Categories
Religion

The Angel of Illinois

What’s the latest batshit crazy religious news?  Well how about this American story that’s gone viral?

In broad outline, it goes like this.

A girl is trapped in the tangled metal of a car crash and the rescuers are about to give up.  Their cutting equipment simply can’t cope with the  degree of damage. The trapped girl asks the rescuers to pray with her as she fights for her life, but the fire chief has little or no hope of saving her.  Suddenly, out of nowhere, a mysterious man in clerical garb appears, even though the perimeter is secured and no civilians are allowed beyond the cordon.  He anoints the girl, says some prayers and assures the rescuers that they will indeed be able to cut the victim out of the wreckage.  To everyone’s astonishment, that’s exactly how it works out.  The girl is removed from the car and rushed to hospital.  But when the rescuers look around, the mysterious priest has vanished.

It’s a miracle.  He’s an angel.  Everyone is astonished and their faith is renewed.

katie lentz miracle priest angel rescue

You think I’m making this up, don’t you?  I am not.

Here’s an insane story from KHQA, a radio station in Missouri, entitled Mysterious priest performs miracle at site of Mercedes crash.

This is what the New London Fire Chief, Raymond Reed told reporters about his efforts to rescue Katie Lentz, who was trapped between the steering wheel and the seat, having suffered multiple injuries.

It was a very well-built car, and when you compact materials like that one, they become even stronger because you’re cutting through multiple things instead of one layer.

This is another way of saying that he didn’t have suitable cutting gear on his fire truck.  It also indicates that Mr Reed hadn’t the slightest idea how to use his equipment, because this is not a situation demanding cutters.  This is a job for a spreader.  Even after 45 futile minutes trying to cut the victim out of the car with inadequate gear, it doesn’t seem to have occurred to Mr Reed that maybe he should send for better gear or call in somebody who knew what they were doing.  Instead, he decided that the victim was going to die.

Suddenly a man appeared out of nowhere.

He came up and approached the patient, and offered a prayer.  It was a Catholic priest who had anointing oil with him. A sense of calmness came over her, and it did us as well. I can’t be for certain how it was said, but myself and another firefighter, we very plainly heard that we should remain calm, that our tools would now work and that we would get her out of that vehicle.

The tools did work after all, but they weren’t Raymond Reed’s.  Luckily, a crew from the Hannibal Fire Department turned up, led by a man who knew exactly what he was doing and they rescued Ms Lentz in no time at all.

So here we have the alternative reality which reads as follows:

A girl is trapped in a car.  The fire crew trying to extricate her are grossly incompetent but luckily a more professional team turn up and save the victim.  To avoid being exposed for the idiots they are, the team get together and declare that a rescue was completely impossible.  They then invent a mysterious guardian angel who obligingly disappears after the incident is closed down.

Nobody saw him arrive and nobody saw him go.  He appears in no photos.

Really?  It must be a miracle.

________________

What the story really shows is a bunch of ignorant rednecks out of their depth.  Chief Raymond Reed, of course, is talking unmitigated horseshit in order to deflect attention from his own incompetent handling of the incident, but at the same time, isn’t it amazing how readily people are prepared to accept a supernatural explanation for things?  We haven’t moved all that far from witch-burning, really. Have we?

What’s most worrying is that the USA is the most powerful, most aggressive, most heavily-militarised country in the world, and they still believe in magic.

Be very afraid.

 

_________________

UPDATE

Priest identified.  No mystery.  No miracle.

Categories
Religion

Papal Nuncio’s Sermon at Knock Shrine

If you needed proof that the Catholic hierarchy are insane, you need look no further than the text of the papal Nuncio’s speech at the Knock shrine.  That’s .right: the place where so many people damaged their eyesight a few years back, staring at the sun.

This is what Charles Brown said to his audience.  Forgive me if I jump in from time to time.

 When Blessed John Paul II came here on September 30, 1979, to celebrate Holy Mass, he began with the words: “Here I am at the goal of my journey to Ireland: the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock” and, in a certain sense, his words are true for all of us here today, as we celebrate the conclusion of the National Novena; we too have come to the goal of our journey.  We come as pilgrims to pray at the feet of Mary, the humble girl of Nazareth, the glorious Mother of God, the “Woman clothed with the sun” who appeared here in 1879 to comfort and console the Catholic people of Ireland.  The passage of time tends to make us forget what things were like in Ireland when Mary appeared.  Ireland was not yet a free and independent nation; close to a million people had suffered and died during the Great Famine thirty years previously, and in the year 1879 when Mary appeared, hunger had returned to the West of Ireland.  Huge numbers of Irish people had been forced to leave as emigrants, never to return, so much so that the population of Ireland plummeted by something like 25 per cent.  

What Archbishop Brown failed to point out was this.  People might well have been hungry in the West of Ireland, but by 1879, when the Knock people suffered their hallucinations, Cardinal Paul Cullen had been on his throne for thirty years. Installed during the end of the Famine, he was engaged in a massive construction programme, building churches, cathedrals, seminaries and convents all over Ireland.  The sums expended were truly staggering and if Cullen had decided to alleviate hunger instead of building monuments to himself and his church, he might easily have made a significant difference to the suffering of the Faithful in Mayo and elsewhere.  Maybe then they wouldn’t have turned to Voodoo for consolation.

