This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Thursday 15 April 2021

Jesuits and Latinophobia

Warning: this blog contains scenes of explicit Latin, and should not be made available to children and young people.

It's been a bad week for Jesuits. First, Pope Francis SJ managed to introduce a version of the Our Father which contained deliberate translation errors. In the words of his Latin teacher, back in 1940s Argentina:

Bergoglio Minor! Et - and. Ne - with the subjunctive, a negative imperative. Nos - we, us. Inducas - subjunctive of induco, lead in, bring in. In - when it takes the accusative, into. Tentationem - accusative, temptation. What does that give us?

"Do not abandon us to temptation", Sir?

No, boy! Bend over! THWACK! It means "do not lead us into temptation". THWACK!

Ouch! Yarooh! Chiz.

Shortbread Eating Primer

The Pope's personal copy of the Shorter Latin Primer.

But enough of 1940s Argentina. The scene shifts to 2020s USA, where Fr Tommy Reese SJ is trying to take over the mantle of the late lamented Hans Küng, having already scored some Küng points for getting into trouble over his views on abortion, homosexuality, birth control (for), Jesuit control (against), etc. Let's see what he has to say about the traditional Latin Mass.

It is time to return to bishops the authority over the Tridentine liturgy in their dioceses. The church needs to be clear that it wants the unreformed liturgy to disappear and will only allow it out of pastoral kindness to older people who do not understand the need for change. Children and young people should not be allowed to attend such Masses.

Reese, Biden Obama

You can tell a man by the company he keeps.

At first sight, we thought this was from a rival Catholic blog, maybe Tommy is Saved, similar to the well-known satirical blogs The Horan of Babylon Bee and Joe Biden's State of the Onion. So we telephoned Tommy to check.

Ansaphone: Hello, you have reached the desk of Father Thomas Reese LGBTSJ: you can call me Tommy. I am away on an Ignatian Yoga Camping Trip but you can leave a message. Please press 1 if you want me to explain why pro-life views are bunk, 2 if you want to hear me talk about gay orgies, 3 if you would like to hear some new Catholic doctrine, 4 if you want to speak to me on my retreat at Fishwrap Park.

I pressed 4 and the great man answered!

Eccles: Hello, Father. Pax tecum!


Someone spoke Latin to a Jesuit!

I heard sounds of hysterics and the sound of Fr Tommy collapsing on the ground. Other voices could be heard:
"He said 'pax tecum' to Fr Tommy!" 
"You've done it as well!" 
"Mea culpa!" 
"Hey, stop speaking Latin, there are young people present! 
We don't want it as a lingua franca!"
"Help! Mommy!"
"Now you're doing it! You'll be a persona non grata!"
"Tommy's gone into a coma. Give him the kiss of life, someone! 
Look, don't all rush at once! Ten minutes each."
At that point we lost the phone connection. So, I never did complete my liturgical discussions with Fr Tommy.

Monday 12 April 2021

The Book of St Richard, Chapter 28

Continued from Chapter 27

1. A year passed, and Richard achieved the age of four score; thus, he reflected on the words of the psalm:

2. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

3. "Aha, but I am not cut off," he said, "and I do not fly away! In fact I am still locked down in Delusion Towers, with no prospect of any flight to distant parts. This proves that the Bible is wrong."

4. However, Richard had spent his year under lock and key wisely, for in response to his critics, who had said "Get a life!" he had written another book, entitled Books do furnish a life.

Dawkins book

Richard getteth a life.

5. This book recorded the deepest thoughts of the greatest scientists of our age, all of whom were personally known to Richard.

6. For example, Albert Einstein had met Richard as a child, and uttered the immortal words, "Why doesn't that kid shut up? I hope he goes far... away."

7. And the learned professor Bill Nye, he whom they called the science guy, the greatest scientist of the age, had also spoken to Richard in words too profound to record here.

Richard Dawkins

"Professor Doctor Nye complimented me on my bow tie."

8. But now Richard needed to sell his new book, and so he thought of a cunning plan to bring himself into the public eye.

