This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

What will happen when Donald meets Francis?

An in-depth analysis by Austen Ivereigh, the man who has the Pope's ear; with additional material by Massimo Faggioli, the man who has the Pope's false teeth, and Antonio Spadaro, the man who has the Pope's sockpuppets.

As quoted in CNN, the Guardian, CRUX, the Luton Budgie-fancier's Gazette and all other leading news sources.

Austin Powers

Austen Ivereigh.

Nobody knows Pope Francis like I do, having written the definitive biography of the great man. I have also looked up Donald Trump on Wikipedia, and apparently he is the President of the United States of America, as well as a ballet dancer of no mean abilities (memo: check this on a more reliable web site). And the question that everyone is asking me, is, Austen, why don't you belt up for once? Austen, what will happen when these two titans meet?

Will Pope Francis go straight for the jugular, attempting to strangle Donald Trump? Will he poison his coffee? Will he drop a sixteen-ton weight on him? All these are things that a pious saintly Catholic such as Francis may feel obliged to do, to maintain the purity of the Vatican.

sixteen ton weight

One possible outcome, but - in my analysis - not the most probable.

Trump of course is another strong personality who doesn't like being messed around. Will he come to the aid of the Sovereign Order of Malta by getting his CIA agents to intern the Pope as a war criminal? Will he activate the Palantir of Melania, causing all the secrets of the Vatican - including the answers to the five dubia - to be revealed once and for all?

Trump and palantir

Donald Trump activates the Palantir of Melania.

Well, you may think so, but we Catholic experts think otherwise. There will probably be an embarrassed silence, until Francis asks one of his valued aides, such as Cardinal Parolin, "Who is this man with the funny hair?" On being told that it is the American president, Francis will summon his trusted adviser, Fr James Martin LGBTSJ, to advise him. Fr Jim will take one look at Trump and run screaming from the room. Trump will attempt to break the ice by saying "I've always been an admirer of yours, Pope Benedict, your saintliness."

Once both parties have worked out who the other is, they will exchange gifts. Francis will give Donald a copy of Amoris Laetitia, and the President will give the Pope a model of the Statue of Liberty, They will shake hands, and pose for photos, and that will be it. No discussion of political issues, as neither of them can bear to be contradicted.

model of Statue of Liberty

From the Leader of the Free World to the Leader of the Saved World.

© Austin Powers, 2017

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Pope Francis affected by ransomware virus

It was finally admitted this week that Pope Francis had been hit by the ransomware virus - which scrambles data and makes it incomprehensible - a fact that commentators see as explaining many of the statements coming out of the Vatican recently.

Pope and computer

"I can save your pictures of cats, but the Magisterium is lost forever."

For example, a recent statement that the Corpus Christi procession would be moved to Sunday, "to cause less inconvenience in Rome", was obviously nonsense - only the English and Welsh bishops would do something as silly as this. In fact it was a result of the papal diary being encrypted by the virus, and having to be reconstructed from memory. Pope Francis has no intention of changing his official policy of causing inconvenience to people, which includes dropping in on random houses in Rome to bless them when the family would rather be watching Dr Who.

Doctor Who and Pope

"Everyone who reads Amoris Laetitia wants to commit suicide, Doctor."

For Jesuits, releasing statements that cannot be deciphered - or, more commonly, can be deciphered in any way you wish - is all part of the training. However, it turns out that the ambiguities in Amoris Laetitia were not simply Jesuit waffling, but a direct result of attempting to reconstruct the decisions of the Synods on the Family from corrupted data.

Software experts - Engineers Burke, Sarah and Müller included - have spent months attempting to make sense of AL, and they believed that by sending five questions to Pope Francis they could determine what the uncorrupted version of AL was supposed to have said. However, the questions mysteriously vanished from the papal discs, and Pope Francis is embarrassedly trying to pretend they never existed.

Pope and Ivereigh

Pope Francis presents a copy of his book The Great Sycophant to his hero, Austen Ivereigh.

Over at Crux, the virus has clearly struck Austen Ivereigh, whose writings are becoming more and more deranged, as he submits garbled copy without even attempting to make it meaningful. And to think that this man was once the Voice of Catholicism, with the power to makes popes tremble!

Another victim of the virus is of course our old friend Fr James Martin SJ, whose electronic copy of the Bible was reduced to disconnected fragments, from which he ended up drawing all sorts of nonsensical conclusions about Mary Magdalene being the Church and Jesus being taught a lesson by a Canaanite woman. Luckily he has found a new career in comedy.

Still, the news is not all bad. Pope Benedict XVI (retired) is backing Cardinal Sarah, whose own data is mercifully as clear as the day it left Heaven.

Burke and Sarah

"Have you tried switching the Pope off and on again?"

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Reversing "Resurrexit"

Note for foreign readers: Tim Farron is the leader of the Liberal Democrats, the party of Gladstone, Lloyd George, etc., which has now fallen on hard times. Officially an Evangelical Christian (Anglican), Tim found that his orthodox views on same-sex marriage and abortion offended the secular consensus that dominates the UK, and so, when asked, he dropped them. Now read on - or don't, of course.

Groucho Marx

Tim Farron, widely tipped to be the next Prime Minister, gave a solemn promise today that he would reverse "Resurrexit", the historic event in the 1st century that redeemed mankind from the slavery of sin. "Of course I don't think that I can physically locate Jesus and push Him back into His tomb," he admitted, "but we never wanted a 'hard' Resurrexit, with Satan defeated and the powers of Hell put to flight. We expected 'business as usual', so I shall do all I can to reverse the consequences of that ill-advised decision."

Farron went on to explain that being an Anglican did not prevent him from having his own views on Good and Evil, and, frankly, Evil had a lot of points in its favour. "Christians accept that Satan exists, and we support the Right to Choose - to choose whether to back Satan's very attractive, and may I say, liberal, programme, or whether to go for the more authoritarian approach of bowing down to some unelected God."

Mr Saxon

Vote Farron!

The BBC, in particular, is very pleased to hear of Farron's change of heart, and his manifesto commitments to repeal the Ten Commandments ("Adultery is a long-standing Liberal tradition") and the Beatitudes ("'Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God'? This didn't go down well with our focus groups.") Said John Humbug, the Radio 4 presenter, "Old-fashioned teaching like this has no place in the modern BBC - which is what really matters - and Tim would have had no chance at all of winning if he'd stuck to his principles."

Since Prime Minister Theresa May (Anglican), Jeremy Corbyn (Marxist with a dash of Islam) and Nicola Sturgeon (Only Scots go to Heaven) are broadly in agreement with Tim Farron on moral issues, it appears that there are no votes to be won this time round by considering questions of Good and Evil.

Resurrection

"Tim Farron's not going to like this, My Lord."

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Eccles sees an apparition at Medjugorje

Pope Francis has expressed doubts about the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje, but we on this blog tend to show more love and mercy, so I took a Medjugorje Holiday, advertised as "SEE YOUR OWN PERSONAL APPARITION, AT A TIME CONVENIENT TO YOU, OR YOUR MONEY BACK". Note that the claims of Medjugorje are really spectacular - SIX kids and NINE secrets - making Fatima, in comparison, seem as ordinary as Luton.

postcard

Having a lovely apparition. Wish you were here.

What the Holy Father really thinks is that the apparitions are nasty wicked things, probably the fault of Cardinal Burke and his sock-puppets, although he is not yet ready to say this definitively. Anyway, I checked into the Hotel Apparitio (2 star), and requested an apparition for midnight.

I prepared myself with some spiritually nourishing reading, namely Amoris Laetitia, the Da Vinci Code, and Bosnian for Dummies (just in case MY apparition didn't speak English). Also a good bottle of Château Karadžić plonk ("The wine for war criminals").

Radovan Karadžić

Father Ted Karadžić, a local priest.

Anyway, at midnight precisely there was a knock on the door, a voice announced "Your apparition, sir!" and in walked an old lady.

Now, I think the Pope has hit the nail on the head here, as this apparition is totally unlike the Blessed Virgin Mary in all respects.

Anti Moly

My personalized apparition.

She didn't have much of a message for me, just muttering "Got any gin, Eccles?" before she reeled out again. But... but... she did turn up at midnight, and she did address me directly. Makes you think, doesn't it?

But what can the message mean? Gin... spirit... Holy Spirit... spirit of Vatican II... juniper berries... Jupiter... Barnabas (Acts 14:12)... it's all too deep for me.

I returned home spiritually nourished, but I don't know what it was all about. No wonder the Pope is baffled.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Colbert tells a joke, and Fry is prosecuted

The world was in shock this week when it was revealed that Stephen Colbert, the leading Catholic and bosom friend of Fathers Martin and Rosica, had told a joke.

Colbert, Martin and Rosica

Spot the comedian!

An angry fan protested: "I have been a watcher of the Dead Show since the days of David Letterbox, and I was told that when Stephen Colbert took it over, he would maintain the tradition of hurling insults and dirty innuendos at Christians, Conservatives, and anyone else who didn't buy into the liberal secular consensus of Hillary Clinton, Planned Parenthood, etc. But now he has actually told a joke!"

David Letterman

"I was on this show for 94 years, and they still haven't gotten any curtains for the windows."

Colbert's joke, admittedly an old one, went like this:

Two Jesuit novices both wanted to smoke cannabis while they prayed. They decided to ask their superior for permission. The first asked, but was told no. A little while later he spotted his friend smoking cannabis. "Why did the superior allow you to smoke cannabis, but not me?" he asked. His friend replied, "Because you asked if you could smoke cannabis while you prayed, and I asked if I could pray while I smoked cannabis!"

Fr James Martin SJ is an old friend of Colbert and a Vatican consultant on theology. His input to Pope Francis's next apostolic exhortation What Laetitia did next, correcting various errors in the New Testament, will be greatly valued. Jim was also horrified at this betrayal. "I expected Stephen to make some harmless allegations about homosexual intercourse between Trump and Putin," he explained. "These would have offended nobody, indeed at our Jesuit Community of New Heresies we would have been delighted. But then he starts introducing inappropriate elements such as humour into his monologues."

Colbert and Martin

"Blah blah blah Trump blah blah blah."

Meanwhile on the other side of the Atlantic, trouble is brewing for Stephen Fry, the comedian, actor, television presenter, author, activist, polymath, Renaissance man, brain surgeon, celebrity chef, nuclear scientist, composer, lion-tamer, plumber, jockey, that's enough things that Fry does badly... Under ancient Irish anti-boredom laws he is to be prosecuted for causing excessive tedium, having driven several people into a coma by droning on with his infantile views on religion. These are basically at the level of "If I can't get my own way on everything, I'll thcweam and thcweam until I'm thick. That will make God buck his ideas up a bit. Not that He exists of course."

Fry and Spencer

Stephen Fry's son Elliott reassures him that he is really a very interesting person.

Curiously, Fry's views on God - namely that He has got things wrong and can learn a lot from us humans - are not all that different to Fr Martin's. Oh my goodness, perhaps he IS James Martin. No, they can't both be so ubiquitous, can they?

Sunday, 7 May 2017

The Catholic Education Service gives advice to St Custard's

Yes, it is me e.g. nigel molesworth the curse of st custard's which have now become a cathlic skool cheers cheers. We are now seeing a few changes, as mr braber of the cathlic educashun service hav sent headmaster GRIMES some giudlines on bullyin wot was written by STONEWAIL and the aqueerness centre chiz chiz.

molesworth 1

nigel, I want you to pay attenshun to the giudlines chiz.

It seme that ordinarry bullyin e.g. tuoghin up the new bugs behind the bike sheds is still all right. Pater say that havvin his head stuck down the tiolet every day made him the man he is now, and I can beleive that. No, the thing to aviod is HOMERPHOBBIC bullyin or HATE CRIM. Apparently it is all right if poeple like stephen frye hate cathlics but if we protest about the gay maffia it is hate crim.

Mr zullsdorf the lattin teecher make hillarious joke e.g. molesworth it is lucky we dont do GREKE as you would be homerphobbic as well as vurgilphobbic plinnyphobbic ceasarphobbic and all the other lattin wedes ha ha. But in fact we gotta take these giudlines very serouisly, as I will explane my deres.

this is my bro, molesworth 2, doin some homerphobbic bullyin.

As is well known my horibble bruvver molesworth 2 like to play fairy bells on the skool paino, until skool dog go mad and bite father rossica the chaplin as he sit in his room droolin over the tabblet. Now mr braber's giudlines say that the word FAIRY is homerphobbic, and so moleworth 2 is asked to play something more senssitive e.g. ELTON JHON's song that he sing to his kids, where's your muvver gone crappy crappy cheap cheap.

Next, my grate frend peason got six of the best from grimes for saying that my traners were a bit gay, for that is also an example of homerphobbic bullyin as any fule kno.

fotherington tomas

a wet and a wede.

But wot you may ask of fotherington tomas who say hullo clouds hullo sky and is the biggest sissy in the skool? It turn out that he is alreddy married with five kids, which is pretty good for an 11-year old, so we can pass over this hastily, it remind me of the time that armand MACCRON the french exchange boy ran off with prudence entwistle the undermatron and I think he is now doin quite well in french politicks.

Well I can see that we at st custards are goin to have to work hard to obey mr braber's giudlines. We are bein specially tollerant right now as sigismund the mad maths master have decided he want to TRANSISHUN and become a gurl and we should now refer to him as brunnhilde he is goin to dress up as a VALCURRY and hit poeple wih an axe so no change there.

sigismund

sigismund, or rather brunnhilde chiz chiz.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

God announces retirement

Following the lead of Prince Philip (95), who is regarded as a god by the people of Vanuatu, God the Father Almighty (regarded on this blog as the only true god) has also announced His retirement at the age of 6021 plus infinity.

Prince Philip god

The Bishop of Vanuatu.

A spokesman said, "Most of God's best work was done in Old Testament times, when floods, smiting, fire and brimstone, plagues of boils, etc. were expected of a god. Now that love, mercy and general niceness have come into fashion, He feels it is time to let His Son take a more prominent role in things for a few millennia, taking a back-throne. In preparation for this, the family business was rebranded as Christianity two thousand years ago, rather than יהוה (which, frankly, only appealed to the Israeli market).

Sodom and Gomorrah

The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Now regarded as a homophobic hate crime.

Other religions have found it difficult to persuade their deities to perform public functions, such as state visits, opening of supermarkets, etc. Prince Philip has always been willing to utter words of wisdom such as "You're too fat to be an astronaut," "How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough?" and "Aren't most of you descended from pirates?" but other gods have remained relatively silent. Only Pope Francis can match Prince Philip's ability to fire off insults at the faithful.

To take another example, Allah, although he started promisingly by dictating an exciting book to Mohammed, all about what a jolly good idea it would be to smite the infidel, has not given much evidence of following up on this, and indeed promises of sherbet and virgins in Paradise have been referred to the Advertising Standards Authority.

tiger god

The tiger god - believed to be in retirement already.

Recent events in the Vatican have suggested that even letting God the Son run things is a bit old-fashioned, especially since His teaching on marriage etc. has been questioned by so many high-up Catholics (the Anglicans abandoned it long ago, along with the idea of a male priesthood). That only leaves one member of the Trinity waiting in the wings: letting the Holy Spirit drive for a while would have the great advantage that He (or She, according to the great theologian Fr James Martin SJ), has never actually said anything "rigid" in black and white: thus anyone can make up his own doctrine. Indeed, this is already happening.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

When the bishop's away...

I regularly monitor the "Bishop's Engagements" page of the Catholic media, just to keep an eye on our lads, and make sure that they are not participating in any gay masses, clown masses, asparagus festivals, surreptitious 'ordination' of women, Freemason parties or chats with ACTA. However, this week's notices are rather dull, as our shepherds are all away at the Bishops' Conference in Palazzola, Rome.

swimming pool

Getting ready for a hard week's bishoping.

In fact, the way the bishops describe their absence is very revealing. In decreasing order of holiness we find "Attends Spring Plenary Meeting and Retreat, Palazzola, Rome" / "Bishop's Conference, Palazzola" / "Pub crawl, Palazzola" / "Wild orgy, Palazzola". But the fact remains, THEY ARE ALL AWAY THIS WEEK.

This is my chance to take over the Catholic Church in England and Wales while nobody is looking.

unsaved places

Eccleston Square, headquarters of the bishops.

After a bit of consultation on Twitter, I came up with the following changes that seemed worth making:

1. Restore the Holy Days of Obligation to their original dates, rather than pushing them off to the nearest Sunday. Thus Ascension Day and Corpus Christi return to Thursday, and Ed Balls Day (April 28th) and Star Wars Day (May 4th) to the days on which they actually should fall. All plans to move Good Friday and Christmas to Sunday are to be cancelled.

2. Implement Vatican II, not the Spirit of Vatican II. So the altars will conveniently be moved so that the priest can face God, rather than have his back to Him. Latin will become the principal language of the liturgy, thus removing all debates about translations. Obviously statements such as "There is coffee afterwards in the Annibale Bugnini Memorial Hall" may be made in English, although we may choose to rename the hall.

3. The complete and utter banning of hymns by Paul Inwood, Kevin Mayhew, Damian Lundy, Bernadette Farrell, Graham Kendrick, Estelle White, William McGonagall, etc.

smelly feet song

"The world is full of smelly feet." Banned from Mass. [click to enlarge]

4. All mention of Amoris Laetitia to be banned until Pope Francis condescends to tell us what it's about by answering the Dubia.

5. The instant excommunication of women 'priests', people who 'ordain' women as 'priests', people who campaign for women to be 'ordained' as 'priests', etc. Oh, and let's close down Roehampton's Department of Human Studies and Catholic Flourishing just to be on the safe side.

women priests

How many errors can you spot in this picture?

Of course, when Cardinal Nichols returns from Rome and discovers that the Church has become unrecognisable in his absence, he's likely to be a little bit cross, but think how much good it will do him.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

The 4th secret of Fatima

The story of the three Portuguese children, Lúcia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto, who saw the Virgin Mary in 1917, and were entrusted with three secrets, is well known. What is less known is the story of another cousin, Ecclesão, who left the group before they became famous.

children of Fatima

Why is Ecclesão always omitted from the Fatima records?

Ecclesão always claimed that Mary entrusted him with the fourth - and most significant - prediction, which would come to pass exactly 100 years later. According to his account, the message went as follows:

"Now, Ecclesão, pay attention, as I have an important warning to deliver to you. Stop scratching, and put that phone away - you won't get a signal for another 100 years anyway.

There will come a time when the Church has two popes living - one aged 90, who will be called Benedictus (blessed), and one aged 80 who will be called Franciscus. The older man will spend his declining years in prayer and beer-drinking, a just reward for a life of holiness. Beware the younger man, for he will reject the teaching of his forefathers, even the present Pope, Benedict XV.

a Lamb that hath gone astray

The evil one tempted him, and he did read the words of Beattie and Küng.

There will be many and diverse quarrels in the Church at that time. Franciscus will prowl like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. There will come a man from the New World who will ask five questions of Franciscus, and what do you think he will reply?"

Ecclesão: No, yes, yes, yes, yes?

"Nice try, Ecclesão, but no coconut [editor's note: this is an untranslatable Portuguese idiom]. Nay, Franciscus will remain silent - at least when it comes to answering the five questions, although he will plot against the man from the New World, and he will let it be known privily that the answers are in fact 'Yes, no, no, no, no', although he will not dare say so in public.

sunny Jim struck by lightning

And the Lord shall smite the ungodly one, though he be a Jesuit.

Look towards the Sovereign Order of Malta, Ecclesão, and see the damage wrought. The holy men of the order will distribute engines to prevent the conception of children, and their grandmaster will essay to stop them. But Franciscus will take over the Sovereign Order and seek to appoint a new grandmaster. Yeah, he will even attempt to ban their grandmaster from Rome, although he will soon discover that he hath no such power.

Ecclesão: This is pretty ghastly, isn't it? Can I go now?

Do not interrupt, Ecclesão. This is the story of end times. In 100 years from now the Church must make a decision. Will it persuade Franciscus to take a humble pension, and retire to Dunrantin, the home that is prepared for him? If so, then there may come a man of dark skin with the name of a girl, who will succeed Franciscus in the Chair of Peter and restore true teaching. Or will Franciscus continue to rage, until the time cometh when a man of the Eastern Philippians, who already seeketh supreme power, will be ready to bring destruction upon the Church?

Ecclesão: it's enough to drive you into the arms of the Anglicans, isn't it?

At this point the Virgin Mary laughed heartily and disappeared.

asparagus in Worcester cathedral

Asparagus with Worcester sauce - Ecclesão is shown a strange vision of the future.

[Editor's note: of course it's possible that naughty Ecclesão made the whole thing up.]

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Fra' Matthew Festing seen in Rome

As most readers will know, Pope Francis commanded Fra' Matthew Festing, deposed Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, to stay away from Rome during the election of a new Grand Master. This of course is a perfectly reasonable command, and not at all the action of a man who gets over-excited by absolute power. The reason given - inasmuch as the Pope actually gives explicit reasons, rather than hinting something to Ivereigh the odd-job man, who tells Fr Spadaro, who leaks it to the press - is that Fra' Matthew might try and influence the election - e.g., by winning it.

Other places that Festing is asked to avoid this month are:

  • Croydon,
  • Corby,
  • Malta,
and in addition he is forbidden to visit his Auntie Doris in Margate. Although the Pope does not have supreme authority over Rome (or Croydon/Corby/Malta/Margate etc.), this does not deter him from telling Catholics whether they may go there.

Pope and a crowd

Where's Festing? If you spot Fra' Matthew, tell the Pope and you will be made a cardinal!

Thus, rumours are going round Rome that Fra' Matthew may be in Rome, but in disguise. One commentator has even suggested an invisibility cloak.

The search for Festing is complicated by the fact that thousands of his fans have descended on Rome, wearing red uniforms and claiming to be the man sought by the Pope.

Pope and Festing

"Fooled you!" A Festing lookalike confesses to Pope Francis that he is really Spartacus.

Conspiracy theorists may also wish to take note that at the recent celebrations of Pope Benedict's 90th birthday, the main refreshment on offer was Boeselager (or in English, booze-lager), a drink named after Festing's former deputy.

Pope Benedict party

"Good disguise, Fra' Matthew!"

If you live in Rome, do remember to check your cupboards, under the bed, and your garden shed, just in case a persecuted ex-Grand Master is hiding there. And will mischievous people please stop telephoning the Vatican and saying "Hi, Matthew Festing here. I happen to be in town. Fancy doing lunch, Holy Father?" It is not funny.

Friday, 21 April 2017

The Book of Brexodus, Chapter 9

1. Many months ago, O Theophilus, I told of the bloody fighting between the children of Bri-tain as some of them strove to flee from the land of EU-gypt.

2. But let us now tell of the wondrous deeds that followed.

Cameron and May

Cam-aaron and May-sis (renamed).

3. After many debates and votes, in which the wisest people in the land the members of parliament took part, it was decided that May-sis should trigger the 50th article, in order to cast down the Tusks and Junckers from their mighty seats.

4. And there was a great grayling and gnashing of tusks from the deepest thinkers of the land, they that sat in the New College of the Inanities.

5. "Alas, the people have voted the wrong way," said the deep thinkers. "We must have another election, in which the voices of the Leavites are silent!"

Anthony Grayling

Try and be philosophical, Anthony!

6. Still, the Day of the Trigger came, and May-sis and her advisers began to speak with the Pharaoh Juncker. For they knew that within forty years they must reach an agreement on the movement of camels carrying spices, gold, and precious stones.

7. But the people cried out, saying, "We want an election, for thou hast done away with Cam-aaron the High Priest, and we did not choose thee!"

8. But May-sis said, "No."

9. And again the people cried out, saying "Thou art a chicken!"

10. And May-sis clucked, "No."

11. And again the people cried out, saying, "Give unto us an election, that we may see a dazzling array of talent presented to us on the screen that is called Idiot-Box. Yeah, the Ukipites led by whoever-it-is-this-week, the Corbynites, the Libdemites of Farron, the Nationalites who worship a sturgeon, the magical Greenites who leave no footprints of carbon, and best of all the Monster Raving Loonites.

Monster Raving Loony Party

A threat to May-sis.

12. And finally May-sis said "Oh, all right, the people may have their election."

13. And the people cried with one voice, "How cynical is May-sis, that she exploiteth the weakness of the Corbynites in such a manner. She seeketh a majority, and this is not seemly conduct for a prime minister."

14. However it was written in the ancient laws of Cam-aaron that May-sis could not call an election, unless the Corbynites voted to cut their own throats. Which they did.

15. At least, those are the words of the prophets, Comres, Mori, and Yougov. In my next chapter, O Theophilus, I shall reveal whether these prophecies came to pass.

To be continued.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Be nice to atheists at Easter

For once, an ecumenical post - no digs at Anglicans, Lutherans, Orthodox, etc. Not even Fr James Martin SJ. We're all in this together, folks.

Twitter is not the world - there are rumours that those things walking down the street are also human. If you prick them, do they not bleed? If you tickle them, do they not laugh? If you poison them, do they not die? (If you get into trouble testing this theory, I accept no responsibility.) Still, if the real world is anything like Twitter, there are a lot of very unhappy atheists wandering around at present.

Gary Lineker

An intellectual giant among atheists, seen in happier times.

The problem is, that there are two big celebrations going on this week:

1. Jesus Christ rising from the dead. Mankind redeemed. Life suddenly has a meaning.

or

2. Bunny rabbits. Chocolate eggs. Er, that's it. This is what my life has been leading up to.

So if you're stuck at party (2) and you see people at party (1). What do you do? Why you get cross and say things like:

Of course Jesus never existed. Or, if he did exist, his message was "Enjoy yourselves, folks" and he was probably an atheist. Nah nah nah, you never see accounts of the Resurrection written by people who said it didn't happen! Children are brainwashed. Tee, hee, hee, why shouldn't I choose Thor or the (ho, ho, ho) flying spaghetti monster instead?

Hell

This is the real alternative to Christianity, but it may be tactless to mention it.

I love that last argument. Suppose you want to go from London to Edinburgh? There are many wrong ways to do this:

1. Take the M23 to Brighton, then drive into the sea.

2. Get on a Circle Line train and go round and round until you are thrown off.

3. Take a United Airlines flight to New York. If you can.

4. Sit in a dark cupboard moaning "Edinburgh doesn't exist."

Since there are 99999 wrong ways to get to Edinburgh, this PROVES that there is no right way. Anyone you see driving up the A1, taking a train at King's Cross, or taking a flight advertised as going to Edinburgh, is just a deluded fool who believes in sky fairies / invisible friends / whatever the latest insult is.

Edinburgh

Of course this place doesn't really exist!

For once, Richard Dawkins doesn't seem to have joined the atheists' grayling and gnashing of teeth about Easter. These days his atheism seems to be less obsessive than his dislike of Brexit, Trump, Muslims etc. and advertising some ghastly tour of the States that he is making - perhaps he is having second thoughts in his old age?

Anyway, have a happy Easter, dear grumpy atheists. Remember, this is the choice that faces you:

Peter and John

Peter and John heading for the biggest event in history.

OR

multi-faith vegan egg-painting

The second-biggest event in history.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Pope Trek

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Vatican. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new heresies, to develop new practices and new doctrines, to boldly teach what no man has taught before.

Pope Francis and Cardinal Tagle

"Live long and prosper!" The Captain and Mr Tuglu demonstrate the traditional Vulgan greeting.

Jorge T. Kirk: Pope's log, stardate 2017.4. We have beamed on board two aliens suffering from acute Heresitis: there's a sick lunar man and an omnisexual Martian, James Martian, no less.

James Martian: Bleep, bleep, bleep! The Holy Spirit's a woman! Mary Magdalen wore a dalmatic! God can learn a lot from us! Can I use the ladies' rest room, please?

Mr Spockaro, science officer: Fascinating!

Dr McCoccopalmerio: This behaviour is perfectly normal for some alien species, Jorge.

Captain: Excellent, give the man a job in communications!

James Martin

"Bleep, bleep, bleep!"

Captain: Pope's log, supplemental. Meanwhile, nobody on board knows where we're going, but my science officer, Mr Spockaro the Vulgar, has a theory.

Mr Spockaro: Jorge, I've reprogrammed the ship's computers to use the formula 2+2=5. It is the most logical solution.

Captain: So where are we?

Spockaro: Anywhere you'd like to be, Captain, provided that it's somewhere the Church hasn't been before.

Spadaro

Mr Spockaro is a master of the Vulgan Death Grip.

Mr Tuglu (urgently): Captain, Lieutenant U'Sarah has jumped ship. We think he may be heading for Cappa Magna to join the rebel Burkons.

Captain: Set course for Cappa Magna, Mr Tuglu. Warped Doctrine 8. Dr McCocco, any news on the health of Amoris Laetitia?

Dr McCoccopalmerio: She's dead, Jorge.

Captain: See if you can save some of her, "Boneheads". Her footnotes, at least.

Dr McCocco: Damnit, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a faith healer!

Spockaro: Captain, we're approaching Cappa Magna. Witless worms on the starboard bow.

Captain: Mr Spockaro, I want you to beam down with me. We'll take with us three red-shirted security personnel who can be conveniently wiped out, since we're the ones essential to the plot.

Tobin, Farrell and Cupich

The three expendable red-shirts. They never will be missed

Engineer Baldisseri (for it is he): Standing by, Captain, ta beam ye doon ta the planet!

Captain: Thanks, "Baldy", let's go! We'll shoot to kill, so set phasers on "Mercy".

Omnes: ♫ We're Pope Trekkin' across the universe,
Boldly going forward, still can't find reverse. ♫

(From Kevin Mayhew's Bad Hymns for the 22nd Century).

Spockaro and Tuglu join in the sing-song.

How will the Captain and Spockaro fare when they land on Cappa Magna? Will they succumb to an epidemic of Familiaris Consortio virus? Or will it simply wipe out the three expendable red-shirts? Why has "Baldy" filled the transporter room with stolen books? Have we heard the last of James Martian? Does General Sosa of the Jesuites still reject the Gospels, or has he found some tricorder readings dating from the 1st century? Finally, what role will be played by a three-foot gnome called Ivereigh?

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Pope Francis thrown off aeroplane

Breaking my Lenten fast to report some hot news. E.

Catholic Airlines have apologised for dragging Pope Francis off their flight to Heaven, and suggesting he travel by Air Luther instead ("you'll feel much more at home there," said one member of staff).

 Pope Francis leaves plane

Pope Francis leaves the plane.

According to reports, four cardinals led by Raymond Burke joined the flight at the last moment, and it was therefore necessary to remove four less "saved" passengers. The computer selected four people who were regarded as being of low priority: these included Fathers Spadaro, Rosica and Martin SJ, all of whom were described as part-time Catholics in the media profession. They agreed to leave peacefully on being offered a recompense of 30 PAG (30 pieces of silver, worth approximately $800). However, the fourth passenger selected, Pope Francis, refused to budge.

Pope standing up on plane

"I don't mind standing throughout the flight!"

It seems that Pope Francis had proposed to stand throughout the flight, entertaining the captive passengers with new revisions to the Catholic Magisterium, but this was against civil aviation regulations, and the offer was refused.

Late news: Air Luther's flight to Heaven has been diverted to another airport, Purgatory International, where passengers may be expected to wait for a few hundred years before going on to their final destination. The only light reading available will be a complete set of Vatican II documents.