This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Don't let Pope Francis turn into Sylvester McCoy!

In a very interesting piece for the Catholic Herald, Tim Stanley complains that the modern Dr Who character is becoming too atheist. There has been a change from the Jon Pertwee days, when the Doctor was almost certainly a staunch Anglican - if the Anglican Church was the Conservative party at prayer, then Dr Who was the Anglican Church hiding behind the sofa. Over here we have observed a different phenomenon: the Catholic Church is being led by a new Pope, who bears a suspicious resemblance to Sylvester McCoy.

Sylvester McCoy and Nicholas Parsons

Pope Francis (L) with Guido Marini.

The signs are all there - a general feeling of bewilderment, as if the Holy Father is unaware what forces he has unleashed, together with an air of total chaos as nobody really knows what direction the Church is heading in. Pope Francis's aim is not to judge anyone (except when he chooses to, of course) and the state of play in the fight between good and evil is generally uncertain.

Kandy man

Pope Francis has an ecumenical meeting with a Buddhist from Kandy.

Contrast this with the more rigorous, formal, regime of Pope Benedict XVI. Here of course the Doctoral model was William Hartnell, a thoroughly orthodox but much stricter character, who wouldn't suffer fools gladly.

Meddling Monk

Pope Benedict gets tough with a renegade monk.

Pope Benedict made great use of his Tardis to visit earlier times: one famous story in which he was involved was Summorum Pontificum, set in Rome. Here, the language of Latin was used throughout (although when shown on television it was dubbed into English).


Pope Benedict explain the use of Latin in the story Summorum Pontificum.

Before the Pope regenerated into Benedict XVI, the role was played by John-Paul II, who may be seen as a Patrick Troughton figure: saintly, but sometimes prepared to clown around. Still, a good man to follow when fighting Cybermen, Yeti, Communists, etc.

Troughton and book

Pope John-Paul II working on his latest encyclical.

Pope John-Paul II was known for visiting many far-flung parts of the Universe (he would usually kiss the ground on the planet when his Tardis landed). As a result he met a plethora of exotic creatures, many of which seem to be immortal.

Troughton and Cyberman

A meeting with Cormac Murphy-O'Connor.

However, the Sylvester McCoy model is definitely prevailing in the Catholic Church right now. So, what shall we see next? A female Pope is as unthinkable as a female Doctor, even though his arch-enemy managed to regenerate into a woman (the Mistress Beattie). Moreover, we are unlikely to see a Pope along the lines of ultra-liberal modernists such as Tennant or Capaldi. We may end up with a Colin Baker - some cardinals really have no taste in vestments - but a calm, sophisticated pope with fantastic hair is expected next time round.

Doctor Who as a monk

Br Pertwee (R) - the next Pope?

1 comment:

  1. Dr Who over the years has clearly been a major influence on the Green Report which is currently taxing the credulity and patience of our separated brethren in the Anglican Communion. The phrase "Creating spaces of safe uncertainty" must have been written while watching The Weeping Angels from the traditional vantage point behind the sofa.