This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Sunday 24 December 2023

The 2023 Catholic Advent Calendar

Here it is then, your handy cut-out-and-throw-away guide to this year's Advent Calendar.

Behind the windows we find:

1. Slightly early, we start this year's Catholic Advent Calendar in the only way possible - by being synodal.

2. It's a new boy on the block, Cardinal "Tucho" Fernández, whose job is to keep us on the straight and narrow. No sniggering at the back, please.

3. Behind today's window of the calendar we find a packet of Uncle Ted (McCarrick)'s rice. Delicious!

4. An old friend - the Mercy logo, designed by the merciful Pope's favourite artist, Marko Rupnik.

5. Who is that grumpy character hiding behind the next window of the calendar? Why it's Austen Ivereigh, official spin-doctor and synod "expert"!

6. Today's star of the calendar has chosen to offer Mass while dressed as Tarzan in leopard-skin vestments. This is what being Church is all about!

7. The Catholic Advent Calendar displays a Christmas stamp, based on some of the finest artwork available in the Vatican collection.

8. Blushing modestly, Sister Natalie Becquart emerges from behind today's window. Natalie is a synod mother, but in her spare time she is interested in religion.

9. All the holy people we have seen so far on the Catholic Advent Calendar need sacred spaces for their worship, and the Bristol airport multi-faith bus shelter is one of the most sacred.

10. Behind today's door there's Father Brown, a Catholic priest who wears a maniple round his neck. Watch out - your priest may be doing the same!

11. Michael Voris comes out of the Vortex to appear on our calendar. In disgrace with Church Militant, but he should easily find a job in an institution without a morality clause, such as the Vatican.

12. A very popular cardinal, Wilton Gregory, pops his head out of today's window. Uncle Wilt is very fond of traditional worship - some of it dating as far back as the 1960s.

13. We see "the grammar of synodality on display" (to quote the Vatican) - lots of people with nothing better to do sitting round tables and chatting.

14. Oh look, we see Uncle Arthur Roche, cake-eater and TLM blocker extraordinaire, modelling one of those trendy blue "I'm really a layman" shirts.

15. You may have been expecting the traditional photo of Fr James Martin LGBTSJ, but instead it's his book "Come forth", all about how Lazarus was the disciple Jesus loved and a pioneer of homosexual rights. Top theology!

16. We open the next window to reveal Fr Guilherme, the DJ priest!

17. Now we see financial wizard Giovanni Becciu, who, we hear, is now moving to a new address!

18. We see the best of contemporary worship in today's picture, as a priest demonstrates the use of an inflatable altar.

19. Cardinal Marx enjoying an LGBT Mass. Big Rhino is expected to welcome the new Church teaching on blessings (whatever it is).

20. "BE SYNODAL" screams a synod expert. We must, since of course a kenotic de-centering is a new way of being Church!

21. Time to relax with some beautiful architecture as today we see the famous "multi-storey car park" church in Madrid, which I visited a few weeks ago.

22. It's Cardinal Cupich taking part in a pagan ceremony involving a dragon. We don't know whether FFS permits him to bless the creature, but he does anyway.

23. That fat man whom nobody believes in has dropped in from the North Pole to do some popesplaining. Yes, it's Mike Lewis of "Where Potato Is"!

24. We end as we began - synodally. This is now a listening Church and Pope Francis is always willing to listen to what the faithful have to say. (Offer does not apply to Africa, Poland, and a few other rigid places.)

And a merry and blessed Christmas to all readers!

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