And so it was that, in those very bad times, Mary appeared, to comfort and to console and – although she never spoke a word – to lead her people, to direct her children to the Lamb on the altar, the Lamb who was slain but who now is alive, the “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”.  Yes, the times in which Mary appeared here in Knock were very bad, and yet it bears noting that the century which followed the apparition would be marked by an extraordinary flourishing of the Catholic Church in Ireland, with huge numbers of vocations to the priesthood and religious life and a deep Christianisation of all aspects of society.  Such a flourishing would have seemed impossible in 1879.  But the night is often darkest before the dawn.

How right he is.  As he says himself, the century which followed the apparition would be marked by an extraordinary flourishing of the Catholic Church in Ireland, with huge numbers of vocations to the priesthood and religious life and a deep Christianisation of all aspects of society.   Now what does that tell you?  Remarkably, the virgin hasn’t seen fit to use her super powers in order to prevent war or to ease famine.  Instead, for reasons best known to herself, the BVM has always chosen to appear in front of ignorant peasants or adolescent children.  Wouldn’t a sudden, unannounced TV appearance make more sense?  More to the point, why make an appearance to people who already believe in you?  Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to turn up on the stage of the Albert Hall?  Hey, non-believing motherfuckers, look at me!

When we reflect on Our Lady’s apparition at Knock and the historical circumstances in which it occurred, we cannot help thinking about our times and our own future.  Certainly, there are reasons for discouragement.  It seems as if every few months, a new survey is released showing, or purporting to show, that the Catholic faith is disappearing in Ireland.  We have had two decades of scandals, crimes and failures.  ‘The Church is finished!’ seems to be the cry heard everywhere.

But, my brothers and sisters, let me tell you what I have seen and heard (cf. 1 John 1:3).  Two months ago, I saw the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin exceed everyone’s expectations, with tens of thousands of people coming to learn more about the central mystery of our faith – the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.  One month ago today, I was in Ballyvourney in County Cork, where I had the joy of ordaining a young man to the priesthood.  The small country church was filled with people young and old; the liturgy was celebrated in a beautiful way, with music and hymns in the Irish language.  The sanctuary was packed with more than eighty good and faithful priests, many very young, some quite old, all of them there to welcome and to support their newest brother in the priesthood.   Three weeks ago, in County Mayo, I saw thousands of pilgrims climbing Croagh Patrick on Reek Sunday.  Many young people.  Many men.  Some climbing in bare feet.  I saw hundreds of people that day going to confession to the priests on the top of the mountain.  Ten days ago, I was at Clonmacnoise and I saw literally hundreds of young people kneeling in adoration in front of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, praying the Rosary, confessing their sins, rejoicing in the liberating love of God, and sharing the joy and excitement of being Catholic with their peers.

That, my brothers and sisters, is the future of the Church in Ireland.

Eh … no, Ted.  The Eucharistic Congress was a dismal flop, with a minuscule turnout, to the utter indifference of the Irish people.  And if you were here four decades ago, you’d have been ordaining dozens of the young Father Toms and Father Joes, not the single idealistic young man who impressed you so much.  And four decades ago, you’d have seen thousands, not hundreds, of the Faithful prostrating themselves in religious fervour.

So what is this future going to be like?  Before all else, I would say that the future needs to be authentically Catholic if there is to be a future.  We need to propose the Catholic faith in its fullness, in its beauty and in its radicality, with compassion and with conviction.  We need to be unafraid to affirm the elements of the Catholic way which secular society rejects and ridicules.

I believe that the Gospel for today’s Mass points the way for the future of the Church in Ireland.  Jesus speaks to his disciples about priorities.  He tells us not to worry about things like what we are to wear and what we are to eat, or about how much money we can amass.  He says put first things first: “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these other things will be given you as well” (Mt 6:33).  And what is this Kingdom of God proposed by Jesus?  It cannot be identified with a worldly kingdom.  As Jesus says in front of Pontius Pilate, “My Kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36).  It is a Kingdom which only reaches its fulfilment and fruition in the life of the world to come, as described in our first reading from the Book of the Apocalypse.  Only in the end, will the Kingdom be complete: “a new heaven and a new earth”, the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem.  That city – to paraphrase Pope John Paul II’s words about Knock – is the goal of our journey.  If we seek that city, that goal, that Kingdom, then everything else will be taken care of.  But that Kingdom of light and joy is not only a future reality, it is also anticipated, made real in advance, wherever Jesus Christ is truly present in our world, in the celebration and adoration of the Holy Eucharist, in the sacraments and in the love we have for one another.

As the Church in Ireland moves into the future, we need to recognise that everything the Church does is somehow related to that reality: the reality of salvation.

If Charles Brown’s predecessors had stuck to this line, we wouldn’t be where we are today.  The country wouldn’t be full of clerical abuse victims, and we’d never have placed priests on pedestals, but the reality is different, as Charlie Brown neatly avoids acknowledging.  The reality is that his predecessor, as Papal Nuncio, offered two fingers to a properly appointed commission seeking to find out about child abuse by clerics in this country.  And that snub ultimately led to our Prime Minister denouncing the Vatican in our national parliament.

Charlie would need to get real, instead of floating around in a miasma of Celtic Twilight waffle.

Pope Benedict XVI has instituted a number of initiatives designed to help the Church move into the future.  He has established an office for the New Evangelisation, which means finding new ways of presenting and communicating the ancient faith, especially in those countries like Ireland which were first given the gift of Catholic faith many centuries ago.  The Holy Father has called a Synod of Bishops, that is, a meeting of Bishops in Rome, which will take place in October of this year, in order to have Bishops from all over the world reflect on this most critical question.  And thirdly, Pope Benedict has established a “Year of Faith”, which will also begin this October, on the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.  Pope Benedict writes: “We want to celebrate this Year in a worthy and fruitful manner.  Reflection on the faith will have to be intensified, so as to help all believers in Christ to acquire a more conscious and vigorous adherence to the Gospel, especially at a time of profound change such as humanity is currently experiencing.  We will have the opportunity to profess our faith in the Risen Lord in our cathedrals and in the churches of the whole world; in our homes and among our families, so that everyone may feel a strong need to know better and to transmit to future generations the faith of all times” (Porta fidei, 8).

