This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Sunday 21 February 2021

The Lenten temptations of Eccles

1. So, the season of Lent having arrived, Eccles went into the wilderness to pray.

2. And the Devil came unto him in his hermitage, and said "Eccles, why dost thou not go for a walk, and sit on the ground, eating the food known as pic-nic?"

3. For it was the time of plague, and the Devil had said these words to tempt him.

4. And Eccles replied, "Man cannot live by picnics alone. Besides there is a fine of ten thousand gold pieces for anyone who picnicketh at these times. For picnics kill people."


The first temptation.

5. Then the Devil tempted him again, saying, "Even hermits must enter into the markets to buy food. Why not go into the land known as Tesco without wearing a mask?"

6. And Eccles replied, "Is it not written in the scriptures, cover thy face lest thou be cast into the deepest dungeon?"

Boris in a mask

Fighting against the second temptation.

7. Then the Devil tempted him one final time, saying, "Lo! There is another hermit who dwelleth in this part of the wilderness. Why not go and have a cup of tea with her?"

8. But Eccles replied, "Get thee behind me, Satan, and remain at a distance of four cubits from me. For it is written, 'Hands, Face, Space.' Now, excuse me for I have to protect the National Health Service by clapping."

mad hatter's tea party

A gang of sinners.

9. So the Devil went away and tempted him no more, at least not until the next set of silly regulations came forth from the mouth of Caesar Boris.

Tuesday 16 February 2021

The Wind in the Vatican

With apologies to Kenneth Grahame

"Do you know," said the Brand-Moler, blissfully drinking a huge tankard of German beer as he sat in the garden of the Pope Emeritus. "I've hardly ever been to these apartments before."

"Really?" said the Ratzinger solemnly. "To my mind there is nothing at all so worthwhile as messing about in the Vatican."

"What a day I'm having, Ratty," continued the Brand-Moler with a sigh of full contentment. What's in the picnic basket?"

"Following papal advice, there's Legumes," replied the Ratzinger briefly. "BroadBeansLentilsPeasPeanuts BakedBeansChickpeas MassimoFaggioli PulsesRunnerBeans..."

"Oh stop, stop!" cried the Brand-Moler in ecstasies. "This is too much! What a feast, Ratty!"

Max Beans

A feast.

Presently Cardinal Raymond Badger entered. He had been visiting an area full of mysterious warrens, from which strange little faces would peep out at intervals to say things like "Hail Pachamama!" "Let's build a bridge towards the weasel community" and "Won't anyone buy my new book Pope Francis on the Orient Express?"

"You know Toad's got a new Magisterium?" said the Ratzinger to the Badger once the Brand-Moler had been introduced. "A completely new one. He crashed the one his ancestors handed down to him."

"I know," said the Badger gloomily. "One of these days he'll get locked up, for sure. I've heard that the Jesuweasels are just waiting to over-run the Vatican as soon as his back's turned. Then they'll bring in rainbow flags and Ignatian yoga."

Wind in the willows scene

Three cardinals in conclave.

"Why don't you stop him?" asked the Brand-Moler.

"You don't understand," explained the Ratzinger. "Nobody stops Toad. It always has to be something new. One day it's a change to the Gloria, the next it's a new version of the Lord's prayer."

From somewhere close by came a distant whirring sound, which gradually rose to a crescendo. Then there was a mighty crash, and the Toad came flying head-first over the hedge, to land in a nearby ditch. As the animals hurried over looking very concerned, the Toad extracted his head from the mud: lying in the ditch with a contented smile on his face, he sighed and muttered to himself: "O bliss! Oh my! ... Amoris Laetitia ... Laudato Si' ... Fratelli Tutti ... Pope-pope! >>> CRASH!!! <<<"

Wind in the willows scene

Getting an answer to the Dubia.

Saturday 13 February 2021

Jesus asks "What would Francis do?"

Jerusalem, AD 31

Jesus of Nazareth, the young preacher who is rapidly building up a reputation for His ability to change water into wine, to feed thousands of people on fish sandwiches, and to heal people who drop in through the roof, has been severely criticised for ignoring the fundamental Catholic doctrine "What would Francis do?"

What would Pope Francis do?

Lambchop, Austen the gnome, and James Martin LGBTSJ attempt to correct Jesus.

Some examples of criticisms are the following:

When He saved a woman taken in adultery from being stoned, He told her to "Go and sin no more." A true WWPFD Catholic would have told her that she could carry on with her adultery, and, after a period of discernment and accompaniment, she could be recognised as a virtuous member of the community. (See the Commandments of Amoris Laetitia, number 306, footnote 2b(xi).)

Jesus continues to make references to "God the Father", and refuses to accept other gods. Does Pachamama mean nothing to Him? Is He not aware of the useful role that idols can play in modern worship?


Was it too much to ask for this?

Riding on a methane-emitting donkey, as He did recently, showed a total lack of awareness of the climate emergency. Has He ever warned his followers about the climate crisis, which is predicted to cause Rome to burst into flames in the year 64?

