It’s Christmas — so lets have a bit of leisure. This week I am repeating a poem I wrote in 2013 when the Jesuits left the parish after many years. It was a sad occasion — although I have an excellent parish priest. But he’s not a J.
At the least you’ll remember the names and order of all the Councils in the Catholic Church.
The Song of the Jesuit Provincial
I am the very model of a Jesuit provincial,
I’ve information secular, doctrinal and canonical.
I know the name of every pope, and councils quite historical
Jerusalem to Ephesus in order categorical.
Constantinople, Chalcedon and, of course, Vienne,
Nicaea, Constance and the rest are well within my ken.
And counting up, from one to five, the councils of the Lateran
But glad to see that Trent gives way to first and second Vatican.
I love the Latin liturgy and I greet with great elation
The finely honed obscurity of recent trans-a-lation.
In short, in matters secular, doctrinal and canonical
I am the very model of a Jesuit provincial.
And now we see a Jesuit receive the crown pontifical
He’ll know from Heythrop studies that the bible’s mainly mythical
And the story of creation must accept a new solution
Since the prophet Darwin demonstrated evolution.
You’ll know that moral doctrine will be volatile for me,
For nothing merely probable is known with certainty.
Please don’t think I waste my time on any matters mystical,
I will solve your moral problems with my methods casuistical.
My doctorate in Canon Law shows for all to see
How everything’s permitted, when interpreted by me.
In short, in matters secular, doctrinal and canonical I am the very model of a Jesuit provincial.