The man is in denial, and so is his boss.  They have screwed up monumentally in Ireland.  They’ve committed crimes.  They’ve assaulted children.  They’ve protected their money to the last breath in their bodies, and he’s still talking about a Year of Faith.

What would be wrong with a Year of Apologies?  A Year of Humility?  A Year of Repentance?

How about a Year of Giving Away All That They Own?

A year of being decent for a change.

The Holy Father is insistent on this point.  If we are indeed to “transmit to future generations the faith of all times,” we need to deepen our own understanding of that faith.  In calling for the Year of Faith, the Holy Father has also indicated a means for deepening our understanding of the faith.  The opening day of the Year of Faith (October 11, 2012) is not only the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, it is also the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is a magnificent summary and synthesis of the Catholic faith.  The Holy Father recommends that we study the Catechism of the Catholic Church as part of the Year of Faith.  He describes the Catechism as a means of encountering the person of Christ.  Remarkably, he writes “on page after page, we find that what is presented here is no theory, but an encounter with a Person who lives within the Church” (Porta fidei, 11).  That Person is Jesus Christ, God made man.

Here in Ireland, the recently published National Directory for Catechesis of the Bishops of Ireland, entitled Share the Good News, also recommends that Catholics “consider setting up a [study] group to look at the Catechism over a period of time”… “like a book club taking a night to discuss a particular section read beforehand” (page 74).  This is a great idea, which would have a very positive effect on the future life of the Church in Ireland.

A book club to study the catechism.  What a great idea, but I have a better one.  How about setting up a club where Catholics can read in great detail the Ryan report, the Murphy report and the Cloyne report.  Then they might come to a real understanding of the things their bishops have been up to.  After that, who’s going to complain about studying fairytales?

Brothers and sisters, the future of the Church in Ireland begins now.  We have all been revitalised in our faith by the unforgettable experience of the International Eucharistic Congress, which, pray God, has marked a turning point in the life of the Church in Ireland.  Certainly, the road ahead is not an easy one, but the road ahead for Catholics in Ireland did not look very easy in 1879 when Our Lady appeared here on that rainy evening in August.  And yet her appearance was followed by one of the most fruitful periods in the fifteen centuries of Catholicism on this Island.  Yes, brothers and sisters: “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these other things will be given you as well” (Matt 6:33).

No Charlie.  Wrong again.  The Eucharistic Congress was an embarrassing flop, and it doesn’t matter how often you repeat the mantra, the reality is that most Irish people no longer care about your cult, apart from when they need a bit of drama at a wedding or a funeral.

Categories
Religion Soccer

Virgin Mary Wins League for Man City

Who knew the Virgin Mary was a football fan?

According to the callers on Liveline, Manchester City’s second goal was a miracle resulting from prayers to the Virgin Mary at Medjugorje.  JoeYehYehYeh played along, even going so far as to ask one of the crooks priests at Medjugorje how many miracles had been attributed to the shrine.  I know they have to be preweved, said Joe, but how many miracles happened in Meddagore-Jay ?

Proved, now.  Imagine that.  Miracles, as attested by the Vatican, are an unquestioned reality on our national broadcasting station.

I digress.  Duffy today was entertaining assorted maniacs who believed that Roberto Mancini’s visit to the Medjugorje scam was the reason the Virgin Mary guided Sergio Aguero’s foot and steered the ball into the back of the QPR net.  It had nothing to do with the fact that QPR were playing with 10 men thanks to Joey Barton, the Swiss Army knife of football: a complete tool.

It was the power of prayer.  Of course, it never occurred to the callers, or apparently to Duffy, that the Virgin Mary routinely ignores prayers to save people from terminal illnesses.  And lest you’re thinking that she only does big occasions involving many people, let me remind you that she did little enough to stop the appalling slaughter in Bosnia, where Medjugorje is located, despite the prayers of thousands of the faithful.  She must be watching the football when those calls come through.  Wouldn’t you think Our Lady Queen of Peace might have been able to help out there?

On the other hand, Mary is quick enough to stop a bullet for staff members.  For example, when Pope John-Paul II was shot, he attributed his survival to intervention by Our Lady of Fatima.  Not Our Lady of anywhere else.  Our Lady of Guadalupe didn’t lift a finger to help and neither did Our Lady of Lourdes. They were drunk.  Our Lady of Perpetual Succour was down for maintenance while Our Lady Queen of Peace was temporarily off line with connectivity issues.  Not even Our Lady of Medjugorje, who was too busy helping the Franciscan crooks to rip off credulous fools flying over from Ireland. No.  It was Our Lady of Fatima who stepped in and saved JPII.

There are so many Our Ladies, it’s hard to work out where to start.  If you’re a Star Trek fan, you’ll know what I mean.  The Q Continuum is a lot like the Our Lady Knitting Circle.  Hundreds of all-powerful demigods, each unique and yet identical to all the others, except that the Our Ladies have an extra special power, called intercession.  They intercede with God for you, just like an Irish Mammy.  If you want to pass your exams, have a word with Our Lady of Lazy Twats and she’ll intercede on your behalf, which is a nice way of saying she’ll nag God until you get the grades you didn’t deserve.

