Just before Easter, I promised some Catholic jokes.
Here is one of my favourites:
Some time ago, a priest was asked to cover for a colleague who was the Chaplain at a Catholic boys’ school.
He agreed to do so for the weekend, including hearing confessions and saying Benediction on the Saturday afternoon, and offering the Sunday morning Mass.
He arrived at the school and was impressed by its lovely location: rolling green lawns led down to the river, and bridge over it led to the sports fields.
At that school, it was the tradition that for confession, the boys would go in order of seniority. The Head Boy would go first, then the deputy head, then the prefects and the rest of the Sixth Form. Then the upper fifth, lower fifth, and so on, right to the youngest boys. (I told you it was some time ago!)
So the priest went into the confessional and heard the first confession: the Head Boy’s. It was nothing sensational, but the visiting priest was somewhat surprised at the final sin the Head Boy confessed: ‘Oh, Father, and also, throwing peanuts in the river.’
He forbore to comment, realising that in such a setting there were bound to be school rules about not littering the river.
He was slightly surprised when the Deputy Head Boy, at the end of his confession, also confessed the same sin.
He was beginning to imagine them on the bridge over the river, playing pooh-sticks with peanuts.
Sure enough the next, and the next, and indeed all of the Sixth Form boys confessed to this same sin.
Beyond wondering where they got such a supply of peanuts, he was beginning to take it in his stride: clearly it was some local pastime which, while not allowed, was hallowed by ancient usage.
And so it went on through the school: the fifth form and the fourth form: to a man confessed to throwing peanuts in the river.
It was therefore with something of a shock that he heard the final confession, from the youngest and smallest boy in the school: the only one, it seemed with the moral fortitude not to join in this reprehensible activity.
So he decided to check:
‘Are you sure there’s nothing else, my son?’
‘No, Father, nothing!’ quavered the boy on the other side of the grille.
‘Not... not throwing peanuts in the river?’ he asked, triumphantly, demonstrating his local knowledge, wisdom and insight.
‘F..Father,’ stammered the boy, ‘I am Peanuts.’
No apologies, no regrets. More Catholic jokes to follow soon.