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Dublin: 9°C Wednesday 27 January 2021

Cardinal Rules Part 11: On being appy with His lot

The (not) Primate of All Ireland gets to grips with digital confessing – and on the miraculous apparition of a Messianic-like figure who may or may not be Enda Kenny.

(Not) Cardinal Sean Brady

THE BIG NEWS of the week of course was the release of the Confession app for the iPhone. There was great excitement in the house when we all “down loaded” it.

The app works in a behavioural sense as a kind of digital corrective. Questions are asked such as, “Do I not seek to surrender myself to God’s word as taught by the Church?” If the answer is in the affirmative the penitent must tick a little box, feel suitably ashamed, and get to the nearest confession box as quickly as possible. It is a well known fact that there is a confession box within 20 minutes of every man, woman and child in Ireland, so there are no excuses.

Flip off

We made our way through all the questions. Father Deegan was a little surprised that some of the standard sins had been left out such as: “Have you recently told your mammy/daddy/sibling to flip off?” and “Have you considered committing acts of lewdness with someone other than your marriage partner, up to, and including, yourself, relatives, or the family pet?”

Father O’ Reilly was heard to proclaim “This is nearly better than Angry Birds”, and a stern look from everyone present was
enough to make him tick the “Have you made a claim that Angry Birds is nearly better than this quite brilliant app?” box.

There was great amusement when we came to the question, “Have I been involved with superstitious practices or have I been involved with the occult?” “Superstitious practices? Like that could ever happen,” smiled Father Lawlor, and we all laughed and went on to the next question.


In other news, we were delighted to hear that Meryl Streep is to play Margaret Thatcher in a major new bio-pic. We have been great fans of Meryl Streep ever since she played that slightly mad nun in that film with Philip Seymour Hoffman. And even though she was slightly mad verging on the absolutely bonkers, we were still happy to see the portrayal of a nun on screen. Any cinematic representation of the religious orders is always most welcome.

As cinephiles we look back proudly on the great Father Karras in the Exorcist, cinema’s seminal priest. Indeed, the moment when he jumps out the window is a fine example of the Vatican’s “Little Book of Exorcisms” in action. It is a perfect demonstration of Rule number 10 which states: “In the case of demonic possession always jump out the nearest window.”

And regarding matters filmic, I don’t want to say too much, but a “little bird” (Bishop Murphy)  has told me that the role of Pope John Paul II is currently being cast for a new movie.  If I were to mention the title “Dude, my car, have you seen where I left it?” and the words “Reeves” and “Keanu”, well I think that might be a teensy hint.


Of course I don’t want to let things pass without mentioning domestic matters. The most moving subject of the week was the erratic appearance of a Messianic apparition of sorts. A ginger gentleman of slightly robotic aspect who promised to appear on television at a time and place of his choosing.

He was spotted in many parts of the country. And while he spoke on various matters, very few people who were there could seem to remember anything of what he said, or indeed what he actually looked like. “It’s as if he was barely there at all,” one eyewitness was reported to have said.

This of course is common with the phenomena of apparitions. No doubt in future years there will be claims and counter claims about what he was supposed to have said. With a bit of luck, as per Church procedure, some enterprising Bishop will keep the details in his sock drawer and never tell anyone ever. It worked with the Secrets of Fatima.

I have said too much.

About the author:

(Not) Cardinal Sean Brady

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