Sometimes, when Duffy is just being an overbearing thicko, you can switch over to another station.  When he’s shouting someone down, you can say What would you expect from that gobshite?  But then you remember that this character is one of the highest-paid presenters on RTÉ and it begins to dawn on you just how bad a station it is.  This Our Lady thing is more than just a casual slip of the tongue.  As I said in the post linked to above, what if a radio presenter continually referred to Buddha as the enlightened one, or to Muhammad as The Prophet, Peace be upon him?

Not that Duffy is the only one who does this kind of thing.  His colleague, the almost equallly-annoying Mary Wilson on Drivetime is also a big Our Lady fan, although somehow, because Mary talks like every nun you grew up with as a child, it seems slightly less insane.  Slightly.

It would help greatly if Our Lady published a list of things she’ll fix and another list of things you might as well forget about.

Maybe a website –ourlady.bvm.  Cloud computing, y’know, and what a valuable domain.  Bocktherobber.bvm has a nice ring to it.

Things I’ll fix.

Cancer.  No.  Sorry.

War.  Nah.

Soccer.  All right.

Rugby.  Maybe.

Finding lost hamsters.  Absolutely.

Poverty.  Sorry.  Ask Mother Teresa.

Winning the lottery.  Yeah.  Why not?

 

Since Duffy believes that Our Lady of Medjugorje scored the winning goal in yesterday’s game, it might be no harm to review the history of this particular monastery, and in particular the involvement of its friars in the slaughter inflicted by the Nazi Ustashe regime during WWII.  We might, for instance, bring to mind Father Petar Brzica, who, as a guard in  Jasenovac concentration camp, boasted that he had killed the largest number of newly-arrived prisoners, using a knife.

We might recall how the incredibly photogenic visionaries only appeared when the monastery was under threat of closure by the Vatican, due to criminality.

And yet, here’s JoeYehYehYeh on the national radio station, paid for by you and by me, promoting the sort of ludicrous twaddle that makes these holy friars such wealthy men, every last one of them.

Talk to Joe, and tell him what a gobshite he is.

______________

Also on Bock
Medjugorje Visionary in Dublin
Our Lady of Liveline

 

Categories
Stupidity

Virgin Mary Goes on the Net

I see Joe Coleman is back again, predicting apparitions of his favourite demi-god, the Virgin Mary, who was due to appear yesterday.

This time, however, the Knock Shrine people told him to get stuffed, so poor Joe had to kneel outside the church and grin at the sky with  his eyes closed.  Sensible old Joe.   Unlike the crowd of knackers he enticed to Mayo last time, Joe knows the sun blinds you.

He issued this appeal  to his followers, and not without good reason, considering the behaviour of the gang of pikeys he attracted the last time:

I would urge everyone who attends tomorrow to please show respect for the Knock Shrine and the people who run it. Not only in terms of the way people behave, including litter management, noise, and keeping safe at all times but I would also urge people to dress appropriately.

That, translated, means no boob-tubes, no mini-skirts, no stilettoes, no changing babies and throwing the shitty things on the ground, no getting drunk, no screaming your favourite Celine Dion songs in the church.  In fact, trying not to behave like the crowd of pikeys you are.

Joe says that he received yet another message from the virgin Mary, but if you want to see it, you’ll have to read it on his website.  I think this might be due to copyright issues with the BVM’s agents.  Apparently, IMRO have been calling on people who spoke the messages out loud, demanding royalties.

There you have it.  The virgin Mary has decided to abandon the old people and speak exclusively through the internet, probably because the young ‘uns have lost the faith.  There’s going to be a lot of stuff cooming down the line.  Already, the people at Apple have produced a BVM app for the iPhone.  iBelieve.

In addition, especially for Joe and his followers, there will be a number of other apps.  i’mAFuckingEejit.  iSwallowAnyOldShit and i’MBlind.

Joe’s grasp of theology is somewhat tenuous.  I don’t know if the Blessed Virgin actually designed his website or just provided consultancy, but even the most rabid Catholic Marian-cultist doesn’t claim that the BVM is divine.  Yet here we have on Joe’s celestial website, a section called Divine Messages.

Now look.  I’m not a believer, but I know a bit about Catholic teaching, and they do not say that Mary is a god.

What could this be?  Is it just a mistake, or is the BVM planning a takeover using Joe as a stalking horse?  Is that it?

Maybe the Virgin Mary isn’t so innocent after all.  It seems to me that the old girl has already started to think like the real boss:

I am sad for my priests at the Holy Shrine of Knock. You must inform my people to pray for them on Tuesday 11 May next. You must request that my Most Holy Rosary be said for all my priests at Knock.

Get that?  My priests?  My priests!

I think Joe is actually a Bond-movie henchman and I think this could make the best Bond movie of all time, as the Virgin Mary tries to take over the world and overthrow God.  From Galilee With Love.

If Bond isn’t interested, I’ll have to take on the fight myself.  I can’t wait to hear the Virgin Mary saying Very clever Mr Bock, but not clever enough, mwoohahaha, as she sits in a swivel chair stroking her pet.

______________

Previously

The rise of the idiot classes

Knock apparition

Virgin discovered in Rathkeale

Knock Virgin Mary Appparition

Categories
Religion

Virgin Mary Apparitions and the Rise of the Idiot Classes

There was a magnificent eccentric in this town a few years ago, though sadly now departed, and we’re all the poorer for his passing.

