This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Wednesday 31 March 2021

The Book of Covidicus 14: the Road Map

Continued from Chapter 13.

1. Over the next month, the children of Bri-tain were mightily vaxed, some with the AstroLogica vixen, and some with the Pfizicians' vixen.

2. And much was the dispute over which vixen (if either) was safe.

3. In the end it was agreed that both vixens were dangerous for anyone over the age of two score and ten years or under the age of three score years. So all men were equally content.

Road map

A new hope.

4. Then Bo-sis thought deeply and came up with a "Smashing Wheeze, Chaps!" However, his advisers counselled him to give it another name, and so he called it a "Road Map".

5. For it was a brilliant plan, by which the children of Bri-tain could be led from the swamps of Covid into the promised land of milk and honey (beer and crisps would also be available).

6. So as springtime arrived, the people rejoiced, for they were now permitted to sit in each other's gardens and watch the rain fall.

royal garden party

"Alas, your Majesty, only six people may attend your garden party."

7. But woe betide them if they entered the houses of their friends: for if they did they would be cast into the deepest dungeons.

8. Moreover, they were not permitted to flee the country, even to return to the land of EU-gypt: for the only people who could come to Britain must travel in the boats of rubber in order to seek refuge from the evil tyrants of EU-gypt, Ursula of Lebanon and Emmanuel Macrabaeus of the Frenchites.

9. So the children of Bri-tain, who wished above all to go to the houses that were called public, studied the Road Map of Bo-sis to see what new liberties would be granted to them.

10. And they rejoiced to see that soon they would be allowed to have their hair cut, to buy non-essential goods such as clothes, and to hold lavish weddings with fifteen guests.

11. Indeed, for many months the children of Bri-tain had grown their hair, dressed in rags, and remained unwed. So that in fact most of the people now resembled Bo-sis himself.

Boris looking scruffy

"My brother Bo-sis is an hairy man. And now I am an hairy man too."

Continued in Chapter 15.

Sunday 28 March 2021

The CathEccles Herald - an apology

From Chris Altar-stripper, Editor of the CathEccles Herald.

With this witty and very moving piece about St Mary "the nympho" of Egypt, the highly esteemed writer Destiny's Child-Glenda de la Slagg brings to the end her series of hit jobs on Catholic saints. (A follow-up piece on St Mary of Nazareth has been withdrawn as it might have appeared insensitive and inappropriate, although I personally thought it was brilliantly satirical.)

St Mary of Egypt

"See, in true clickbait fashion, you absolutely WOULD believe what happened next. Gotcha suckers. Womp womp," as Destiny puts it in her unique literary style.

There have been one or two million complaints about the last piece from the readership of the Herald (now down to 36), and it is true that Mrs Child-Glenda de la Slagg scribbled it down at the end of a lively but not riotous party, shortly before throwing a chair at the editor. Has anyone got a problem with that?

Destiny tells me that she will continue to write her articles on toilet walls, with the hope that eventually they will be gathered into a big book with the provisional title Saints!!?? Arentchasickofem??!! We feel that they have done lasting good to many souls - there were people who still accepted the Catholic attitude towards saints, and as a leading secular writer - she has a regular column in the Wounded Moose Morning News (circulation 12), as well as being a much sought-after speaker on the 4 a.m. Radio Wounded Moose Will nothing send you to sleep? show - she knows how to offend Catholics!

Destiny's Child

Our writer's mother was a great fan of Destiny's Child.

Not everyone who read Mrs Child-Glenda de la Slagg's pieces enjoyed them. A few humourless people and institutions, such as Pope Francis, the CDF, Cardinal Nichols, the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales, the USCCB - even Fr James Martin, Massimo Faggioli and the entire German church! - are still refusing to roll on the floor laughing at her devastating wit.

Still, the piece did reach many people and institutions who would otherwise have missed out on her offbeat way of writing about Christianity. "I haven't laughed so much since Pope John-Paul II died" (R. Dawkins of Oxford). "God will never recover from this one!" (The National Secular Society). "Whoop! Bottoms bottoms bottoms and what a super piece that was!" (S. Fry of every TV and Radio programme). With fans like this, who needs Catholic supporters?

So, you miserable "Catholics" who read the CathEccles Herald looking for spiritual nourishment, why don't you just get knotted?

Chris Altar-stripper, Editor of the CathEccles Herald, incorporating PlayCatholic and Sexy Saints.

P.S. We have been looking for a talentless nobody to take over the "soft porn" column, and we have found just the chap! A big welcome to Mr Eccles!

Duffy book

On Destiny's advice we'll soon be serialising this book about Catholics stripping!

Saturday 27 March 2021

Vatican sale - everything must go!

The first we heard of this was on Wednesday, via Edward Pentin who bothers to read Vatican press releases so that we don't have to. The Vatican is broke, and everyone is taking a pay cut. Cardinals will have their salaries cut by 10% (surely it would be simpler to give redundancy notices to 10% of the cardinals? I can give you a list) and the ordinary workers suffer cuts of 8% down to 3%.

