This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Wednesday 29 May 2024

Paul the Apostle accused of using offensive words

Corinth, 56 A.D.

Senior Catholic Paul the Apostle (formerly Saul of Tarsus) has stunned the Roman church today by using derogatory language about homosexuals in his Epistle to the Romans. Our apologies to sensitive readers here, but he is reported as using terms such as "burned in their l*sts" and "that which is f*lthy".

Paul - in hot water.

Even the usual Paulsplainers are shocked by this outspoken language, and Tertius of Iconium, the cardinal's amanuensis (surely, Austenus of Iverium?), has had to intervene with a statement saying:

* Paul never said that.

* Well, all right he said that, but Greek isn't his native language and he didn't know that these words were rude.

* Well, all right, he did know, but that's the way they always speak in Tarsus. See his usage of terms such as f*rnication and w*ckedness, which are not normally seen in polite society.

* Can we change the subject now and talk about climate change in Greece? Phew, what a scorcha it's been this summer, eh?

The top Paulsplainer site, Where Paul Is has so far refused to criticise the Holy Apostle, or to back him. It is believed that its manager is suffering a nervous breakdown.

Paul himself has not commented, but he is believed to be working on a new Epistle to the Frociaggians, which will be even more outspoken.

Monday 27 May 2024

The eight greatest Catholic leaders

I'm using this post to record the results of the final rounds of the World Cup of Great Catholic leaders. Many well-known "leaders" have fallen by the wayside, including Pope Francis, Cardinals Fernández and Roche, and those invited to President Biden's party for Catholic leaders, such as Fr James Martin SJ and Fr Thomas Reese SJ. But there is plenty of talent left in the competition.


Sarah and Zuhlsdorf

Robert Sarah 81.2 v John Zuhlsdorf 18.8

Strickland and Müller

Joseph Strickland 33.6 v Gerhard Ludwig Müller 66.4

Schneider and Burke

Athanasius Schneider 51.6 v Raymond Burke 48.4

Viganò and Zen

Carlo Maria Viganò 21 v Joseph Zen 79


Robert Sarah 66.1 v Athanasius Schneider 33.9

Gerhard Ludwig Müller 31.6 v Joseph Zen 68.4


Athanasius Schneider 58.9 v Gerhard Ludwig Müller 41.1

BRONZE for Bishop Schneider!

!!! FINAL !!!

Robert Sarah 61.7 v Joseph Zen 38.3

GOLD for Cardinal Sarah, SILVER for Cardinal Zen!

Sunday 19 May 2024

Pentecost Special

Some of this is true, some of it exaggerated. Decide for yourselves which is which.

To Mass on Pentecost Sunday. We were told in advance that there would be a bring-food-and-share-it meal afterwards, encouraged to wear our own national costumes and bring our traditional food (we're a fairly diverse parish).

First surprise: the three Mass readings weren't in English (or even Latin). Admittedly, they were printed in English on the service sheet, but it sometimes became impossible to match them to the foreign-language readings we heard.

Zulu warrior

"... how does it happen that each hears him in his own native language?"

(N.B.: we didn't this time.)

One example: an African in traditional costume read the bit from the Acts of the Apostles. Actually, not a great loss, as he has such a heavy accent that I cannot always follow him when he reads in English, either.

The other languages used were easier to identify.

"What traditional English costume was Eccles wearing?" You may ask. I had several possibilities, but I won't reveal which one I eventually chose.

Morris dancers

Option 1.

Sherlock Holmes

Option 2.

Thomas More

Option 3.

I did my bit for diversity by putting some left-over Swedish kronor in the collection, rather than the usual 5p. I've been trying to get rid of them for several years.

Anyway, we come to the bring-food-and-share-it. What traditional English foods would appeal to everyone? Tripe and onions? Black pudding? Jellied eels? Eccles cakes (of course)?

And what traditional foreign foods will they offer in return? Frogs' legs? Snails? Sheep's eyes? Korean hot dogs? Yummy!

In the end we were blessed by food from the New Hebrides / Vanuatu, where traditionally they ate missionaries.

vicar in pot


Thursday 2 May 2024

The six Eccles laws

Spending 23 hours per day on Twitter has enabled me to appreciate some fundamental truths, which need to be recognised more widely. This post is less spiritually nourishing than some, but I'll do my best.

1. Actors have nothing intelligent to say if they are not given a script, and often not even then.

Brian Cox

Socialist actor Brian Cox calls the Bible 'one of the worst books ever' and says 'the theatre' is the 'one true church'.

2. Never click on anything described as "hilarious". It will just be mildly amusing.

A few from the Daily Mail to illustrate my point. Would you really bother with any of these?

Spilling the dirt! Hilarious moment man covers himself in soil after wheelbarrow tips over.

Plane passenger reveals his hilarious take on what your seat selection means about your journey.

We're live, guys! Hilarious moment BBC's Chris Mason realises he's standing in the wrong spot at start of live News at Six broadcast.

3. All those in positions of power in the 1960s were stark staring bonkers.

Well, you may be thinking of Beeching closing the railways, Vatican II doing untold damage to the Catholic Church, and almost any 1960s architecture:

St Horten in Ahaus

St Horten in Ahaus, Germany. Before and after.

4. "Could" is journalese for "won't".

There are many variations on this, e.g. "explains" is journalese for "guesses".

too cold

We're doomed, do you hear me? Doomed!

Another example:

too hot

There's more than one way of being doomed.

5. Anyone with pronouns in their profile is bonkers.

I think the non-binaries are the most bonkers, but kids these days are always trying to attract attention, and asking to be referred to as "whee/whoosh" or whatever is probably less of a public nuisance than breaking windows.

6. Finally, applicable to religion and politics: those who rant and rage are usually wrong: those who can laugh and joke are generally right.

Rather than posting yet another picture of Pope Francis or Austen Ivereigh throwing a wobbly, let's be synodal (hmm... I feel another Eccles law coming on here...).


Nobody sensible actually enjoys synods.