ragon THE P RTAL November 2017 Page 5 Lines written below Fountains Abbey Some death notices and a plea for justice (or not) from Snapdragon A s one of the more senior members of the church militant here on earth, I find myself more frequently than not in a state of shock when reading the death notices in the slew of papers that I take to inform and disgust myself in equal measure each day. It is not just that, with good reason, one has never heard of most of the contents of the particular funeral parlour in question but somehow one knows that one’s own dear mother would not have approved of so many of them. Milliners, dress makers and garage proprietors are often perfectly nice people with whom one does business but it seems unnecessary somehow to waste precious resources, which could otherwise be used to help teach whales to express themselves more fully, telling us all about their astonishingly dull lives. However, be that as it may, this month has produced a very fine crop of those who are now dead and it seemed only right to draw the faithful readers’ attention to the lives of Colonel Jasper Browell, Miss Norma Sykes and Mgr Augustine Hoey. All in their own way were examples of what it is to be part of the church militant today. triumph over adversity, we can only thank God for the glories of creation. The Colonel, on the other hand, embraced worlds that the other two would never have known. Not for him the maudlin concerns of the emotionally incontinent but a sure and certain faith that God would see him home without the necessity of a large crowd of the tired, bored and insincere at the, by now, obligatory memorial service. It was the Colonel’s wish that no one should miss a day’s hunting or shooting to attend that lamentable event. Quite right too. What a splendid example those three are to us all. May they rest in peace. Fr Augustine was a very holy man who loathed pomposity, embraced failure in himself and others and appreciated the better French pudding wines in equal measure. Much of his last few years were spent in the former station waiting room at Walsingham where there are no trains and no internet connection and thus a much better chance of making it on time to heaven than from anywhere else in England. News reaches me from Rome of a quite wicked miscarriage of justice which we must all hope will be swiftly righted by the Holy Father. A functionary of a perfectly otiose hospital for idle children in the Eternal City has been perfectly understandably shifting resources toward the redecoration of a cardinal’s bedding quarters with the commissioning of tasteful murals featuring young Greek boys in various stages of undress. It cannot be right that such liberally sensitive artistic endeavour can merit an, admittedly light, sentence of imprisonment. Miss Sykes, whom I doubt very much if Fr Hoey ever met, responded heroically to childhood disease by embracing exercises which enabled her to grow quite startlingly impressive breasts: which one can only wonderingly report measured a full 41 inches at their extremities. Under the benign guidance of the well known dwarf and light entertainer Mr Arthur Askey, she became famous br iefly as Sabrina. In her life and No wonder the Pope has made Cardinal Burke a judge of the Vatican’s highest court. It must be to ensure that this blameless man can be freed to carry on his good work redecorating the whole of the Vatican. On the other hand, perhaps not. When will holy mother church start to embrace the consequences of our Lord’s few but well chosen words on the subject of millstones and necks?