to be the version currently used by the frogs, although I may not have got that quite right. The Italian version is full of Mama Mias and references to tutti-frutti ice-cream but they also don't want to be allowed to enter into temptation.

Anyway, the good news is that Pope Francis is going to take a lead on this. The Lord's Prayer, in particular, needs updating. Apart from local variations it has remained unchanged for 2000 years, and omits to mention climate change, equality and diversity, and vaccinations. A theological commitee - consisting of the Pope, Bill Gates, George Soros, Klaus Schwab, Joe Biden, Alyssa Milano, and Ocasio-Cortez - will be rushing out a new Lord's Prayer (not tested on humans, but many hamsters have reacted favourably to it). This will become compulsory in 2021.

Molesworth translator

Experts prepare a new version of the Latin Mass.

Saturday 5 December 2020

The Book of Covidicus, Chapter 10: tiers, idle tiers

Continued from Chapter 9

1. After one month, Bo-sis released the children of Bri-tain from their lockdown.

2. But the plague continued to rage. In the lands where many people dwelt, there was sickness, while in the remote deserts the hermits rejoiced in their good health.

3. Worse than this, in the hospitals there were many sick people, while in the taverns there were very few.

4. Thus the advisers of Bo-sis said unto him, "The solution is plain. Empty the great cities, and drive the people into the wilderness. Close the hospitals, and send the people into the taverns."

5. However, Bo-sis decided on a different plan, and once more he told the people: "I have nothing to offer ye except blood, sweat and tiers."

"Good news, we're in Tier 1."

6. Thus the land was divided into three tiers, not counting the Scottites, who built a great wall and hid behind it, shouting insults at the Englandites.

7. In the lands of Tier 1, the people might go to the taverns and carouse freely. The only problem was that there were no taverns in the wilderness.

8. In the lands of Tier 2, the people might carouse, but only if they ate a Scotch egg with their drink.

9. Finally, in the lands of Tier 3, the people must not carouse. Indeed, they were told not to enjoy themselves at all.

A carouser awaiteth his Scotch egg.

10. Bo-sis also allowed the temples to re-open, saying "In Tier 1 they may embrace their neighbours at the Sign of Peace: for they have no neighbours."

11. "In Tier 2, they may smile at their neighbours from a distance of four cubits: but in Tier 3 they must scowl."

12. But as the people groaned under their yoke, there came good news. For all the world could now be vaxxed.

13. For Bo-sis had arranged a jab creation scheme, whereby every man should receive a magic vixen.

14. This vixen was guaranteed to drive away the plague, and it had been fully tested: for most people who had received it had already lived for a further forty days and forty nights and hardly any of them had gone mad.

15. Therefore Bo-sis decided to roll out this vixen, starting with the people aged nine hundred years or more; for if they died, none could blame him.

16. So Methuselah leapt from his bed, and made his way to be vaxxed.

Methuselah rejoiceth.

Continued in Chapter 11.

Pope decides to Build Back Better

We thought at first it was simply a tweet from whoever manages Pope Francis's Twitter account (believed to be a teenager on work experience, judging by the quality of the tweets), but no, it appeared on the Vatican's own site.

The theme of this year's celebration is “Building Back Better: Toward a Disability-inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable post-COVID-19 World”. I find the expression “building back better” quite striking. It makes me think of the Gospel parable of the house built on rock or sand (cf. Mt 7:24-27; Lk 6:46-49). So I take this special occasion to share some reflections based on that parable.

Unfortunately, to everyone else in the world "Build Back Better" means something else. It is associated with the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, and even Joe Biden's election compaign.

Klaus Schwab

Ernst Stavro Blofeld Klaus Schwab - tipped to become a cardinal any time soon.

Yes, all the most powerful creatures in the world - Bill Gates, George Soros, Klaus Schwab, even Joe Biden's dog - all agree that we must Build Back Better.

Of course, this is not the first time that Pope Francis has appropriated a political slogan for his own purposes. Previous Vatican "themes" have been "Yes, we can!" and "Feel the Berg!" not to mention "Francis has a plan for that!" and "Best Pope Money Can't Buy" (this last one is no longer used, following negotiations with China).

Joe Biden legless

Top Catholic Joe Biden refutes claims that he hasn't got a leg to stand on.

So what is in store for the Catholic Church when it participates in the Great Reset? God's Own Great Reset is believed to involve a return to the book of Genesis - drop each person into a garden containing an apple tree and a malicious snake. Those who don't eat the apple go to Heaven, those who do go to Hell. But Pope Francis has other plans.

As Job 1:21 points out, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away. Well, the Great Reset does not involve stealing everyone's clothes - although several prominent cardinals thought that this would be an interesting feature - but it doesn involve taking away everyone's money.

In the future society based on Brave New World / 1984 / Fahrenheit 451 / choose your own dystopia, but perhaps Austen Ivereigh's new book about the Pope will count, everyone will remain at home all day. No more public worship, nothing but staring at a telescreen all day long, no bars, no shopping, just daily deliveries of low-fat vegan climate-friendly chemically synthesised food. It's better! It's Better! It's BETTER!


How to Build Back Better.