Michael Bartley was nuts and he knew it.  Mad as a bag of spanners.

He once walked into a night-club wearing a woman’s fur coat backwards and a WWI German helmet with a spike on top.

Give me a gin and tonic, my good man.

He knew he was crazy, and when his bipolar sweep approached its zenith, he would routinely sign himself into the local psychiatric unit for a few weeks to decompress.

During one of Bartley’s stays, they happened to be opening an extension to the  unit, and they just happened to have the Taoiseach, Albert Reynolds, to cut the  tape.  They needed a patient for the photo-op.  Preferably one without recently-chewed food on his clothes.

What about Bartley?  He speaks well.  He dresses well.  He’s back down from his high.

The very man!

And so it came to pass on the appointed day that Albert Reynolds strode down the corridor with the hospital manager and the ward manager and the psychiatric consultant and a horde of waddling county councillors.

Taoiseach, this is Michael, one of our residents.

The Taoiseach thrust his hand out to Bartley.  Hello there.  I’m Albert Reynolds, the Taoiseach.

Bartley returned his gaze with a kindly smile.  The Taoiseach, you say?  I wouldn’t worry about that one bit.  When I came in here I was Napoleon.

______________

Of course, delusions only happen to people who should know better.

That’s why Bartley and some of his buddies were in the laughing academy —  they should have known they weren’t Napoleon, they should have known Reynolds wasn’t a prime minister in any real sense of the expression, and they should have known that all psychiatrists are frauds.  They had the means and the opportunity to know better.  They were deluded.

We don’t say children are deluded because they believe in the Tooth Fairy, or Santa Claus, or free education.  We say they’re children.  How could they know any different?

And that’s why I don’t think the thousands of spray-tanned mini-skirted buckskin-booted gobshites who turned up at Knock expecting to see the Virgin Mary were deluded either.   They’re just idiots who’d believe any old crap as long as it’s wrapped up in something shiny.  It is a pity, however, that they left the toilets of the shrine covered in shit, and the field littered with their nappies and their burger-cartons.

They were just idiots, and as idiots, were fully entitled to a fool’s pardon, because idiots have no access to the facts.

Likewise, I don’t think Joe Coleman or his trusty sidekick, Keith “Bling” Henderson, are deluded.  I think they’re just a pair of Ballyfermot wide-boys on the lookout for a fast buck.  Good luck to them if they can get away with it, especially with the connivance of fellow wide-boy, skanger and general-purpose cynic Joe Duffy, who granted his old neighbour an hour’s free advertising courtesy of your licence money, without asking him a single hard question.

Coleman’s mask slipped badly when the caretaker of the shrine came on the radio.  The gentle visionary disappeared, replaced by an aggressive old gurrier. I’ll bleedin have yiz!

He threatened this guy with the Virgin Mary.

Now look.  Anyone who reads this site will know what I think of religion.   I think it’s bollocks, all of it, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Judaism, the whole lot.  I think it’s insanity.  But most adherents that I know are well-meaning people, and fairly decent by their own lights.

Decent and well-meaning are not epithets I would apply to the man I heard on the radio today.  This Coleman character is a demagogue and a chancer, which I agree is a hell of a thing to say about a guy in Knock: the home of fakery.  I can think of no stronger way to put it.

So Knock was created by some magic-lantern trick and believed by ignorant peasants.

Well and good.  Catholicism is irrational and made-up.  It’s magic jiggery-pokery, but it’s moved on a bit from the days when it routinely silenced scientific inquiry.

Coleman is from a completely different gene-pool.  He comes from a tribe of know-nothings who would rule by superstition, fear and ignorance.  These are the people who reject the laws of physics and replace them with the demands of unthinking zealotry.  These are the same people who bellow drunken rebel ballads in the pubs on a Saturday night as a substitute for actual thinking.

It’s not the blind leading the blind any more.

It’s the ignorant leading the stupid, and they’ve moved from politics to religion.

________________

Since the cretins were so impressed by a few rays of sunlight, I wonder what they’d make of true majesty.

Here are some shots of the cosmos from Hubble.

[scrollGallery id=12]

________________

Previously onBock

Knock Virgin Mary Apparition

Categories
Favourites Religion

Knock Virgin Mary Apparition

They’re at it again.

Just when we thought the Holy Tree Stump had faded away, there’s a big crowd of mumbling gobshites standing out in a field in Knock staring at the sun.

Staring at the sun.  And these people expect to be taken seriously.  What do they do when they’re not praying to the sun – do they stand in a field pointing at aeroplanes?  Do they hold vigils for condemned prisoners?  Does their family tree branch?

Get up there, John-Joe and have a good long stare at the sun.  Burn out your little retinas, why don’t you?  That’s a great lad.  Now what do you see?

I see flashin’ lights Mama.

Well, that’ll be the Blessed Holy Virgin, Our Lady of the Tree Stump, up there in the sky like a great big holy chair-o-plane, whirlin’ around just the same as at the seaside.  Can ya see that?

No, Mama.  All I can see is flashin’ lights, an’ I’m not even lookin’ at the sky no more.  I has my jumper over my head Mama. There’s flashin’ lights in here too Mama.

Ah well, that’ll be Our Blessed Lady ticklin’ yer brain, John-Joe.  It’s the Miracle of the Brain-Ticklin’ Virgin.

There’s no end to it, is there?

All these fucking idiots staring at the sky, making themselves blind, burning out their video cameras and calling it an apparition.  There are better ways to go blind.

