This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Saturday 30 January 2021

Even Pope Francis can't answer this!

Here is today's brain teaser:

How can one explain to children that - for example - their mother, abandoned by their father and often not willing to establish another marriage bond, receives the Sunday Eucharist with them, while their father, cohabiting or awaiting the declaration of the nullity of the marriage, cannot participate in the Eucharistic table?

Golly, that's a head-scratcher, isn't it? Why, even Pope Francis can't answer that.

Pope Francis puzzled


I put this knotty question to my catechism class ("Let Eccles help you stay saved") and one of my star pupils, Ray Burke (age 6) responded:

"Please, sir! I know. The mother hasn't done anythng wrong, and being a Catholic (we assume) she believes that marriage is for life; on the other hand the father is living in a sin with no intention of repenting. So he will be unsaved if he takes communion."

Of course the right answer couldn't be that simple, as I told the cheeky boy:

"Raymond! Haven't you read Amoris Laetitia? This supersedes anything you may have seen in the Bible! Look here, on this page - no, not that one, it's all about sharing in the household chores, such as power-hosing the television, throwing the cat out of the window, or bathing the hamster.

Anyway, I can't find it at the moment - it may be in a foot-foot-foot-note printed in 2pt type - but I'm fairly sure it says we mustn't judge people, there is no such thing as good and evil, let us accompany the sinner on his journey of reconciliation. No that doesn't mean we have to sin as well, Walter! Now, try and be merciful!"

Ray and Walter are very keen children. They wrote a letter to Pope Francis with some questions about Amoris Laetitia, but the reply must have got lost in the post.

Letters to Pope Francis

Unfortunately Ray and Walter's letter wasn't included.

In other news, there is hope for Cardinal Zen, as Pope Francis has finally agreed to receive a cardinal from a country with a despotic ruler who encourages massacres of the innocent. No, not China.

Cupich and Pope Francis

"You did it, Blase! You got Joe elected! Well done!"

Thursday 28 January 2021

Catholics For Genocide

Some personal news: I'll be joining Catholics For Genocide as their Director of Communications and Strategy on February 1st. As a Christian and someone deeply committed to mass murder and ethnic cleansing, it's a dream to join this team of brilliant advocates.

I am hoping that my move will backed by Chelsea Clinton and the beautiful Charlotte Clymer, who coincidentally has just been appointed as Director of Communications and Strategy for our sister organization Catholics For Choice! Meanwhile, Uncle Joe Biden has promised to give funding to Planned Orphanhood, which is one of our partners in the mission of bringing Catholic values into the business of widespread slaughter.

Genocide poster

We are still waiting to hear from Sister Swinging Bluejean, the campaigner against the death penalty; will she make a statement if the people we are targeting are not murderers on death row but perfectly innocent citizens who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Some bigoted traditionalists have suggested that genocide is not something that Catholics can support with a clear "conscience" (may we remind them that the idea of a conscience was dropped from Catholic teaching at the time of Vatican II?) Our answer to that is simple: very few senior bishops have criticised our movement, and Pope Francis certainly hasn't! Many of his best friends in China like nothing better than rampaging across the country wiping out people from the wrong team!

Pope and Xi

Is it really worth upsetting my friends in China for the Uyghurs?

The bad news is that a team of American bishops has dared to suggest that genocide is "wrong" (despite its being official Democratic party policy). Still, nobody has stopped us genociders from receiving Communion, and we are counting on Cardinal Blase Cupich to tell those turbulent bishops to be quiet!

Sunday 24 January 2021

Miracles are just a bit... unlikely

After our piece from Brian Cox, aged 13, explaining that science rules out the existence of the soul, another clever child has sent us a contribution.

Hello, I'm Alice Roberts, of St Humanist's School, Birmingham. I may be only 11, but I won the school's Frankenstein Prize for Biology, and I am very very clever. Like Brian Cox, I have friends who call me Professor (as well as Miss Smuggy-bloomers) and when I grow up I want to be on the television!!