It is not recorded what pay cuts popes (current and emeritus) will be taking - a real missed opportunity for Francis to show how humble he is. This may be because questions may be asked about why we need both a pope and an emeritus pope. What do I know?

Francis and Benedict

"Now, I'm afraid that one of you will have to go."

Next week's Motu proprio will give details of the Vatican fire sale to raise more funds. The faithful are no longer sending in Peter's Pence, since they are being spent on unpleasant films like Confessions of a Rocketman - and Elton John's sequels, involving Busman, Cabman and Bicycleman, don't sound any better.

I have already bought the tombs of three saints, which will go in my living-room once I have removed all the other furniture. I was hoping for some prestigious ones such as Pius V from Santa Maria Maggiore, but mine are obscure ones such as Pope Wilton III, Pope Jimbo XVII and Pope Ted, of whom most people have never even heard.

I also bought a popemobile - well, not the popemobile, just a unicycle that Pope Francis uses for exercise, or so I am told by his totally reliable business manager "Honest Giovanni" Becciu. My neighbours give me admiring glances as I cycle round the garden, bless them, and then fall off into the compost heap.

Late News: I am getting increasingly annoyed at a succession of itinerant priests who wander into my living room and say Mass at the tombs there. I don't care if you've been thrown out of St Peter's Basilica, you're not coming here. And get out of my kitchen - that's a refrigerator, not a sarcophagus.


The whited sepulchre of Pope Bosch.

Sunday 21 March 2021

CDF controversially prefers wheat to tares

In a surprise statement this week the CDF (Congregation of the Doctrine of Farming) insisted on traditional Agricultural teaching that tares (also known as darnel, cockle, or weeds) were not recommended, and that farmers should sow wheat instead.

This has not surprisingly caused a certain amount of dissension among the LGBT (Love Growing Big Tares) community, and the usual suspects - the Germans, Austrians, Belgians and Americans.


Surely there is a market for Weed-a-bix?

The passage in Matthew 13 about the farmer sowing wheat while his enemy sowed tares is often omitted, as being too offensive, and the CDF has made itself no friends by insisting that the farmer got it right when he gathered up the tares and burned them. Said Farmer James Martin, "Clearly Jesus misunderstood this parable, as he had not yet been properly advised by a passing Canaanite woman. What the farmer intended to do was gather up the tares and make bread with them."

In Austria 350 farmers have said that they will continue to plant tares. It is rumoured that unless ten better farmers can be found, Austria is likely to be hit by fire and brimstone. (Climate change can be tough.)

Cardinal Marx on a tractor

Farmer Marx goes off to sow tares on his German estates.

Other controversial farming dubia are likely to come the way of the CDF before long. Should the sower have thrown more of the seed onto stony ground, as a way of building bridges with those of a petrified orientation? Is mustard seed really a useful crop to grow? Should the farmer with the barren fig tree have shown more mercy to it? We await the answers with interest.

Saturday 13 March 2021

Will Francis visit persecuted Catholics in Rome?

The Holy Father has had several recent diplomatic triumphs, visiting places where Catholics are persecuted: Iraq went very well, although Francis is still trying to get the taste of sheep's eyes out of his mouth; moreover, he ALMOST managed to spare 10 minutes to see Cardinal Zen, the representative of persecuted Catholics in China. Now a request has come for an urgent visit to St Peter's Basilica, where a persecution of Catholics unparalleled since the days of Nero has begun.

Rich Raho

A devout Catholic becomes hysterical when he hears the tragic news.

From now on visiting parties of pilgrims wishing to celebrate Mass are invited to do so in one of the following locations:
  • The public conveniences;
  • A disused broom cupboard;
  • A cold area of the grotto under six inches of water.


Fido guards the entrance to the place reserved for Masses.

All Masses must be in Italian, and involve an idol of Pachamama, or they will be stopped. Anyone trying to offer a traditional Latin Mass will be escorted to the River Tiber and pushed in.

The good news is that several slots are available: 3.23 a.m., 3.33 a.m., and 3.43 a.m. Each slot lasts ten minutes, so do practise speaking quickly, Fathers.

On being told of these new regulations, Pope Francis laughed heartily for 20 minutes and then hastily composed himself and said "We must visit these poor oppressed pilgrims. Make sure they cough up 20 euros each, as the Vatican is rather broke at the moment, with the Roma Power Company threatening to cut off our electricity any time now. We do have our own dynamo, but little Ivereigh can't keep running round in his wheel all night."

Pope Francis laughing

Pope Francis expresses his deep distress at the persecution.

A papal visit to St Peter's is not considered to be one of the more difficult tasks, involving just a ten-minute walk from the humble study in which the Pope works on developing his new doctrines. However, it has few photo-opportunities, and no racing around in a popemobile, let alone a chance for EX AEROPLANA announcements.

Still, such a trip would be a very welcome boost to morale, and the pilgrims are grateful that a provisional date of March 13th 2043, the 30th anniversary of Francis's accession, has been agreed.