Did you hear this astral plank, Joe Coleman, who calls himself a clairvoyant?  Worse, Joe is described as a clairvoyant by our national broadcaster RTÉ without the slightest irony.  A broadcaster that has no difficulty accepting as fact the existence of clairvoyants and other charlatans. The same broadcaster in this secular society whose news presenters  refer casually to an entity known as Our Lady.

Joe is the guy who recalled I was in hospital having an operation – I broke my ankle – and I died under anaesthetic. I left my body and I went to heaven, where I saw my father who had passed away, and my son, and Our Lady and Jesus and Archangel Michael.

Ah, right, Joe.  Well, look, just leave your number and we’ll keep it on file.  Thanks.

Joe is whipping up the frenzy by predicting appearances of the Blessed Light-Refraction.  Joe, incidentally, charges requests a voluntary €60 donation for a reading where he tells you a load of things he saw when he visited your astral plane and spoke to your guardian angel.  Readings last about an hour, which isn’t bad, is it?  €60 an hour for talking shite to people who want to believe you.

If I took up that line of work, I estimate I could make about €350,000 a year  just by talking shite 16 hours a day, but Joe occasionally takes a break from talking shite, and just talks plain nonsense instead, as he did when he told the Mayo News : I have seen her twice in recent months in the Gable chapel at Knock. The statue comes alive, she opens her arms, a lovely pink cloak comes around her, there are stars above her head, she turned into Jesus, then to Padre Pio and then back to herself. While the vision is happening, I can see nothing else in the chapel.

So the statue comes alive, does it?  And it turns into Jesus?  And then it turns into Padre Pio, with an option on Mother Teresa and a selection of Popes including a Coptic one.

Animation3Great.  It’s worse than we thought, Cap’n.  We used to have moving statues, and crying statues, but now we have shape-shifters.  What next – will the statue turn into a chest-burster? Or a Terminator?

You put your left leg in.  Your left leg out.

Where is this going to stop?  Will it turn into fucking Bono singing a selection of Johnny Cash favourites?  Or maybe it will become Brian O’Driscoll and dive over the line for a great last-minute try.  Or Usain Bolt.  Maybe it will turn into Usain Bolt and race around the church, with one hand holding its robes around its waist, in three seconds flat.  The Miracle of the Holy Hundred Metres.  Jesus, that was rough, says the statue as it slowly morphs into Bob Marley, chilling with a spliff.  The Miracle of the Blessed Doobie.

I hear Louis Walsh’s people are negotiating with the Virgin Mary about a European tour, and it’s rumoured that she’s going to appear as a guest panellist on the X-Factor, but that’s not confirmed yet, given her other commitments.

As her spokesman, Padre Pio, commented, You can’t be in two places at once. Well, all right, I can, but you know what I mean.

Actually, Pio is only half right, but he doesn’t speak for all the Our Ladies – only Our Lady of Knock.  We also have to remember Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Guadelupe, Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Our Lady of Czestochowa, Our Lady of The Roses, Our Lady of Siluva, Our Lady of Sorrows, Our Lady of Medjugorje.  Our Lady of Weight Loss.

Jesus, they’re like the Nolan Sisters. I’m in the mood for trancing …

Imagine if they all turned up at the same time, demanding separate dressing rooms and limos.  Booking them all for a gig would cost a fortune though and anyway, one of them is enough for a good show.  Our Lady of the Declining Balance.

For fucksake, what’s wrong with these people?

Staring at the sun.  You know what?  I’m going to call myself a clairvoyant like Joe Coleman, and I’m going to tell them you’ll see the Virgin Mary if you eat forty magic mushrooms, fried with bacon and eggs, and a nice bit of toast.  The Miracle of the Fungal Fry-Up.

Give me strength!  For once, I find myself entirely in agreement with an archbishop, Michael Neary, who said This is a load of bollocks, or words to that effect.

I was passing through Knock a few years ago on the way to Donegal and I stopped for a look at the basilica, and the thousands of stalls selling little Virgin Mary statues and underwear and kinky stuff.

I thought maybe they might miracle up an old apparition or something.

Do you know what I reckon they have in the Basilica, now that I think about it? I’d say they have a Stargate. I’d say they go to planets with names like P5C-768 where they meet and converse with new and interesting people. And kill them.

In real life, the SG-1 team are constantly finding themselves in caves where fuckers pop up out of tables and stone walls and the like to deliver some sort of Hail Stranger speech, and after a while they realise it’s a hologram put there by the Ancients, or some other crowd. So I think these people who saw the Virgin Mary were either

1. Very drunk
2. Very stoned
3. Both of the above
4. Members of SG-1.

I have to admit, I wasn’t entirely up to speed on the Knock story, and I had to look up the details, so let me just bring you up to date, in case maybe you’re a little hazy on the subject, like me. The apparition took place on the evening of August 21, 1879. Two women, going home in the rain, passed by the back of the town church, where, against the wall, stood Mary, St. Joseph, St. John the Evangelist, and an altar with a lamb and a cross on it. The women called more people who all saw various things. One boy even saw angels flying around the altar. Interestingly, the figures didn’t speak to the people, gave no message, and didn’t identify themselves.

Here’s the photo the villagers took:

Knock shrine

OK. Where are we going here? This kind of thing happens in just about every Irish town in the middle of the night to an increasing number of people. It’s happened to me. Twenty years ago I saw the Red Army’s tanks hiding behind a ditch after a wedding. I saw bouncers in the disco made of wax! I saw nuclear fallout on the pavement outside the chip-shop.

What I’m trying to say is, don’t tell me hallucination, already. I KNOW hallucination!! What I don’t know, however, is how the fuck anyone could identify St John the Evangelist. Did they have his  passport photograph?