Alice Roberts

Now, miracles!!?? I've thought about them a lot, and my considered opinion is that they don't happen very often!!?? Father Chasuble, our school chaplain, said to me, "Alice, it will be a miracle if we can ever instil any common sense into your head."

Well, he didn't manage to do it, so that proves my point, doesn't it!!

Take that alleged miracle at Cana, for example! Many's the time I've tried to turn water into wine by following the recipe in the Bible - you pour water into big pots and voilà!! It has never worked!! Well, once it produced a brownish liquid, but that was just because the pot was dirty (Mummy said the cat had been sleeping in it). Anyway, this miraculous so-called wine made me very ill when I drank it!!

Cana miracle

"That's three glasses of wine, and a gin and tonic for Alice."

I've thought about miracles a lot. I tried walking on water, but that didn't work, and I got very wet!! How can Christians insult our intelligence by telling us that it's possible?? I even tried curing the blind man at number 12 by smearing mud in his eyes. Did it work?? No it didn't!! And the police gave me a good telling-off!!

No, take it from me, miracles are very unlikely. You'd need some sort of supernatural help, wouldn't you?? Some sort of God, maybe?? Ha ha ha ha ha!!

Well, I am giving miracles one last chance. I'm giving a big dinner party to all my thousands of admirers (once the Covid is over) and we'll see just how far we get with five loaves and two fishes!! If you ask me, it's very unlikely to work!!

Science rules out the existence of the soul

Hello, my name is Brain Cox, aged 13, of St Dawkins' Comprehensive Shcool, Oldham. I am a very clever boy, and top in Sceince, which is Pshyics, Chemitsry, Boilogy ect. I am so clever that the other boys call me Proffesor, Swotty, and sometimes Genuis!

Brian Cox

Today's guest contributor.

Anyway, I have made a brillaint discovery! There is no SUOL! All those old fools we were taught about in Divinnity got it wrong! Let me explain.

I have read a big book with long words in it called "Particule Pshyics for Boys". This book says we are all made of prottons, nuetrons and elecctrons, which go whizz whizz whizz isn't is super? Then they are made up of quacks and there are six types of quack called strange, charm, fizz, pop, bang, and woke. After that it gets a bit complicated as there was a chap called Heisenbreg who was uncertain, and another one called Schrodigner who had a cat.

Anyway, the point is that the book doesn't mention the SUOL. If we had a SUOL, it would react with the quacks and release gama rays. We would all go BOOM. Which we don't. QED.

Einstein and Georges Lemaître

"If you're so clever, padre, where's your SUOL?"

In this big book, it says that sceintists have made very accurate measurements looking for a SUOL, and didn't find one! I even did my own experriment, and put some nitrogen iodide on the floor of the shcool chappel, which goes BANG if you tread on it.

What hapened, Proffesor, you are going to ask. Well, I'll tell you. The shcool chaplin went BANG when he trod on the nitrogen iodide, but we did not observe any signs of a SUOL emanating from his holly body as he fell to the ground. And the Headmaster was very cross with me and gave me six of the best for doing sceince in chappel during Lent.

P.S. The chaplin survived the experriment.

Still, all is not lost. The BBC was very impressed by my sceintific accumen, and they have invited me to do a TV series in which I blow up holly men to see if they have a SUOL. My first guest is Cradinal Nickles!

NI3 fumes

A tricky moment for Cardinal Nichols.

Friday 22 January 2021

How Eccles became a devout Catholic

After watching events on the other side of the Atlantic, I decided that it was time to look more holy. Obviously, being a devout Catholic is all a matter of public image, and has nothing to do with what you actually do. But some people don't realise this, so I got myself a Press Secretary.

Jennifer Psaki

Jenny Psarkasm, my press secretary.

Jenny's job is to tell the neighbours how devout I am. For example, I go to Mass sometimes; indeed, I have my own reserved pew, complete with cushions, a supply of gin, and other aids to sleeping. Also, I go to Mass sometimes. I don't actually believe any of that Catholic stuff, but - did I tell you? - I go to Mass sometimes.

