The Tyrone Clergy Committee (TCC) have passed a motion to claim 10% of every child’s money after celebrating their First Communion from 2015.
In what they are claiming is a ‘display of mercy’ they have moved to lower the percentage to 8% for any child who receives over £200. A dry run will be attempted in Loughmacrory next weekend with P4 teachers informing parents tomorrow morning.
TCC spokesman Fr Molloy explained the decision:
“We think it’s a fair call. Priests were dejected at seeing children walking about with wads of cash in their back pockets and flaunting their wealth in the faces of those who run the whole show. We were getting £10 in an envelope from schools, far less than 10% of one child’s takings. It was sickening. This way it’s a fair deal and if a priest gives First Communion to 20 children he can expect to pocket around £400 for himself. The morning after communion, we will call at the homes of each child and ask their parents for what we are calling ‘communion tax’.”
Loughmacrory parent Leo McBrien predicts an outbreak of lies next week if the proposal goes ahead.
“I can tell you now, if Fr Shannon calls at my house next Sunday and asks how much our Paul got for his communion I’ll be lying, like. £10 I’ll say and hand him a pound. How will he know? And sure I can go to confession later on in the week and clear the air with the Lord. Win win.”
Fr Molloy hopes the 8% tax break for the more financially successful children will see a rise in generosity in parishes but warns against parents begging for donations in order to break the £200 barrier. “They’d have some neck on them to be at that lark” added Molloy.
Following the worldwide acclaim for the singing priest at a wedding in County Meath, priests across Tyrone have been told to up their game and capitalize on the feel-good factor directed towards the Catholic Church since the video went viral.
Reports emerging this morning suggests parishioners are to expect fireworks in some parts of the county with rumours of juggling, tightrope balancing and dog-tricks rife, especially around the Loughmacrory area.
A Kildress grave-digger and church groundsman has promised a spectacular show for the parish, having witnessed midnight practice sessions whilst digging graves for possible future bereavements. Paddy McNally (55) added:
“It’s going to be some craic and fair play to the clergy in Kildress. I don’t want to say too much and spoil the occasion but the four priest in the area are going to put on a memorable show. One is dressed as a Native American Indian, one as a policeman, one as a builder and the last is a cowboy. They’re singing something about the Young Men’s Christian Association although luckily they have shortened it to YMCA and do these mad arm movements. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
In Moortown, Fr Graham has been reportedly spotted balancing on a unicycle in his spare time whilst juggling chalices and candles. This has hurled pressure on the Ardboe clergy to rethink their idea of simply reading Mass in a funny voice.
“Yes, as soon as we heard about Graham on the unicycle, we went back to the drawing board. I’m not at liberty to say how we’ll outperform the Moortown ones but let’s just say it involves face paint, blue pipe, a bull and ten bottles of stout. It’ll be deadly, I guarantee that much. All in the name of our Lord.”
The Vatican are monitoring proceedings closely.
Coalisland hit the international news circuit this week when the cast and crew of Fr Ted found themselves caught up in a series of protests and counter protests in the town. The shenanigans revolves around the appearance of a well known psychic at the local theatre, Madame Rizzle, who has almost sold out a whistle-stop 4-day tour of the area.
Local worrier, Seamus McBonzo from Brackaville, explained the concern from one section of the community:
“It’s a load of balls, like. These people make stuff up and rip off the vulnerable who want to time travel after watching Dr Who or something. Sure I contacted the Madame herself and asked her to tell me who’d win the play-off between Newtownstewart and Derrytresk this weekend. She said Derrytresk would win by five goals to three. Con artist. I’m happy to announce that Fr Dougal Maguire from Fr Ted as well as some other real priests will be protesting on the night. Down with this sort of thing.”
Fans of the psychic world have also planned a counter protest at the same time outside the local church. Self-proclaimed medium Henry McCann from Annagher says he’ll be there with his placards too:
“Preying on the vulnerable? Explain to me the difference between our Madame and Fr Nolan telling the poor of the town to throw their last pennies into a basket, and then him buying a baste of a house, three Lithuanian maids, a Merc and a couple of holidays to Tenerife. Some con artists in that organisation. Sure I went to confessions last year and made the whole stuff up. He hadn’t a clue. Down with this sort of thing.”
McCann claims that he has secured the services of Fr Jack from the Channel 4 show to protest using the authentic banners from Fr Ted.
The Vatican confirmed they will be monitoring the situation closely using PSNI CCTV and will use reinforcements from Maynooth if there’s a ‘slappin session’ between the protests. Madame Rizzle predicts a peaceful evening.