Look Mary – there’s an apparition at the back wall of the church.

– Well, Mary, so it is. And that beautiful European-looking woman in the blue rig-out must be the Queen of Heaven.

– It must surely, Mary. And that European-looking fellow with the spokeshave and the gimlet must surely be St Joseph.

– That’s right, Mary, and look at the lovely coffee table he’s making. But who’s the other European-looking chap?

– Oh, Mary, don’t you know by the gimp of him he has to be someone important. ‘Twouldn’t surprise me if he was the man who wrote the very Bible itself.

– Do you mean deValera, Mary?

– No, Mary. He isn’t born yet.  I’d say ’tis the beloved apostle himself. And can’t you see ’tis tattooed on his forehead for all the faithful to behold? Saint John the Evangelist, it says, clear as day.

– Well, Mary, isn’t that a caution, entirely?

‘- Tis, Mary. Run up to the pub now and call down all the people till they get a good look at this. Its like won’t be here again.

– That’s a grand European-looking goat they have up there on that European-looking altar, Mary.

– Oh, Mary, that’s a little European-looking lamb, what ails you at all at all?

Experts have pointed out that Knock is so important because it’s the only place the Lamb of God has appeared to ignorant peasants.  Normally, when ignorant peasants or hysterical children witness something, it’s a woman who just happens to look exactly like a figure in a stylised picture on their kitchen wall, but not this time.

No indeed. This time, the ignorant peasants in a century without public lighting, in a downpour of rain, saw a fucking sheep.  The Sheep of God.  It’s just as well they didn’t see the Hounds of God, or the Cattle of God.  We’d never hear the end of it, though now that I reflect, we don’t ever hear the end of it anyway.

Look.  It’s the Duck of God!

Depressing.

As I said at the time, fuck it, let’s leave Knock behind where it belongs.  Good luck to them if they think they’ll find a miracle cure there. I spoke to a man that year who fought back against a major illness, and he didn’t need to see Saint John the Evangelist. He only needed to see his son achieving wonders on the field of sport, and feel as proud as a man can be.

So what exactly is a miracle, and since when did the Catholics take it over?

Actually, let’s take that a step further.

Are these people Catholics, or are they obeying the primitive urges of a deeper, atavistic, cave-dwelling superstition?  Are they reverting to a primal form?

It’s not that I’m defending Catholicism.  It’s just that, by any standards, what we’re witnessing in Knock is primitive idolatry, and a kind of behaviour that the same people would sneer at if they saw it on National Geographic.

We’re looking at pure superstition here, stripped of all trappings of theology and it just goes to prove that the caveman is never far below the surface.

These fuckers will believe anything.

Cowen and Lenihan must be delighted.

_____________

I shot my own video of the sun and uploaded it as a miracle to Youtube  HERE.

The abuse has started already.  Check out the comments.

______________

Also: The Rise of the Idiots

Elsewhere

Ballyhaunis Blogs

Categories
Humour Religion

Lourdes Vomiting Bug

I hear there’s a vomiting bug in Lourdes.

Oh God, that’s fucking great.  That’s the funniest yet.  Lourdes is infected with a vomiting bug.  Imagine: a town up to its neck in healing holy water has an incurable vomiting bug.

Can you just imagine it, Atheist Volunteer Vomit-Commandos turning up at the shrine, projectile puking at the priests.  Cure that ya bastard!

What’s more, this is no three-day vomiting bug.  Christ no.  When you get the Lourdes vomiting bug, that’s it.  You’re infected for all eternity.  From now on, it’s heaving all the way for you, my fine true believer.  That’s the end sociable drinks after a good craw-thumping session.

Pint?

Bleurgh!

It’s over.  The holy party is ended.  No more solemn midnight processions for you.  From now on, everybody in Lourdes will be slipping on barf, and I can guarantee you one thing: that’s the last they’ll see of old Ratzo.

Your Holiness, the people of Lourdes would like you to visit the shrine again.

Shrine schmine!  I will not the gut-flinging-up risk taking making.  Nein to the shrine!

Oh it’s just great.  I fucking love it.

________________

More disrespectful stuff on Bock:
Irish Television Reports On The Pope’s Visit To Lourdes
Still stuck in Knock
Saint Bock’s Gospel
Padre Pio The Silicon Saint
Di and Dodi Done Down in Dastardly Deed
Ratzair
Battlestar Catholactica

Categories
Religion

Irish Television Reports On The Pope’s Visit To Lourdes

We have a national broadcasting station called RTÉ, which is paid for by licence fee.  These fees are collected by the State, and RTÉ is the only broadcaster to benefit from them.

RTÉ is a State-funded and controlled operation, as is the BBC.

Now, we also have a provision in our constitution, Article 44.2.2, which says that The state may not endow any religion, and this is more than the Brits can claim.  After all, their Head of State, Queen Elizabeth the Second, is also the head of their established church, the Church of England.

Good for us secular Paddies then, yeah?  Good for us.

Well, not exactly.

I was listening to RTÉ yesterday, and they were reporting on the visit of the Pope to France, and more particularly, to Lourdes.

Lourdes, you know? Where miracles happen.  The place where people come out of the water in new wheelchairs.

So what?

Nothing.  If you want to roll around in a filthy, cholera-infested pool full of piss, that’s your business.  The Lourdes story is uplifting to some people.  For Christ’s sake, even Leonard Cohen, a Jew, wrote a beautiful song about it: The Song of Bernadette.