9. "I will find some way to insult Catholics," he said. "Then everyone will remember me once more, and maybe a dozen hardy souls will buy my book."

10. In doing this he was using the methods of the great scientists Brian Cox, who had used physics to prove that soul music did not exist, and Alice Roberts, who told the astonished world that dead people did not come back to life on Good Friday.

11. So Richard spake out, saying "Beware Catholics who tell you that bread can become the body of Christ, and wine His blood. Is it not pernicious to bring God into a religion?"

Last Supper

"If only Richard were here to explain it to us!"

12. Then he spake out further, saying that most Catholics did not believe this teaching; for being a scientist he had asked one Jesuit and stopped his experiment because he had the answer he wanted.

13. However, Richard was unaware that Catholics had discussed this teaching for two thousand years: for scientists only read the most recent literature.

14. Thus once again Richard became the stock that laughs, and was roundly mocked by all men of faith.

15. However, he had sold three more copies of his book, and was exceedingly happy.

Continued in Chapter 29.

The Book of St Richard beginneth here.

Saturday 10 April 2021

Death of a god

Today we have an exclusive interview with Archbishop Charles Anne Andrew Edward, the head of the Prince Philip religion in the New Hebrides, also known as Vanuatu. As is well-known, Prince Philip was regarded as a god over there, and his demise was a good excuse for us to talk to the archbishop.

A sad day for the Philippians.

Archbishop: What are you doing here?

Eccles: You invited me.

Archbishop: Well, you didn't have to come! (As the divine Philip put it.)

Eccles: Your grace, could you tell us something about your worship of Prince Philip?

Archbishop: Yes, we use a liturgy based on the wise sayings of our god. For example, we would start a service with words something like this:
Priest: Prince Philip be with you.
Congregation: You managed not to get eaten then?
Priest: Aren't most of you descended from pirates?
Congregation: You're too fat.
Priest: Do you still throw spears at each other?
Eccles: So what will you do now that your god is dead?

Archbishop: We are moving from a Vetus Ordo worship of Prince Philip to a Novus Ordo worship of Prince Charles. My man Annibale Bugsbunni is looking for the new god's memorable sayings, but all he has come up with so far is "To get the best results you must talk to your vegetables" and some stuff about carbon dioxide, organic muesli, and monstrous carbuncles. Annibale has a difficult task on his hands.

Eccles: Well, good luck with that. Archbishop, thank you very much.

Wednesday 7 April 2021

Tributes to a great figure in theology

Thanks for the idea to an anonymous reader.

The Pontifical Academy for Life has just lamented a great loss to Catholicism in the following words:

Disappears a great figure in the theology of the century, whose ideas and analyzes must always make us reflect on the Catholic Church, the Churches, the society, the culture. #halking

Yes, the bells were tolling in the Vatican ("Küng-Küng-Küng") to mark the death of Hal King (alias Henry VIII), one of the few people to be awarded the title of "Defender of the Faith". Hal was known for his strong defence of the institution of marriage - he was so keen on it that he participated six times - as well as his pioneering work in modern surgery (removing the heads of people who no longer needed them) and his sterling work for the monasteries, which he took into public ownership as part of his charitable work.

Curiously, some people regarded Hal King as a heretic, and he was even forbidden to teach Catholic theology. It is hard to see why.

Henry VIII

Defender of the Faith.

Father James Martin SJ concurs with the PAL in his assessment of the great man's life:

Breaking: German envoys are reporting that Hal King, a towering Catholic theologian and frequent critic of the church, has died at 55. May he rest in peace.

By overwhelming popular demand, a statue of King Hal will be erected in St Peter's Square, and luckily one was already available (he kept it in the gardens of Hampton Court and regularly went out to admire it).

Küng and his statue

The Statue of King Hal.

As the whole world mourns, we recall the time that the Pontifical Academy for Life paid tribute to the late Mr Genghis Khan, describing him as an "austere religious scholar". Surely, Hal King is also worthy of this heart-felt tribute?

