This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Thursday, 10 July 2014

World Pope Competition

As most of our readers will know, the Catholic Church has abandoned the old method of choosing its pope - whereby a lot of old men sat in a smoke-filled room trading insults for several days - in favour of a new competition in which the candidates battle it out in pairs. Brazil has been hosting the current competition, which started with the World Youth Day in 2013 and has been carrying on ever since.

two popes with football shirts

The finalists, from Argentina and Germany.

The British did very badly in the competition. Keith O'Brien from Scotland failed to qualify - indeed he was accused of foul play - and England's Vincent Nichols was eliminated at an early stage when it was discovered that he had very few goals, and was incapable of saving.

Vincent Nichols football shirt

Vincent Nichols: "a disappointing performance".

In fact England have not won the competition since 1154, when Pope Adrian IV (Nick Brakespear) took the title after extra time. However, the English always live in hope of a repeat performance, and one often sees the St George's flag being displayed during papal conclaves.

23 shirt

Cardinal Vingt-Trois of France wore this shirt, but failed to win.

The competition was not without incident. Cardinal Suàrez of Uruguay was disqualified for biting his opponent, evidently misunderstanding just what is considered acceptable conduct for the "kiss of peace".

Marge Farley and Tina Beattie

Don't cry for me, Marge and Tina! Farley and Beattie want to see a woman win.

In the semi-finals, Joe Ratzinger (Germany) put seven key doctrinal points past the Archbishop of São Salvador da Bahia (Brazil), whereas George Bergoglio (Argentina) struggled to beat the Metropolitan Bishop of Utrecht (Netherlands) on penalties. The entire universe waits to see who will win the final: will the modern philosophical style of Bergoglio really prove stronger than the traditional dialectic of Ratzinger? As the referee puts it: "Who am I to judge?"

Pope John-Paul II with football

St Charlie Wojtyła (Poland), a previous winner of the title.


  1. Prediction: Ratzinger is going to beat the pants off of Bergoglio, thus justifying the controversial Angelus of December 16, 2007. Rejoice in the Lord always, my friends. Always.

  2. And there it is! On the one hand, a side overly dependent on one prominent figure – himself by no means on top of his game and playing very inconsistently – and whose approach to the game seems bogged down in the 1980s; and on the other, a side in which personal ego is not elevated above the needs of the whole team, and whose mindset, deeply rooted as it is in their illustrious history, makes them all the better equipped to meet the challenges of the present. The result was surely never in doubt.