Winston Smith looked outside, and saw a poster bearing the portrait of an old man in white robes. BIG FATHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran. Big Father, the man who had seized power eighteen months ago, driving into exile President Benedict the good. Big Father, who kept an iron grip on the Church.
BIG FATHER IS WATCHING YOU.
On another poster were written the slogans produced by Big Father's right-hand man, Comrade Kasper.
JUDGEMENT IS IGNORANCE
CHANGE IS STABILITY
IMMACULATENESS IS FILTH
Winston Smith checked his watch and turned back to his television set, which could never be switched off. It was now broadcasting endless programmes of puppet masses and tango dancing from St Peter's, Rome. The Mass had reached the point where the comrade deacon was instructed to announce the Two Minutes Hate.
Comrade Burke, Enemy of the People.
As usual, the face of Raymond Burke, the Enemy of the People, flashed on to the screen. Comrade Burke had once been one of Big Father's most loyal supporters, but had now disappeared from public life. Some said that he was already dead, smothered in his own cappa maxima, while others claimed that he had merely been exiled to the barren wastes of Malta. On the screen, Smith saw crowds of Catholics screaming words of hatred for Burke, the enemy of the people. "AIRPORT BISHOP!" they yelled. "SELF-ABSORBED PROMETHEAN NEO-PELAGIAN!" "BAT-LIKE CHRISTIAN!"
A bat-like Christian in traditional Cappa Maxima.
The two-minute hate being over, the Mass continued on its way, with the usual liturgically-approved procession of clowns towards the altar. Winston turned his head away from the screen, and opened his copy of the State Newspaper, the Tablet. "Arrange the following virtues of Big Father in order of importance, then complete the following sentence in not more than ten words. I love Big Father because... First prize: a two-week holiday on Tina Beattie's luxury houseboat, the Tinatanic." Theological debate was not what it used to be.
There was a hammering on the door. Was it a gang of ACTA thugs, demanding "dialogue"? Or had the thought police discovered that Winston possessed a copy of the suppressed Catholic Herald? Should he have been expecting the Spanish Inquisition...?