But unfortunately, it’s also a load of bollocks, in the very same way that Medugorje is, though less sinister.  After all, the Medugorje thing only started up when Church authorities decided to close a notoriously corrupt Franciscan friary.  Somehow, as if by a miracle, three astoundingly telegenic children saw visions there, just beside the friary, and of course the poor Franciscan friars were taken completely by surprise when the money started rolling in.

What a miracle that was.  A miracle so enormous that even the three factions in the Bosnian war observed a truce around the shrine.  Including the Bosnian Muslims!  And this truce had absolutely nothing to do with the huge amounts of tourist cash the thing was bringing in.  Of course not.

Interestingly, the bishop dropped his plans to close the friary, but anyway, I digress.

Lourdes.

Look, we’ve all had hallucinations, so I won’t blame poor little Bernadette.  I’ve had hallucinations. My friends have had hallucinations.  Turn on the TV and look at the American election candidates.  Tell me that’s not a hallucination.

So we’ll make room for poor deluded little Bernadette.  What we won’t make room for though, is the money-grabbing racket that sprang up around this little town of 15,000 souls, with a capacity to process five million visitors every year.  Serious cash.

And another thing I won’t make room for is our national broadcaster reporting that Pope Ratzo the First visited the shrine where Bernadette saw the Virgin Mary.

Not “claimed to see”.  Not “was said to have seen”.  No.

Where Bernadette saw the Virgin Mary.  Reported as fact by a national broadcaster in a country whose constitution guarantees that no religion will receive special treatment.

Bah!

And while I’m on the subject, who exactly is this Virgin Mary person?

………………………………..

Let’s not be too curmudgeonly though.

Here’s Jennifer Warnes with Lenny Cohen’s beautiful song.

______________

Also on Bock:

Still stuck in Knock

Categories
Religion

Still stuck in Knock

OK. It’s tomorow.

Anyway, that was Knock. I didn’t go to the Basilica because there wasn’t time, and also because I was afraid they’d kill me if I tried to enter their church while wearing my Laugh at that, ye Dublin 4 Fuckers T-shirt, which I had made after Munster won the Heineken Cup at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff (attended by myself and my beloved son the Bullet. Hahahahahahaha!! Sorry. Very sorry, but I just couldn’t help it, y’know?) Not really that sorry.

I thought maybe they might miracle up an old apparition or something. Do you know what I reckon they have in the Basilica, now that I think about it? I’d say they have a Stargate. I’d say they go to planets with names like P5C-768 where they meet and converse with new and interesting people. And kill them.

In real life, the SG-1 team are constantly finding themselves in caves where fuckers pop up out of tables and stone walls and the like to deliver some sort of Hail Stranger speech, and after a while they realise it’s a hologram put there by the Ancients, or some other crowd. So I think these people who saw the Virgin Mary were either

1. Very drunk
2. Very stoned
3. Both of the above
4. Members of SG-1.

I have to admit, I wasn’t entirely up to speed on the Knock story, and I had to look up the details, so let me just bring you up to date, in case maybe you’re a little hazy on the subject, like me. The apparition took place on the evening of August 21, 1879. Two women, going home in the rain, passed by the back of the town church, where, against the wall, stood Mary, St. Joseph, St. John the Evangelist, and an altar with a lamb and a cross on it. The women called more people who all saw various things. One boy even saw angels flying around the altar. Interestingly, the figures didn’t speak to the people, gave no message, and didn’t identify themselves.

Here’s the photo the villagers took:

OK. Where are we going here? This kind of thing happens in just about every Irish town in the middle of the night to an increasing number of people. It’s happened to me. Twenty years ago I saw the Red Army’s tanks hiding behind a ditch in Avoca after Gerry Doherty’s wedding. I saw bouncers in the disco made of wax! I saw nuclear fallout on the pavement outside the chip-shop. Basically, what I’m trying to say is, don’t tell me hallucination, already. I KNOW hallucination!! What I don’t know, however, is how the fuck anyone could identify St John the Evangelist. Do we have a passport picture of him or something?

– Look Mary – there’s an apparition at the back wall of the church.

– Well, Mary, so it is. And that beautiful European-looking woman in the blue rig-out must be the Queen of Heaven.

– It must surely, Mary. And that European-looking fellow with the spokeshave and the gimlet must surely be St Joseph.

– That’s right, Mary, and look at the lovely coffee table he’s making. But who’s the other European-looking chap?

– Oh, Mary, don’t you know by the gimp of him he has to be someone important. ‘Twouldn’t surprise me if he was the man who wrote the very Bible itself.

– Do you mean Edmund Rice, Mary?

– No, Mary. I’d say ’tis the beloved apostle himself. And can’t you see ’tis tattooed on his forehead for all the faithful to behold? Saint John the Evangelist, it says, clear as day.

– Well, Mary, isn’t that a caution, entirely?

‘- Tis, Mary. Run up to the pub now and call down all the people till they get a good look at this. Its like won’t be here again.

That’s a grand European-looking goat they have up there on that European-looking altar, Mary.

– Oh, Mary, that’s a little European-looking lamb, what ails you at all at all?

Fuck it, let’s leave Knock behind where it belongs with the spuccers the League of Decency and all the fucking rest. Good luck to them if they think they’ll find a miracle cure there. I spoke to a man recently who seems to have fought back against a major illness, and he didn’t need to see Saint John the Evangelist. He only needed to see his son achieving wonders on the field of sport, and feel as proud as a man can be. So what exactly is a miracle, and since when did the Catholics take it over?

Let’s get on the road to Donegal.