In what some worshippers are calling ‘a wee bit extreme’, Fr Franny Bay has ordered his choir to practise singing traditional hymns using standard received pronunciation and not in a local east Tyrone accent.
The move comes in the wake of a few high profile visitors to the parish from Rome and in anticipation of more in the coming months. Fr Bay, who attended speech and elocution lessons as a teenager and has been commended for his clear verbal skills on recent TV and radio appearances, has warned his choir that he’ll personally sack any singers who continue to use local pronunciation.
He added during his homily:
“That man from Rome can speak English better than me but he couldn’t make head nor tail of the singing. He even asked me if they were singing in Irish. I told him they were but heard my own confession as soon as he left. In ‘Take Our Bread, We Ask You‘ it’s not ‘tick air bread, wa ass ye‘. No wonder Fr Pablo was confused. I’ll be visiting your homes over the next week for spot-checks’.
Fr Bay extended his advice to the rest of the non-singing congregation, recommending they watch more shows on BBC1, especially the news or documentaries:
“When Fr Pablo reached the church this morning, an elderly parishioner who shall remain nameless shook his hand and asked him, ‘Do ye spake the english, Farr?’. The poor Father thought he’d arrived in South America or Africa. I’ll never get promoted to the bishopric if the Holy See come here to inspect me and are greeted by you lot. Buck up your ideas, people. An award for me is an award for you.”
Meanwhile, the Clonoe’s priests have thanked worshippers for last week’s collection of £788 which will go towards a well deserved holiday in Ibiza for the three of them.
Following the shock resignation of Pope Benedict today, Carrickmore PP Fr Colman Gormley (69) has gone on the offensive immediately with a series of twitter statements advocating the appointment of a Pope from the Carmen for the first time since Catholicism was invented thousands of years ago. Despite there having been no Irish Popes since St Peter got the first gig, Fr Gormley says that this should be no impediment to the drive for a Carrickmore Pope to shake up the whole Vatican movement.
“It’s about time, to be honest. We’ve had a black President of America, women prime ministers, a TV show called The Manageress in the 90s, Tyrone beating Kerry, men wearing skirts….why not a Carmen pope? Take me for example. I’m in my prime. I love pizza and at the sports day I travelled around the field standing up through the sunroof of the brother’s Mini Cooper, waving at the crowd. OK, it’d be a bit of a culture shock living in Rome but don’t forget, I did a stint in Loughmacrory in the 70s. I have big ideas too: twitter-style masses in 120 words or fewer; good looking Eucharistic Ministers; electro-dance homily music; altar boy reality shows where they are voted off by doing an average mass etc. I’m hoping to get a clipboard with pages for people to sign my petition.”
The Vatican refused to comment on Fr Gormley’s chances but did indicate that they were already in advanced negotiations with a young priest from Tattyreagh.
“It is Vatican policy not to comment on these things but Fr John Donnelly from Tattyreagh is at the top of his game. He did Stations of the Cross last year up in Glenelly in over two hours. That’s unavoidably impressive,” a member of the Holy See told us over the phone.
The Catholic Church have yet to rule out a Pope-Off mass competition at Edendork this weekend between Gormley and your man from Clonoe.