This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

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...


  1. The whole obsession with women deacons based on the ancient diakonissa is theologically absurd and a gross anachronism. The diakonissa may have been a major order but it more than likely was a minor order comparable to readers, subdeacons, cantors, etc. It was instituted to baptize women because catechumens would be baptized naked when they were received into the church. As such, the diakonissa was established to carry out this function. They had no further liturgical functions. Yet advocates for women deacons want to assert the absurd that women deacons should do everything a male deacon does!!!

    1. NE7, were these deaconesses helping with female adult baptims something along the lines of the Jewish tradition of the mikveh, the ritual purification of women, requiring a female attendant?

    2. Consecrated, not ordained.

  2. I clicked on the link to the German Bishop but it only gave me time to read 'I want it to change' and then disappeared presumably behind a paywall. Learning from NE7 that catacumens were once baptised naked, as an adult convert over 50 years ago this is one change I am glad took place!

  3. This is grossly unfair. Archbishop Farrell was Bishop of Ossory for the last two years and nothing in his performance indicated that he was either weak or poorly advised. I spoke with him once, during the abortion referendum and he was helpful, humble, wise and very careful.
    I had my own personal problems with Archbishop Martin, not of my choosing or doing and he appeared overwhelmed by the abuse crisis and his diocese. He was, despite his early promise, an utterly useless leader, a dreadful manager of men and a fearsome burden to his brother Bishops. One can only hope he retires into silence and obscurity and no longer attacks other Bishops or promulgates the doctrines of the Irish Times to Catholics.
    Archbishop Farrell as a shocking task ahead of him. The diocese is a tragic mess, no vocations, no priests, no congregations and and no allies.
    Pray for him

    1. Really? Unfair? See:

      and then turn again, Whittington!