Saturday, 13 February 2010

378: Father Riley's a what?

And what opinion did American humorists who’d grown up Catholic have of the servants of Holy Mother church? Well, once you discount all of the sentimental, acceptable sitcom-style guff, then it was that the Catholic brotherhood was a haven of predatory perverts.

from “The Seven Sacraments: A ‘Milstone’ Pamphlet for Little Catholics” by Bro. “Al” Andrien
In “National Lampoon, December 1974

from “An Irish Market Place” by Ted Mann
in “National Lampoon, January 1976

From a general grab-bag of jokes about Irish culture: the I.R.A, G.B. Shaw’s collected works, the ghost of W.B. Yeats, and alcoholism. And then there’s this. “Alternate Birth Control”, indeed, with altar boys. And this some thirty years before revelations were made public about what was going on when it come to Brotherly Care in Ireland. Although there were scandals in the early ‘80s, too, if I remember correctly.

And of course there’s Frank Zappa’s throwaway line in his 1979 song, “Catholic Girls” that “Father Riley's a fairy / But that don’t bother Mary”.

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