29 December 2017

"Almost Infallible" ... an old Irish joke?

Cardinal Mueller recently used the phrase "almost infallible" to characterise the status being claimed by PF's associates for some of his initiatives. There have been one or two criticisms of Mueller.

I have to say that, having looked carefully at the context, I am convinced that his Eminence, far from inventing a new formal status in the hierarchy of papal statements, is talking with angry sarcasm about those who wish to deck out some of PF's more dubious utterances with an appearance of authority.

It is as if one were to refer to a young woman as "almost 99% a virgin".

Which reminds me of the (extremely) old Irish joke about the unmarried girl who, criticised by her pp for having a baby, replied "But it's only a very little one, Father".

By the way: the Bishop of Plymouth apparently has a splendid repertoire of old-fashioned pre-Enda Irish jokes. Some years ago when he was Rector of Allen Hall, he told an assembly of Ordinariate clergy a story about a peasant from the other side of the mountain; it ended with the punch-line "I didn't mean the whole b***dy bucket". But I can't remember the narrative in between.

Can anybody out there supply the missing material?

6 comments:

Joshua said...

A priest in a country parish decided to hold a monthly Holy Hour to increase the devotion of his parishioners. He promoted it for some Sundays in advance. Come the appointed Sunday afternoon for the first Holy Hour, just before the appointed hour, he looked out from the sacristy into the nave, and saw - one old farmer. So he walked over to him and said, "Well, Jim, I suppose there's no point going on withe Holy Hour". Jim replied, "If I had only one sheep, I'd still feed him, Father." So the priest went back to the sacristy, vested, came out, went to the tabernacle, began singing "O salutaris Hostia", exposed the Blessed Sacrament, then led the Rosary and Litany and Prayer to St Joseph, preached a fervorino about devotion to the Sacred Heart, consecrated the parish to the Sacred Heart, then gave Benediction, concluding with "Hail Queen of heaven" after reposing the Host in the tabernacle. Afterwards, he farewelled old Jim, hoping to see him again next month. Jim replied, "If I only had one sheep, I wouldn't give him the whole bloody hay bale, Father!"

TomG said...

Magnificent, Joshua!

Anonymous said...


Thank you Fr. Hunwicke, for asking about it - and @Joshua -Very good one- thanks for the laugh!

Mary Welch said...

If you’ll allow a pedant...

“Is it pregnant, you are?”
“Sure, Father, I’m only a little pregnant.”

PM said...

I once heard a joke, attributed by 'sources tell me' to Paul VI. The story goes that a friend said to him in jest that perhaps the cardinals should consider electing Hans Kung as the next pope, given that he seemed to think he had the answers to all the Church's problems. Paul was reported to have pondered for a moment and replied: ' But he'd never accept. He'd have to give up being infallible.'

Tom Forde said...

Excellent, it's years since I heard that one, Joshua!