COULD Robert Hanssen, member of Opus Del and FBI agent, accused of spying for the Russians, be the greatest Christian since Gladstone? He is supposed to have taken a stripper he met in the early 1990s to Mass in an attempt to convert her, following the example of the Victorian Prime Minister who made it his mission to "save" prostitutes from their plight. As part of this "evangelisation", Hanssen, whose lawyer denies the claim, is said to have bought the girl a ticket to Japan and a $10,000 car. Spreading the Gospel is getting more and more expensive these days!
IF HE hadn't enough on his plate already, poor Cardinal Comae Murphy-O'Connor;s been accused of being a "trendy posturing asset-stripper" for wanting to change his private pad and bolt-hole from a huge country house at Hare Street in Cambridgeshire, miles from the capital, to a small place within easy reach. The former is beautiful. historic and replete with tradition, but the latter would be practical and efficient. Now which does Private Eye want the Catholic Church to be?
THE TV programme which saw a group of people isolated from the rest of the world is to have a religious sequel. Five men and five women are to go on a 10 week Alpha course. The Castaway-style real-life drama will be presented by Sir David Frost and screened on ITV in July. It has already been filmed and the results are said to be "fascinating".
A CHRIST1AN Popstars is also in ihe offing. Four young Christians could he transformed from
"wannabes" to the real thing. The band is as yet unnamed but the Last Judgement on who of the hopefuls will make the band and pop heaven will take place soon.
If any dry ice is needed. meanwhile, an Italian company is offering a device which at the touch of a button delivers clouds of white incense smoke. The firm producing the gadget — Belltron — has placed ads in Catholic newspaper Pastoral Life.
WAR is Over or Jailhouse Rock? Elvis Presley and John Lennon look-a-likes performed at "Give Peace a Dance" at the Camden Irish Centre, London, to pull in funds for Fr Martin Newall, a priest charged with damaging a truck used to carry nuclear warheads. Sadly, Fr Newall was there only in spirit since he has been remanded in custody until his trial next month.
VEGEIARIAN militants are the latest
to have taken the Lord's name in vain. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent out brutally graphic Easter cards. showing Christ at the Last Supper slaying a cow with a curved dagger in a scene redolent of Apocalypse Now. It says: "Jesus was the Prince of Peace not a bloody butcher! Go Vegetarian."
FINALLY, is God a so-called "body-fascist"? An eccentric American dietician wants you to think so. Gwen Shamblin has moved from calling on people to slim for Jesus to founding her own "Remnant" church. She is not only preaching that gluttony is a sin, but that come Doomsday, it is your calories that will be counted!