The Prodigal Son

1. A certain man named Charles had two sons. The elder son was serious and wise, although a little bald, and everyone said that he would be a king one day.

2. However, the younger son, Harry, was wild and lived life of riotous living. He would remove his clothes in order to play the game of pool, and he would dress himself in the uniform of the Nazites.

3. Then one day the younger son was wed unto a lady called Meg-han from a distant land, although she had already been wed before.

Royal Wedding

And they all lived happily ever after.

4. Some say that he wed Meg-han twice: once in a garden, and once in a church.

5. And Meg-han did not know how to behave in the courts of the family of Harry. For nobody had told her that his grandmother was a powerful queen who could open buildings simply by cutting a cord.

6. Nor did Meg-han know how to treat the servants of the Queen, for she hissed and shouted when her tiaras were improperly placed.

7. But it is true that Meg-han, who was black but comely as the curtains of Solomon, was once deeply distressed. For there came one to her who asked what nature of child she would bear - ginger and irresponsible, or black and bad-tempered.

8. So eventually the younger son said, "Father, give me my share of the estate. I wish to become independent.

9. For my wife Meg-han hath had enough of opening abattoirs in Goole and recycling centres in Basingstoke.

10. She wisheth to return to the holy wood of her forefathers, wherein she may be a celebrity without any duties, save to speak voice-overs for him that is called Disney."

Charles and Harry

The father is grieved on hearing of his son's wish to depart.

11. And thus Harry and Meg-han left the family that is known as royal, and began to squander their wealth in wild living.

12. Indeed, Harry forsook the title of "Your Prodigal Highness" and changed his name to "Mr Sussex".

13. They went into the market-place and tried to make their fortune by selling useful items, under the name of "Sussex Prodigal".

14. But, alas, nobody wanted to buy a carbon-neutral biodegradable gluten-free halal antiracist gay clockwork hedgehog that played "Shine, Jesus, Shine!" even if it did bear the label "Sussex Prodigal".

15. So, when they had spent all their substance, they sought another way to pay their way.

16. And Meg-han said, "Once I was a celebrity, and acted in a play called Suits. Although you may not believe it, I played a selfish good-for-nothing who was seeking a wealthy husband. Perchance I can act again."

17. But the people of the Holy Wood did not require an actress who could play an aggressive bad-tempered, selfish, good-for-nothing. Although they did say that, if they were to remake the humorous play known as Psycho with a female star, then they would call on her.

18. Then, in desperation, Harry and Meg-han went into the fields to feed the creature known as Oprah. And they wished that they might fill their stomachs with the pods that the Oprah ate, but their fee was far less than hers and they could not afford them.

Harry, Meghan, Opera

Feeding the Oprah.

19. So Harry said, "I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, 'Father, you have sinned against Heaven and before me. You are no longer worthy to be called my father.'"

Evangelist's note. This doesn't seem to be going quite as expected. Perhaps we'll try for a happy ending later.

(Warning: parts of this are recycled from an earlier parable.)

Wednesday 3 March 2021

We interview Pope Benedict

As the Fake News Correspondent of the Italian newspaper Così fan tutte I was very pleased to be granted an interview with Emergency Pope Benedict (memo: check his official title).

My German is not very good, although after a lifetime of watching World War II films I have picked up a few useful phrases, such as "Heil Hitler", "Schweinehund", and "For you, Britischer pig, ze war is over." Still, I didn't need to use these, as we spoke in English.

Pope Benedict

"Eccles! Delighted to see you!"

Eccles: Now, Holy Retired Father, it is very good of you to give me an interview. My first question to you is: "Who is the Pope?"

Benedict: Well, it's not me, is it? Francis, I suppose.

Eccles (coming in for the kill): So if I were to contradict the claim that you refuse to deny the negative of the proposition that Francis fails to be anything other than the Pope, what would you say?

Benedict (hesitates):

Eccles (scribbling in notebook): BENEDICT NOT SURE WHETHER FRANCIS IS THE POPE.

Eccles: Let's move onto something easier. The man in the news this week is Mr Potatohead. What do you think of him?

Benedict: Who?

Georg Gänswein: Er, that would be Kartoffelkopf.

Benedict: Ah, yes, you mean Heinrich Kartoffelkopf, the great nineteenth century German theologian who refuted the ideas of Professor Maximilian Bohnen?


Dolan and Cuomo

Mr Potatohead (R) with a dear friend.

Eccles: Now, tell me your views about the leader of the free world. Is he Catholic?

Benedict: Francis? Well he does attend Mass, or so I'm told.

Eccles: Actually I meant Joe Biden, often described as the most devout Catholic since Edward Kennedy.

Benedict (laughs hysterically and begins to choke):


Eccles: One final question if I may. The other man in the news is Dr Seuss, author of such books as If I ran the Vatican, And To Think That I Saw It in St Peter's Square, How the Grech stole Christ, and The Prat in the Red Hat. Would you ban his books?

The Grech stole Christ

Banned in Malta.

Benedict: Well, they never came up before the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith when I was running it...


Eccles: Thank you, Holy Thing (© Joe Biden)!