It's true that I do like conducting human sacrifices in my garden, and some of the neighbours have objected to that. However, Jenny reminds them that I am a devout Catholic, and this smooths over any difficulties. By the way, I go to Mass sometimes.

Uncle Wilt says I am a great guy who would never think of posing outside a church with a Bible, like that wicked Mr Trump who used to own our house. In fact I do own a Bible - made by a company called Douay and Rheims - although I haven't got round to opening it yet!

Biden Bible

My Bible is wrapped in polythene, so that it doesn't burn my hands.

Anyway, I hope that reassures you that I am a devout Catholic. For further testimonials, ask Fr Jimbo, our local LGBT representative; or Poor Hoho, a local schoolteacher; or else Professor Beans from the College of Leguminous Catholicism, who has even written a book about me, "Eccles, the devout Catholic"!

By the way, my memory isn't all that good. Did I mention that I go to - you know - Thing, sometimes?

Thursday 21 January 2021

Jupich Iscariot condemns statement from the other 11 disciples

Jerusalem Times, Good Friday, AD 33.

Cardinal Jupich Iscariot, winner of the World Cup of Bad Apostles, today condemned a statement from the other eleven disciples, which had been issued from a secret address ("The upper room") to mark the crucifixion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Jupich described the statement as ill-considered and felt that its critical attack on Governor Joe Pilaten was inappropriate. Unfavourable comments about the habits of Joe's pet camel, A, were also considered offensive.


Cardinal Iscariot puts on his "angry" face.

The statement from the disciples had been a simple affirmation of Christian doctrine, but this is considered dangerous in today's political climate, and is likely to get many people into trouble with the authorities.

Pilate a la Palin

Governor Joe Pilaten is not amused either.

Joe Pilaten himself is generally regarded as a harmless buffoon with an obsession for washing his hands, although the Disciples' statement is very critical of his fondness for taking innocent life (completing a task that his mentor Barack Heroda failed to finish many years ago).

Naturally Jupich, given the choice between affirming Christian doctrine and pleasing the governing authorities in the United States of Judaea, will drop his religious principles every time. Indeed, there are already reports that he is involved in a scandal known as Thirtypiecesofsilvergate. Still, since he is a powerful cardinal, his words will always be heeded, however crass they may be.

Tuesday 12 January 2021

Requiem Mass for Twitter victims

We shall be holding a Requiem Mass for all those slain by the tyrant Rasputin "Jack" Dorsey in the recent Twitter massacres. Top of the list is @realDonaldTrump, known for his very modest tweets such as "EXCUSE ME FOR MENTIONING IT, BUT THERE MAY HAVE BEEN SOME VOTING IRREGULARITIES RECENTLY. I COULD BE WRONG." and "JOE BIDEN IS A DEEPLY RELIGIOUS MAN BUT I THINK I MIGHT POSSIBLY BE A SLIGHTLY BETTER PRESIDENT THAN HE WOULD BE."


We are lighting a candle for every vanished account.

But there are others, many with names such as @MAGATRUMPISGOD, @IAMATRUMPBOT, @TRUMP20202020, @THATTRUMPGUYISSWEET, @QANONNYNONNYNO, @MASSIMOLOVESTRUMP, and @JESUITSFORDONALD (this last one is believed to be a sockpuppet of Fr James Martin SJ). This leaves Twitter in the hands of more respectable users, such as the President of Iran, the Chinese Secret Police, and Pope Francis.

Mr Neutron

Donald Trump retires into private life.

Rasputin has also asked that we include in our Mass a hymn for Twitter's share price, which is fading faster than the number of users.
Abide with me, fast falls the Twitter price,
Jack's shares are tumbling, that's not very nice.
Jack Dorsey

Our prayers are with Rasputin at this time.

As Catholics we firmly believe that there is life after Twitter, but whether the after-life is Gab, Parler, or one of the places with silly names such as Sp3rn, is a matter for theological debate.

Saturday 9 January 2021

Covidicus, Chapter 12: Lockdown again

Continued from Chapter 11.

1. At the end of the year the Emperor Macron of the Frenchites ended the great war, and the children of Bri-tain were ready for their next crisis.

2. For the plague continued to rage fiercely, and Bo-sis decided to lock down the people once more.

Old man in straitjacket

Even the philosopher Grayling was locked down.

3. Although the Scottites, Welshites, and Irishites made their own plans, so as to be different from the Englandites. So they held a lochdown, a lloc'dwn, and a loughdown.

4. Thus with a mighty cry of "HERE WE GO AGAIN" everyone went back to his home and was driven to the mighty engine known as Zoom (or McZoom, Zoom-bach and O'Zoom if they came from the other three tribes).

5. Although some realised that there were easier ways to address their neighbours, and so they simply opened their windows and shouted "I HATE YE ALL."

6. And Bo-sis told his officers to find those who refused to be locked down, and throw them into the deepest dungeons.

7. But some of the rebels were very active old ladies aged four score and ten, and required twelve officers to overpower them.

Old lady of 104 being arrested

"We need backup. Call for an armed response!"

8. Meanwhile, it was time for all the world to be vaxed, and so the mighty vixen was delivered to the people, starting with the dancing girls known as nurses, the old and infirm, and those whose labour was considered essential, such as the officers of equality and diversity and the professors of transgender studies.

9. Then a cry came out, "Let all the children of Bri-tain go into the streets at the eighth hour of the evening and applaud their heroes.

10. Such as the nurses who dance, the politicians who chatter, and of course Neil, son of Fergus, whose models have guided Bri-tain into these dark days."

11. And the people cried out with one voice, "במזג אוויר קופים פליז זה? אני צריך קקאו!" Which is to say, "In this weather of the monkeys of brass? I should hot drink made with roasted and ground cacao seeds mixed with milk and water!"

12. Although Keir, chief of the Labourites, did indeed go forth into the streets. However, he took no cocoa with him, lest he be arrested by the guards for committing the great crime known as Pic-nic.

Keir virtue signalleth

Keir signalleth virtue.

Continued in Chapter 13.

Thursday 7 January 2021

Did John-Paul II and Benedict XVI inspire the Washington riot?

Part of a newly-discovered manuscript by Agatha Christie.

Miss Marbles was a white-haired old lady with a gentle appealing manner, and known as "Loster" Marbles to her nearest and dearest. However, her great friend Sir Henry Blithering, a retired Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, knew that if anyone could solve the mystery of the Washington riots, it would be she.

Tina drivel

"Do you have any thoughts on the matter, Miss Marbles?" he asked. "Does this remind you of any incidents in your life at St Mary Roehampton?"

Miss Marbles' eyes twinkled. "Now you mention it, Sir Henry, there was the time when a window was broken in the Centre for Human Flourishing, and it turned out to be caused by a cricket ball struck by one of the visiting Sexist Priests team, which was playing against our own Catholic Deaconesses XI. Sometimes there is great evil in the world."

She completed a stitch in the woolly biretta that she was knitting for her niece Raymonda, who was hoping to become the next pope, and continued her analysis of the hideous crimes in Washington.

"Human nature is much the same everywhere," she explained, "whether we are talking about crime in a small village or a large city. There are two wicked men in the world who now think their evil will go unpunished, but I rely on you, Sir Henry, to bring them to justice."

"But who are they?" asked Sir Henry.

Miss Marbles gave a self-deprecating smile, and carried on with her knitting for a while, before continuing.

"Why, Sir Henry, who could be guilty of this dreadful evil except Pope St John-Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI?"

Popes John-Paul II and Benedict XVI

"We're safe unless Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple turns up."

"But John-Paul is dead, and Benedict has retired to spend his life in praying and drinking beer!"

"We should always consider the most unlikely person," said Miss Marbles firmly. "They obviously thought that they were beyond suspicion, but a man who is refusing to ordain women is capable of organizing insurrection, whether he is young, aged, or even long dead. Even canonized saints can go astray."

Sir Henry reflected briefly on the possibility that Miss Marbles was losing her grip, before realising that, once again, the sage of St Mary Roehampton had unerringly pointed her finger at the evil doers.

"Benedict was prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Inquisition," he commented. "I didn't expect that!"

"Nobody expects the Inquisition," said Miss Marbles sweetly.

This is a bit too sensational, so don't publish it until I'm dead. Agatha.

Wednesday 6 January 2021

A-men and A-woman: the hidden A-gender

Pastor Emanuel Cleaver, part-time Democratic Congressman and part-time United Methodist minister (so managing to serve God and Mammon at the same time), has hit back at critics of his "A-men and A-woman" ending to a prayer.

"It is not right to say that I have a hidden A-gender," he explained. "People have said that I am a blasphemous twerp who mocks religion. I want to put them straight on this, and explain that I am simply a complete moron." Actually, what he really said was that his critics are "soiled by selfishness, perverted by prejudice and inveigled by ideology," which is amazing alliteration, incredible invective, and charming chatter, but not the sort of thing we expected a holy man of God to say in a theological debate.

Emanuel Cleaver

"And now a prayer to St George Floyd."

In his prayer Pastor Cleaver also slipped in the sentence "We ask this in the name of the monotheistic God, Brahma, and God known by many names and by many different things." Well done, Pastor, this is top-quality gibberish, of the sort that this blog has been trying to achieve for years! Pastor Cleaver later explained that "Brahma" is a shortened form of "BarackObama", a semi-divine being worshipped by Democrats and known to unbelievers as the Obaminable one.

Fr Cleaver later explained that he was off to conduct a Methodist Mass, and that to preserve sexual equality he would be saying prayers to Gloria and Benny Dictus. "A lovely couple," he informed us.

Now I suppose you're expecting this post to conclude with a catalogue of similar atrocities perpetrated by Cleaver, such as the "Old Testament and New Testawoment" or his 50 forms of Amen to go with the 50 (?) possible genders, such as "A-non-binary", "A-gender-fluid" and "A-Cis-Female". No, we have high standards here, and we won't descend to such schoolboy/girl humour.

In the ecumenical words of Pastor Cleaver, Ali Luiah! and his wife Fatimah Luia!

Sunday 3 January 2021

How to be popular with Pope Francis

Over now to Dublin, where the newly-appointed archbishop, Dermot Farrell, is consulting his spiritual director, Monsignor Gríma Wormtongue.


Monsignor Wormtongue.

GW: So, Dermot, are you keen to follow in the footsteps of your predecessor Archbishop Diarmuid Martin? If so, we can book you an appointment at the clinic to have your spine removed. Then all you need to do is lie on the floor and let all the politicians tickle your tummy.

DF: Diarmuid did a very good job, didn't he?

GW: Yes, Catholicism is almost extinct in Ireland now. How do you plan to continue his work?

DF: I'd like to become popular with Pope Francis, with a view to getting a red hat.

GW: Ah, the Vincent Nichols approach. Support the Pope in everything he says, and indeed go the extra mile when it comes to preaching absurdities. What do you have in mind?

DF: I thought I'd try pushing for women deacons. In the old days that would have got me excommunicated, but now all you get is a Christmas card from Fr James Martin saying "I knew you were one of us! Keep up the Ignatian yoga, brother!"

GW: I'll give you a tip. Keep an eye on Bishop Georg Bätzing, head of the German Bishops' Conference. He's gone the full Jimbo, with calls for a change in church teaching on homosexual relationships, ordination of women deacons and priests, and so on. He'll be getting a cardinal's hat next time, like Uncle Wilt Gregory, who got his for being nasty about Donald Trump.

DF: But does Bätzing really expect church teaching to change?


The ride of the German Deaconesses.

GW: That's the great thing. He can claim it has, and nobody in the Vatican will dare to correct him. Luckily many German women are two metres tall and wear suits of armour, so he can ordain them while pretending he thought they were men. Then later on he can talk about the German Catholic Church, or Katholischelutherischekartoffelsalatkirche, as they say in Limburg, as if it were simply a local branch of the church rather than a heretical sect.

DF: Great! Now let's try this in Ireland. Oh, and order me a red hat from Gammarelli's...