A statement this morning by the underground ‘Red Hand Priests Are Us’ movement has called on parents and guardians to turn a blind eye to bad manners and general impishness in their children in order to save the tradition of confessions across the county. In recent years priests in many parishes have complained they are twiddling their thumbs between two and three on a Saturday as empty booths and vanishing queues are now a normal sight from Ardboe to Aghyaran. Fr Johnston from Greencastle admitted:
“We might have to abandon confessions completely. The children are now just sitting on their iPads or PlayStations. Even the couple who do trickle in tell us nothing worthwhile like knocking over a vase or sneezing and they end up taking on all the Hail Marys to be given out that day. One girl last week said she forgot to give her mother a hug and I had to hit her with 19 decades of the rosary. That’s not fair, but there’s too much penance to go around now.”
Fr Traynor from Carrickmore agreed:
“Oh how I long for the days when there’d be queues out the door with lads telling you about blowing up frogs, leaving bags of shite on the elderly neighbour’s doorstep or robbing the pub. Nowadays these youngster are too buckin lazy to get up to devilment. What are parents at these days? Can they not see the basic fabric of a young Irish child’s life is disappearing? I’m not talking devil-worshipping here but confessing to giving your brother a kicking or two would brighten the whole process up for us.”
A school in Dungannon has been first to act with a proposed GCSE class on ‘General Bad Manners and Skulduggery’ starting in September 2013. Master Cullen informed us:
“This will be a rigorous course with an element of practical which involves two pupils playing dangerous pranks on each other like locking one in a skip and rolling it down the steep bank. That sort of thing. They’ll be allowed to curse at the teacher too.”
Confessions continue this week at 2pm everywhere.
Clonoe Parish officials are presently debating the motion to allow full cousins to marry in order to supplement the priests’ income which has dwindled in recent years. The radical step, harking back to the last days of inter-cousin marriages during the mid-80s, will have to be ratified in the Vatican before implemented at the end of the month. One of the priests, who wishes to remain anonymous, told us of his plight:
“Ah, we’re finding it tough to be honest. I’ve recently moved in to a new house that was built for me and it’s a really hard to heat what with the amount of rooms and all. My maid is always complaining about her frocks being a bit out of season so the extra dough would not go to waste. Marriages in Clonoe have been a scarce ever since the ban on the cousins a few years ago. And those who do tie the knot have been a bit stingy due to the recession. I married a couple from Derrylaughan last weekend and they gave me £20 just. I had to throw the altar boys a few Maltesers so I could keep the money. It’s tara altogether.”
Parishoners have warmly welcomed the news and predicted a much more harmonious atmosphere in the area if the motion is passed. Tommy O’Neill, a 51-year old carpenter from Dernagh, agreed with the idea:
“This would be deadly news. An awful lot of us would be related here anyway and there have been some real awkward moments since the ban came in years ago. I remember chatting this girl up down at Tessie’s and we were getting on brilliant. I was about to take her up to the Washingbay when we worked out that our fathers were brothers. That’s just one example. If the motion is passed, I can see marriages multiplying tenfold in the parish. My aunt’s 80th birthday party next month might be great craic if this goes ahead. There’ll be some courtin amongst the more desperate cousins.”
The unnamed priest says that whilst full-cousin weddings will be welcomed, it will come at a cost. Fees will range from £100-£2000 depending on how much they look like each other.
It has emerged today that the clergy in Coalisland and Clonoe are to descend on Cookstown tonight to gather vital information on how to court and woo women. Following the recent revelation that Jesus may have been married all along, the priests in the East Tyrone parishes are waiting for the green light from the Vatican to begin chasing women.
“This is great news”, Fr Niblock told us. “The news about Christ has changed everything. If it was good enough for Him, well, it’s only a matter of time before Pope Benny gives us the go-ahead to get stuck into the blades. Myself and a couple of newer priests are hitting Clubland tonight to see how it’s done. As you can imagine we’re rightly out of shape. I get very nervous if I look at a woman even from a great distance. Funny, we were practising on each other last night, chat up lines and that, and it was a disaster. We haven’t needed to approach women since we were 14 and back then you’d be acting the hard man and ask things like ‘are ye ridin?’ That won’t work now I’m sure. We all bought aftershave today.”
Local women in the Coalisland area welcomed the news that the local clergy will possibly provide a fresh market in what they describe as ‘cat area’ for finding a man. 22 year old Eilish Chambers pulled no punches:
“Let’s be honest. The boys in this area wouldn’t be the best now. If you’re approached by a lad from the Washingbay Road or the Stewartstown direction you can guarantee three things: He’ll smell of diesel and cattle, he’ll just grunt instead of talking like a normal human and he’ll attempt to carry you under his arm instead of hand-in-hand. I’m sick and tired of courting fellas from here who just talk of twin cams, diffing and bulling. These priests will seem like Hollywood stars. I’m sure they’ll be a bit raw at first but give them a couple of weeks and they’ll get the hang of us. I pray to God every night that the Pope gives them the nod.”
The police are on standby tonight outside the Glenavon area as a backlash is expected from single lads from the lowlands. Although the clergy will be in civvies, the Munchie Militia have issued a statement that anyone who even just looks holy will get a kicking.