Monday 5 April 2021

The Balham police go church-raiding

Scene 1: Balham Police Station. Inspector Thugg is directing his officers.

Thugg: Well done, team. You really put those Polish Catholics in their place. Holding a service of religion on Good Friday! If they wanted to meet, why couldn't they have just torn down a few statues or looted some shops, like normal people? Then we'd have left them alone.

Police invading a church

Bad vestments.

Sergeant Bludgeon: What next, Guv? (Editor's note: all sergeants call their bosses "Guv" as a result of watching too many television serials.)

Thugg: Go out into the world and spread the Good News, Bludgeon! Go and find another church to trash.

Constable Bonehead: We passed something called Grand Mosque on the way back. Will that do?

Thugg: I guess so. Didn't Pope Francis say that Muslims were just like Christians, only richer? You won't meet any trouble. Off you go!

Bonehead: Any chance of some food before we go?

Thugg: Pick up a bacon sandwich from the canteen. You can eat it when you get to the mosque.

Muslim dancing

Liturgical dancing.

Scene 2: At the Mosque. Inside, Imam Hamza is explaining some juicy bits of the Koran.

Bonehead: Oi, Sarge, there's a pile of shoes here. Should we take off our size 14s as well?

Bludgeon: No, Doris, we'll need them if there's any trouble. Remember, go for the vicar first.

Imam Hamza: And now, my brothers, let us offer each other the sign of war.


Hamza: Infidel! Heretic!

Bonehead: Fancy some of my bacon sandwich, Vicar?

Bludgeon: Not now, Constable. Imam Mohammed Ali Floatslikeabutterfly Hamza, alias Fred Nargs, you are charged that on the evening of April 2nd, alias Good Friday, you did do something or other and we'll decide what it was when we get back to the station.

Hamza: Boys, you know what to do!

Two altar-servers with scimitars drive the police out into the street.

Hamza: Thank you, lads. And now our next hymn, Shine, Mohammed, Shine!

Saturday 3 April 2021

Dead people don't come back to life

Today we have another guest post from Alice in Wonderland (age 11) of St Humanist's School, Birmingham. In January she explained very persuasively that Miracles are just a bit unlikely, and now she has an Easter message for us (or possibly a Good Friday message, she wasn't sure which was which).

tweet by Alice Roberts

Dead people don't come back to life.

Some people (like Fr Chasuble our school chaplain) will tell you that Good Friday is all about someone rising from the dead. But it isn't possible. IT ISN'T, IT ISN'T, IT ISN'T!!! Top marks for rhetoric, here, Alice - J. Eccles SJ (teacher). As a scientist, I tested this by experiment. So Auntie Doris has been sitting in the living room ever since she died 3 years ago. This proves that Christianity is bunk. QED.

There are other aspects about the passion narrative - I thought passion was a fruit, but Fr Chasuble says it's what we call the bits at the end of the gospels - that a trained scientist like me (We remember your detention for making hydrogen sulphide in the school toilets! J.E.) can easily refute. There's a bit about Peter (a famous person in the Bible) cutting off someone's ear and Jesus (another famous person) sticking it back on again. WELL, I TRIED THAT AND IT DOESN'T WORK. Mrs Van Gogh the school cook is very cross too!!! Marks for initiative, here, Alice! J.E.

Peter cuts off the ear

Ear today, gone tomorrow (special joke by Alice!)

But let's get back to the big question. Fr Chasuble tells me that Easter is very important to Christians, although the Bible misses out the really important bits about bunny rabbits and eggs. So if dead people don't come back to life - as I have proved (QED) - then we can tell all those learned doctors of the church: St Thomas Augustine, St Basil the Fawlty, St Albert Mangus, ect. to pack it in.

Tomorrow I am going to Battley where lots of Muslims are hanging round a school trying to sell pictures of Mohammed. Won't they be surprised when I tell them that their sacred book the Michel Coren wasn't dictated by some supernatural God but was all made up! Have a good trip, Alice! J.E.