Some of His catch-phrases, such as "Lead us not into temptation" and "Peace on earth to people of good will", are obviously wrong, and not in accordance with the teachings of our Holy Father Francis. They will need to be reworded.

Cleansing of the temple


However, Jesus was praised for His ability to insult Pharisees. Calling people fools, hypocrites, foxes and vipers showed a keen awareness of Franciscan teaching - although He could have been more imaginative and used phrases such as "Fomenters of Coprophagia", "Pickled pepper-faced Christians" or "Existential schizophrenics."

His expulsion of the money-changers from the temple is also regarded as good, although a true master of Franciscan disciplines would use the martial art of Papa-slappa, rather than a whip of knotted chords. Still, it's a start...

What would Pope Francis do?

Aargh! Make it stop!

Saturday 6 February 2021

The book of Covidicus, Chapter 13: the AstroLogica Vixen

Continued from Chapter 12

1. It had been decided that all the world should be Vaxed, and the wise men produced a vixen to protect the people from the plague.

2. Nobody was sure what it did until they consulted the stars, so they named it the AstroLogica vixen.

3. Now Bo-sis and his servant Matthew of Hanoch had already ordered large numbers of the AstroLogica vixen, but their neighbour in EUgypt, the Pharaoh Ursula of Lebanon, had not ordered hers in a timely fashion.

Ursula von der Leyen

The parable of the foolish vixens.

4. So she said unto the astrologers, "Give me of your vixen, which we did not order!" But the astrologers knew of the parable of the Foolish Vixens, and refused to give of their vixen.

5. And Macrabaeus of the Frenchites, he that was called Emmanuel, spake out, saying "In sooth, the vixen does not work! It is essential that ye give it to us!"

6. Meanwhile, the plague continued to rage, and the people were still locked down.

7. But many people came into Bri-tain from distant parts, where the plague raged even fiercer.

8. These included the kingdoms of Sheba, of Ethiopia, of Mesopotamia, and even the lands previously undiscovered, such as the most distant parts of Africa.

9. Also, one that was called Eswatini, which was clearly an invented name.

10. So Bo-sis spake out, saying "Let us welcome all those who come from the three-and-thirty lands where the plague rageth, and let us lock them up for ten days in the mighty tower that is called Fawlty.

11. There my servants Basil, Sybil, Polly and Manuel will care for them." And it was so.

Basil Fawlty

St Basil healeth the wounded chariot.

12. But the children of Bri-tain continued to rage against the lockdown, and so Bo-sis consulted the wise men of the land, who came up with an answer.

13. "We shall open the houses that are called public: but the people shall not be permitted to look on the wine when it is red, nor the ale when it is brown, nor even the gin that is a snare.

14. Likewise the hostels known as chippy, where the lover of good food eateth: they shall remain open, but they shall not be permitted to serve food.

15. The temples in which dwell the doctors of medicine shall remain open: but only those who are fit and well may visit.

16. Likewise, the dental surgeons shall only be allowed to remove the teeth that are healthy.

Civil servant in snow

A servant civilly maintaineth the distancing that is social.

17. Finally, the mighty offices where dwell the servants that are civil shall be open: but these servants shall not work.

18. So no change there."

Continued in Chapter 14.

Thursday 4 February 2021

A man for all Zuhlsdorfs

A new production of A man for all seasons, describing the martrydom of St John Z, has been announced. Obviously the script is too long for this blog, but we can at least give an idea of the plot, together with some of the dialogue. Of course some details are exaggerated slightly for dramatic purposes...

The main dispute is between Bishop Hying VIII, who wishes to convert the Catholic Church into a branch of the Demonic Democratic party, and St John Z, a priest and author (his famous blog Ztopia tells of an ideal world where people drink lots of Mystic Monk coffee, take photos of aeroplane seats, carry guns, and speak almost entirely in Latin).

The trial of Father Z.

The accusations against Fr Z start when he conducts exorcisms against the Flu Manchu virus and Demonic Influence in politics. He refuses to sign a document renouncing his Catholic faith and selling out to the Zeitgeist. His enemies swoop, and the bishop (whose spine has been removed) feels he must act to avoid damning criticism in Amerika, the Fishwrap, and the Bitter Pill.

Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the Bishop's command make it round? And if it is round, will the Bishop's command flatten it?

From the days before the Catholic Herald became a lifestyle magazine.

Recalling that Hying is prepared to sacrifice his principles for a quiet life as bishop of Madison, Wisconsin, Fr Z lashes out at him with the words:

"For Wisconsin? Why Donald, it profit a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world... but for Wisconsin!"

In the end things turn out badly for Fr Z. His "other" bishop, the man from Velletri-Segni, is envious of the blog Ztopia, and so "by mutual agreement with the bishops", Fr Z agrees to have his head cut off, to be drawn and quartered, and buried in copies of the Fishwrap (the ultimate insult).

A fate worse than death.

This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast – Man's laws, not God's—and if you cut them down – and you're just the man to do it – d'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake.