This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Saturday, 17 February 2018

The Pope praises the Eccles blog

In some conversations in Chile, faithfully transcribed by Fr Antonio Spadaro, Pope Francis has lavished praise on this, the Eccles blog.

"So many Catholic blogs faithfully record everything I say or do," explained the Holy Father, "and this leads readers to conclude that I am a heretic. On the other hand, there isn't a word of truth in Eccles's lovely blog, from beginning to end. Therefore readers of it do not question my orthodoxy, my sanity, or my fitness for the role of Deputy God and Corrector of Catholic Teaching."

Fr Spadaro catches up on "Eccles".

"As for the other blogs," continued the Pope, "I don't even read them. I'm too busy not reading letters from Cardinal Burke, and from people in Chile. It takes me several hours every day to not read anything that comes my way. My loyal sidekick Spadaro, the Jeeves to my Wooster, the Robin to my Batman, and the Fool to my King Lear, does all my reading for me, don't you, Boy Wonder?"

"As for that book by Marcantonio Colonna - and we know who you are, it didn't take us long to spot someone riding round Rome in a 16th century costume - well, I haven't read that at all. But I can assure you that it is false from beginning to end, especially the bit about my being caught in General Galtieri's wardrobe dressed as a nun. Or was it my being caught in a nun's wardrobe dressed as General Galtieri? Anyway it never happened."

Not the best way to be inconspicuous in Rome.

"Reading Eccles's blog, on the other hand, has kept me sane. It is full of spiritually nourishing advice, and many of the ideas he comes up with provide inspiration for my own policies. I ask myself 'WWED' - 'What Would Eccles Do?' and then try to take it even further."

"Well, that's all I've got time for now, I need to go out and insult a few more Catholics. Luckily Eccles has drawn my attention to a fine 19th century list, which includes terms such as 'goldfish-catcher', 'turnip shepherd' and 'proprietor of midgets'. I must try and work these into my next homily."

The Amoris Cube - an Eccles invention - is harder to solve than the Rubik cube.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Pope Francis becomes a constitutional monarch

Catholics have the difficult task of reconciling the following two propositions:

1. The Pope is the Vicar of Christ, the successor of St Peter, the big cheese of the Universal Church, and an all-round infallible bloke.

2. Pope Francis spends all his time making a fool of himself, his knowledge of Catholic doctrine is at best hazy, and he has the mindset of a South American dictator.

As a result of the GLORIOUS REVOLUTION OF 2018, the Pope is henceforth a constitutional monarch, whose duties are limited to opening supermarkets, having tea with visiting dignitaries, and carefully avoiding the expression of an opinion on any subject whatsoever.

Pope Francis and Queen Elizabeth

"And what do YOU do?"

In the end, a Pope limited to purely ceremonial activities (for example, he may offer Mass, but is forbidden to preach a homily) is a lot less trouble all round. "But won't we miss the encyclicals and apostolic exhortations?" you ask. Well, actually, no we won't. We are already bombarded with far too much stuff from popes. Given that Catholic teaching does not and *cannot* change, why do we need more verbose stuff with Latin titles to tell us this?

Ah, you may say, some issues never arose in previous centuries. Do transgender men cause climate change? Is it sinful to eat crocodiles on a Friday? How about crocodile-skin handbags? Should we destroy the Daleks, or would they be saved if they switched to wind power?

Dr Who and Davros

A Doctor of the church discusses theology with a leading Jesuit.

Well, there's no point asking the Pope to rule on these issues. Synods don't seem to be the answer, as Cardinal Baldisseri will only rig them. Ho hum, it may be all down to Ignatian discernment (= guesswork) after all.

Anyway, these are minor issues, and can be sorted out, provided that the general policy is conservative, i.e., change nothing.

Pope and Trump

"Have you come far?"

The Pope will of course be allowed to make a Christmas broadcast, just as his opposite number Queen Elizabeth, the Supreme Governor of the Anglican Church does.

"In January we visited Chile, and I had great pleasure addressing cheering crowds, which in some cases ran into double figures. I had such a good time that I have persuaded my friend Archbishop Scicluna to go there for a little winter break. We have also been making friends with the Chinese, and they tell us that from now on they will save us the trouble of appointing bishops, but simply pick them from the Central Committee of the Communist Party! Why didn't we think of that before? Also I opened a new abortion clinic on the invitation of my good friend Mrs Bonino..."

Pope and crown

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

Yes, from now on Catholicism makes a lot more sense. And when we get a new Pope, we can go back to the old system.

Valentine's Day massacre to go ahead

In Chicago, Cardin Al Capone has confirmed that, even though it is Ash Wednesday, the traditional Valentine's Day massacre will go ahead.

Cupich and big crozier

Cardin Al Capone - and isn't that the biggest crook you ever saw?

As we've been told ad nauseam today is both Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, and St Valentine's Day, the day for buying chocolates, flowers, gin, scrubbing brushes, copies of Building a Bridge, etc. for your loved one, depending on their inclinations and how much you love them. But can we celebrate both at once?

Following his sensational lecture at the Von Heretic institute in Cambridge, at which he told the world that, although "strictly speaking" chastity is required (don't you love that phrase?), it must sometimes be abandoned, Capone is now preparing to massacre the Catholic faith in other ways.

Pope and Cupich

"Did I appoint Cupich as a cardinal? Silly me, I mean Chaput!"

In particular the great man - the cardinal who put the "bile" in "papabile" - is launching a series of Amoris Laetitia seminars, to tell the US Bishops how to interpret it. A cheaper option would be to pulp all copies of AL and admit that it is a turkey, but... well, it's too late now. Or is it?

Catholics are looking forward to seeing how the Vatican will celebrate Easter on April 1st (All Fools' Day). It's possible that an all-star line-up of celebrity fools will be present in Rome - Cupich, Marx, Kasper, oh the list is too long to give in detail. Then perhaps Pope Francis will surprise us by admitting "You've all been fooled! Amoris Laetitia was just a joke designed to test you! Now I know which of my cardinals to put up against the wall." And out will come the papal machine-gun.

Cupich glasses

Out of respect for his office, Capone will be offered a blindfold.

No, I think not.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Pope Francis is now popular again

Following recently-reported events, Pope Francis's popularity rating, which had dropped to 2% as a result of events in Chile and China (etc.) has now shot back up to 98%.

This was largely caused by his unprecedented step in holding hands with a little girl with Down's syndrome, when she interrupted his papal audience.


"It's just adults I can't stand."

The range of comments we have received includes the following:

"Isn't Pope Francis wonderful? Any previous pope would have told the kid to push off. I'm not a Catholic, but I can see that he is my kind of pope. Of course I am also pro-choice, and would have seen no problem with aborting this kid!"

"Yes, the Spirit of Vatican II has entered the Church and changed all the paradigms! Before the 1960s, it was an excommunicable offence to interrupt a papal audience, and the child would have been locked up in a dungeon. Now, however, we are opening gates, building bridges, and knocking down walls."

"That's one in the eye for all the pope-bashers! Francis may not have a clue about doctrine or civilised behaviour towards his colleagues, but he's a darned fine babysitter!"

Robert Kelly and kids

A traddy pastor, who doesn't want to be interrupted by children.

Rumours that the whole event was staged by Fr Spadaro as a way of reviving the Pope's flagging popularity are of course exaggerated. However, there is a plan afoot to invite the world's most glamorous mass-murderer, Kim Yo Jong, to a papl audience, in the hope that some of her charisma can rub off on Francis. Moreover, she may be able to give him some useful tips for dealing with Marcantonio Colonna, the Dubia cardinals, the filial correctors, Cardinal Zen, ...

Kim Yo Jong

A meeting of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

Friday, 9 February 2018

It Looks Nothing Like Pope Francis - the winners!

There are numerous pictures, models, effigies, etc. of Pope Francis in circulation, most of which look nothing like the Holy Father. As Pope Francis prepares to pack his bags and flee to Argentina, we present some of the worst, with thanks to various contributors.

pope lookalike

A new "Looks nothing like Pope Pius XIII" line will be on sale soon.

pope lookalike

Shine, Jesus, Shine!

pope lookalike

A "gay" couple celebrate their (undersized) designer baby.

pope lookalike

"But I prefer a good fudge."

pope lookalike

Look more like a space alien than a pope.

pope lookalike

Change the name on the base, and it can be anyone you like.

Whereas, we all know that Pope Francis is really the actor Jonathan Pryce.

Jonathan Pryce

Jonathan Pryce.

Except that Pryce (or possibly Francis) was once a James Bond villain.

James Bond villain

Pryce (or Francis) in "Tomorrow never dies".

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

The Code of the Moggs

"I say, Jeeves," I asked my faithful valet one morning, "what do you make of this Moggmania that everyone's talking about?"

"A perfectly normal reaction, sir," replied the f.v. "Mr Rees-Mogg has announced that he is an orthodox Catholic, and so he is pro-life and believes in traditional marriage. This seems to have struck a chord with many people."

Thugg and Mogg

Thugg versus Mogg.

"But dash it, I say, Jeeves, aren't there any clerics to do that sort of thing? Why should it be left to old Moggers?"

I should explain at this point that Moggers and I go back a long way. We were both inmates at Aubrey Upjohn's prep school at Bramley-on-Sea. I once won a prize for Scripture Knowledge, but only because Moggers was ill on the day of the test. Of course, he won the prize easily in all the other years.

After being released from Upjohn's asylum, Moggers and I toddled off to Eton together, and the old bean is now one of my best friends. We meet regularly at the Drones Club to throw buns at "cloudy" Welby and the other heretics.

JRM and Mary O'Regan

Professor O'Regan (Divinity) compliments Moggers on his scriptural knowledge.

Still, I didn't expect him to end up as a great spiritual leader, like that boy Dolly Lama, or the Argentine exchange student "Chop Suey" Bergles.

"I'm afraid, sir, that clerics no longer promote Catholic values," explained Jeeves. "Cardinal Nichols, for example..."

"Never mind my Uncle Vincent," I snapped at Jeeves. "He's very much the black sheep of the family. We don't mention him in polite company."

"Very good, sir. By the way, I really would not advise those 'gay Muslim' socks. We do not wish to be mistaken for the Prime Minister of Canada, do we, sir?"

Justin Trudeau and those socks

A male model shows off his 'gay Muslim' socks.

"Good Lord, Jeeves, I thought they were rather natty! But I dare say you're right. I don't want strange people following me in the street. Take the socks and give them to Uncle Vincent."

"Thank you, sir. By the way, there is a telegram for you."

I read the missal.


"I haven't heard from 'Chop Suey' Bergles for years, Jeeves. What has become of him, I wonder?"

"I understand that he has become Pope, sir," replied my manservant. "There is some dispute about whether he received a certain letter."

POpe Francis and Cardinal O'Malley

"Now remember, Bergles, the letter is in your case."

"Oh, what a tangled something-or-other we weave, when first we tumty-tumty something, eh, Jeeves?"

"Indeed, sir. If you will permit me, I shall suggest to Pope Francis that he employ the tactics of Mr Rees-Mogg."

"Take up Catholicism, you mean?"

"Precisely, sir."

Monday, 5 February 2018

What to do if a cardinal hands you a letter

It's time for another instalment in our "How to be a good pope" self-help guide, for those readers who may one day get dumped in the Hot Seat.

Suppose, just suppose, that a few years ago one of your cardinals handed you an eight-page letter detailing some really nasty things that happened in Chile with the connivance of one of your bishop pals. You have gone on record as saying you never received any such letter. But then, OOPS! Cardinal O'Malley insists that he did give you the letter.


Cardinal O'Malley, or maybe some other O'Malley.

Admittedly you don't have a very good record of dealing with letters from cardinals. Burke and co. might wish to remind you of those dubia you never got round to answering. Zen may remind you that he told you that the real Chinese bishops are all being tortured in dungeons while you cut deals to allow communist puppets to take their place.

Should you admit that you've been caught "doing a Kasper"? You remember that your mate "screwy" Kasper said some stuff which basically boiled down to "I don't like darkies," and then denied it. But it had actually been recorded, possibly on the advice of top Jesuit Fr Sosa, who believes nothing, including the Gospel, unless it is tape-recorded.

Kasper and friends

"No really, some of my best friends are Africans."

No, of course you don't admit anything. You can get your stooges (Spadaro, Faggioli, etc.) to deny that the letter was ever received. If it was important, why wasn't it sent recorded delivery and handed over by a properly qualified postman, rather than a totally unqualified cardinal?

There is also the Rex Mottram / Stephen Walford "infallibility" argument. In a spiritual sense the letter was never delivered at all, but, being sinful, Cardinal O'Malley failed to realise this.

Pope Francis and a letter

If you imagine a letter in this picture, you are unsaved.

Just remember, you're the Pope. You are infallible. You cannot lie. There was no letter.

Still, check behind the sofa, just in case! .

Meet the Buzzfeed hack firing bitter pills at Father Z

Until I came across this piece, a hatchet job on "blogger priest" Father Z, I wasn't really aware that Buzzfeed did semi-serious journalism.

In fact, it usually turns up on Twitter via its moronic quizzes. Which Famous Serial Killer Are You? Which Heretical Jesuit Are You? Which Fatal Illness Are You?

Buzzfeed garbage

Excuse my French! Apparently someone is paid to produce this garbage.

Still, we stumbled across something, and it turned out to be the immortal prose of one Joseph Bernstein. In the eyes of little Joseph, anyone who is not a committed Democrat is probably alt-right. Three of the sad little figureheads of Catholic Liberalism (or do I mean Liberal Catholicism?) are wheeled out: alt-Jesuit Jimmy Martin (catchphrase, "it's HATE"), odd-bod theologian Massimo Faggioli, and "Catholic Whiners" founder Austen Ivereigh. They all get a chance to put the boot in.

Well, I don't always agree with Father Z: indeed I have blogged about his fondness for guns (but he's American, and they still need them in Wisconsin for predatory redcoats, Injuns, buffaloes, drug-dealers, Democrats, Jesuits, etc., so I guess he has an excuse). There's also his excessive use of red ink, and, worst of all, the fact that I'm not allowed to comment on his blog, whereas so many less-saved people can do so. Oh, and he plugs "Mystic Monk" coffee, when my own "Numinous Nun" brand is far better.

Fr Z

An oldie, but a goodie. Fr Z takes the cure.

Well I looked up Joseph Bernstein, and his track record for boring articles is pretty good. Some time I must find out who Chelsea Manning is (all I know is that he was originally called Aston Villa Manning), and try and get excited about a museum that wants all its donors to believe in climate change...zzz...zzz...

Sorry, where was I? Oh yes, the bitter pills fired at Father Z. Well, as Father DL notes (more-or-less), Mr Weinstein doesn't realise that Catholicism is more about tradition/modernism and orthodoxy/heterodoxy than straightforward right/left politics. Although you nay suspect that Benedict XVI votes for the Partito Italiano Conservativo, while Francis leans towards the Marxisto-Leninisto Socialisto Partito.

Francis and Benedict

"Sigh! I guess our prayers are cancelling each other out as well."

Anyway, I need to change my name from Eccles to something extravagantly long, so that I can then be referred to affectionately as "Frater E". Something like Ecclesiasticolongendorf should do the trick. Then I too can be noticed by... drat, I've forgotten his name already. That Buzz Lightyear person.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

The Destruction of Swedom and Germannah

1. And the people of Swedom and Germannah did great evil in the sight of the Lord.

2. Now some of them were Lutherans, but the Lord said "I shall not destroy them by fire, for they know no better."

Pope and Antje Jackelen

"How nice of you to come and celebrate 500 years of heresy!"

3. However, the Catholics of Germannah had no such excuse, and the Lord was grievously offended by their deeds.

4. For there was a man named Rhino Marx, who had been set up as a leader of the Catholics of Germannah.

5. He came of a noble lineage, for his father was Karl, and his brothers included Groucho, Chico and Harpo.

Rhino Marx

Rhino, the last of the Marx brothers.

7. And in Germannah Rhino had decreed that there was only one possible sin.

8. Thus the man who committed adultery, the thief, the murderer, the bearer of false witness, and he who coveted his neighbour's ox were all deemed to be righteous.

9. But woe unto him who paid not his church taxes, for he would be excommunicated.

10. And Rhino Marx had a bed of iron, like unto that of Og of Bashan. For he had grown so fat by spending his church taxes on fatted calves and beer, that no wooden bed could support him.

Marx and Francis

"Guess what the Church is going to do next, Holy Father!"

11. Then one day Rhino spake out, saying, "Let us bless the unions of man with man, and woman with woman, which are very common in the lands of Swedom and Germannah."

12. "For there can be no evil in this if they have paid their church taxes."

13. And the Lord was exceeding wrathful, and said "I have made enough allowances for this fat buffoon."

14. "The time cometh soon when I shall rain brimstone and fire down on the land of Germannah."

15. And it was so.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Demon complains about being silenced

Judaea, AD 30.

The celebrity demon Nitram, who was scheduled to possess the soul of Mr Rusay, a local pastor, has complained about the actions of "that rad-trad, far-right Jesus", who has cancelled his speaking engagement and sent him down to the pits of Hell.

demon in Lake of Fire

"All I wanted to do was build bridges."

Nitram, a prominent Demoncrat supporter who has publicly stated "Don't believe what they say about the Last Trump," is well known for his outspoken views on religion. His speaking engagement, occupying the soul of Mr Rusay, would have allowed him to put out a stream of blasphemy and heresy. Following an online petition (anyone know what this is? Some sort of prayer? St Mark doesn't say) Jesus was called in to cancel this engagement.

However, all is not lost, as Nitram's talk on "Why Jesus was a great sinner until he met the Canaanite woman, but that's not a problem" has been rescheduled for the Lake of Fire Lecture Theatre, where he expects a warm welcome.

casting out demons

Begone to the Tablet!

Supporters of Nitram, including H'gierevi of Crux and Legion of the National Catholic Reporter, have also complained about far-right rad-trad campaigns designed to reinforce Christian teaching. The debate for the soul of Catholicism continues.

Tim Kaine goes to Confession

This probably breaks several of the rules about the secrecy of the confessional, but we must take the risk. The penitent may have been a different senator, with a different priest, but the story is the same.

Senator Tim Kaine: Father, forgive me blah blah blah, I can't be expected to remember the right form of words, can I? I'm a busy man.

Bishop Knestout of Richmond, VA (for it is he): Of course not, your importantship. Still, it's good to see you, and I am honoured to receive your confession in person, especially as I know you are incapable of sin.

When the Confession doesn't have any really meaty bits.

Tim: Yes, I wouldn't have come to Confession unless I knew that someone of the rank of bishop would be available.

Knestout: Now, how can I help you?

Tim: Well it's hard for me to think of any really interesting sins. I did make a rude noise during the State of the Union address. Also, I knocked over an old blind lady who was blocking my way this morning, but that's perfectly normal, isn't it?

Knestout: Totally normal, your wonderfulness.

Tim: Oh, and I chewed gum and spat it out during Mass.

Knestout: You're not being totally honest here, are you?

Tim: True. That was 3 years ago, and I confess it every time. I've not actually been to Mass recently.

Knestout: It seems to me that you're a typical modern Catholic. Keen on same-sex marriage and abortion, I see. Nothing else?

Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton

Tim Kaine with an unidentified friend.

Tim: Um, well suppose, hypothetically, that I voted against the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, admitting that I saw no problem at all with the idea that children should be tortured, dismembered, and ripped screaming from the womb, with their corpses thrown into a bin marked "biological waste"?

Knestout: Well, technically, you'd be excommunicated and I should announce it publicly. Meanwhile, you would need to do a penance which involved wearing a sign saying "I'M A SCUMBAG" round your neck for the rest of your life. Still...

Tim: Still?

Knestout: Look, I won't mention it, if you don't. I absolve you from your sins blah blah blah (now you've got me doing it!)

Tim: Thanks, padre. EXIT.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Pope Francis announces a cultural revolution

In his latest document Gaudeamus Igitur, our great Chairman Francis has announced a "cultural revolution" in pontifical universities. Thousands of capitalist running-dog theologians will be purged, and the rest sent out to the people's farms to plant rice.

Pope and Mao swimming

Our chairman, in excellent health, seen here swimming in the Tiber with some friends.

Members of the ruling Jesuit party applauded Chairman Francis's latest "great leap forward", condemning the "paper tigers" of traditional Catholicism. This follows the notorious "long march" (in fact a long aeroplane journey) towards a new Catholicism.

Naturally the Chairman's supporters have been enthusiastically waving their little red books: these contain the thoughts of Chairman Francis, including his new translation of the "capitalist" Lord's Prayer, and his new "people's" Beatitudes.

little red book

The Thoughts of Chairman Francis.

Francis has promised to "let a hundred flowers" bloom, each symbolizing a new change in Church teaching. Critics of the regime have now largely disappeared, as "reactionary" party bishops have been sidelined and replaced by state-approved functionaries.

Sometimes, there has not been enough spineless people to go round. The Chairman's latest innovation is to replace them with wobbly blancmanges, believing (rightly) that nobody will be able to tell the difference.

Monty Python blancmange

A typical Francis-appointed cardinal (with modernist crozier).

Sunday, 28 January 2018

I stand by Fr James Martin SJ!

Today's big question is the following: if someone is demonically possessed, should we stop them from speaking in church? Fr James Martin SJ has received another ban, this time from Our Lady of Lourdes Church, in the Diocese of Metuchen, NJ, and it all seems dreadfully unfair. Luckily the talk will still go ahead, probably at the sewage farm in French Town, NJ, the most appropriate venue they could find.

Justice for Jimmy

Standing by our most famous alt-Jesuit.

Contrast that cruelty with today's Gospel, where Our Lord met a man possessed by an unclean spirit. Actually, the man's teaching was less controversial than Fr Jim's stuff: for example, he said, "I know who You are: the Holy One of God!" Not something you'd expect Fr Jim to say. Of course, St Mark may have missed out some details: perhaps the possessed man was also telling anyone who would listen that the Holy Spirit was female, or that Jesus should go and chat to a Canaanite woman to find out what His real mission was. You can't mention every detail.

The point is that Jesus didn't try to shut him up, or move him to another venue, he simply used dialogue, and built bridges with the man. "Be quiet! Come out of him!" was the formula. The demon left the man, and went into a herd of Jesuits grazing nearby, who rushed down the hill and - I'm sorry, I seem to have turned over two pages at once.

Martin awaiting exorcism

Be quiet! Come out of him!

So, being known for our mercy, we stand by Fr Jim. Probably with a megaphone, so that we can shout COME OUT OF HIM! whenever the great man starts to speak.

We should note that Fr Jim blames his downfall on a far-right website named "Tradition, Family and Property." You have to watch out for these far-right fascists, in their black shirts (or shorts), shouting "What do we want? Tradition! Family! Property!" when what they should have asked for was "Modernism! LGBT relations! Ruin!" Yes, again Martin hits the nail on the head.

Spode and Wooster

Fr Spode of the Black Shorts tells off Fr James Martin.

We are also told that "another far-right online site that traffics in hate and is similarly obsessed with homosexuality" is Church Militant. Obsessed with homosexuality, unlike Fr James Martin SJ, you notice. The picture below, of its leading light, Michael Voris, shows the depths of shame and degradation to which Church Militant has sunk.

Voris and Eccles cake

In a shameless act of right-wing hatred, Voris eats an Eccles cake.

Remember that Fr James Martin SJ is an adviser to Pope Francis, and so, by association, is mostly infallible. Of course he is.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Trump criticised over award to Francis

The "Holy Father" of the Republican Church, Pope Donald, has been severely criticised by pious Republicans over his award to President Francis of the Vatican State.

"No, it's not chocolates. Guess again."

When the leaders met in May last year, Donald gave Francis various gifts, including the works of Martin Luther King ("I know you admire Martin Luther") and a bronze sculpture named Rising Above ("I've kept the receipt, so you can exchange it if you don't like it").

However, criticism in the Republican Church - the religion with the strongest pro-life credentials - is mounting. This is because Francis is known to be distinctly weak on this issue - he is a friend of Emma Bonino and Lilianne Ploumen - and gifts from Donald to Francis might be interpreted as saying that Pope Donald approves of President Francis's views.

The "other" church in America, the Democrats, is of course much less interested in pro-life issues, and although it is severely Protestant ("No Donaldry!"), it has not yet condemned Pope Donald for his award to President Francis, except in the sense of "Whatever Donald does is wrong."

Spin-doctors at the Washican have stressed that the gifts to Francis were "purely diplomatic protocol" and do not imply any endorsement of him. "In fact the award was actually meant as a slight," said one cardinal. "Can you really imagine President Francis sitting by the fireside of an evening reading the works of Martin Luther King, if there is football on the telly? And the sculpture is just going to get in the way."

Rising above. "Francis has already tripped over it three times."

Indeed, given that Francis gave Pope Donald a copy of his famous work Laudato Si', it is hard to be sure who was being slighted.

Friday, 26 January 2018

The Pope Francis book of vegetables

Everyone should explore the Pope Francis Lexicon, in which a bunch of oddballs, alt-Catholics, freaks, heretics, Protestants, loonies and "insightful contributors" each write on one-word themes favoured by the Pope. Readers may expect articles on Alzheimer's, Coprophagy, and neo-Pelagianism (all terms favoured by the Holy Father), but instead they will find Curia, Dignity, and Gossip, to pick three at random.

Pope Francis lexicon

I'm still cracking up over "Insightful contributors".

However there is now a new book out, which promises to be both bodily and spiritually nourishing. It's the Pope Francis book of vegetables, in which insightful contributors write about the vegetables that have influenced the Pope's thought.

We only have space for three excerpts.

ASPARAGUS, by Tina Beattie.

Asparagus to most of us is a phallic symbol, which typifies the misogynistic hegemony of the Vatican. The Mass is an act of homosexual intercourse, and who can eat asparagus without being reminded of this? Although Pope Francis has done a lot to modernize the Catholic Church, his gynophobia will be seen as a blot on his rule. "Tina, can you do the flower arranging next Sunday?" they say to me, when what they should be saying is "Tina, can you celebrate Mass for us, drop the bit about God, and explain to us why the whole point of Catholicism is women's rights?" Asparagus!! I hate it!!


Human nourishing, human flourishing, ... whatever.

BEANS, by Massimo Faggioli.

Although my main diet is "gelato", or ice-cream, eminent professors of theology cannot live by ice-cream alone, and so my incredibly large brain is often fuelled by a plate of beans. Runner beans, broad beans, baked beans, kidney beans... all these help me understand the way that the Catholic Church has been moving, ever since it was founded in 1965. You will observe that the right-wing fundamentalist extremists who disagree with me hardly ever eat platefuls of beans, and it may be this that explains their spiritual blindness. Pope Francis is a man who looks to the future, and realises that the past never happened. The future is beans, not has-beans (an intellectual's little joke there!)

baked beans

The 57 varieties, replacing the 10 commandments.

POTATOES, by James Martin.

The word "potato" is often used as a homophobic slur against the LGBT movement, because all words are. Still, many modern theologians tell me that Jesus was very fond of potatoes, and that the "bread" of the Last Supper is a mistranslation for "fries". But back to more important things, namely, the need for all of us to embrace homosexuals, especially in church. Pope Francis has appointed me as his special adviser on potatoes, gay issues, and building bridges - and I have been asked to keep an eye open for new interpretations we can put on the Bible - and it will not be long before we have a gay pope!


Three potatoes of the same sex in a loving relationship.

For more in-depth articles, including Cupich on Spinach, Radcliffe on Radishes, and Ivereigh on Turnips, see the book.