This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Is Francis really the Pope?

We asked a spectrum of people describing themselves as Catholics to tell us whether or not the jolly man in Rome is really entitled to call himself Pope.

pope with bracelet

What is that pagan symbol on the Pope's wrist?

Sedevacantist: No, of course he's not the Pope. All Popes since the First Vatican Council in 1864 have been imposters, and probably demons sent to lure us to Hell; so Gregory XVI must be considered to be the last real Pope. Don't talk to me about Pius IX and the Spirit of Vatican I. Think of all the unwanted changes we've had since then - priests inviting nuns round for cups of tea, church jumble sales, giving to charity, and other modernist ideas. It was so much simpler when bishops lived in palaces, and priests lived in stately homes, and they didn't come out except on Sundays, when they'd berate the faithful and tell them they were destined for Hell. Why, the way things are going, they'll be introducing blasphemous things like masses in English, which God won't even understand!

mad hatter's tea party

This was unthinkable before Vatican I.

Mundaborist: Sigh. Yes, he's a genuine Pope. He's a complete bastard and he's going to Hell, but we still show him honour and devotion. He may be enslaved by Satanic forces and the most incredibly evil person since Stalin - perhaps equally evil - but we respect him because he is the one true shepherd who looks after the Catholic sheep. Let's hope he decides to retire soon - apparently he's in rather delicate health, he's only got one liver you know. Of course a demon may just come along and carry him down to Hell, that's also quite likely, isn't it? We love Pope Francis and wish him well, but just get lost will you, Holy Father?

bad statue of pope

Mummy, why does this statue look nothing at all like the Pope?

Ordinary Catholic: Yes, he's the Pope. True, he talks too much off the cuff, and says some very silly things. Luckily he doesn't say silly things infallibly. He has also made a complete pig's ear of the Extraordinary Synod, been nasty to Cardinal Burke, and bullied the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, but still he shows no signs of trying to change Catholic doctrine. Mind you, if Pope Benedict XVI were alive, he'd be turning in his grave. Still, Francis is very popular with people who aren't Catholics (not that it will make them come to church).

Pope and Ivereigh

The Holy and the Ivereigh: Pope Francis meets a humble journalist.

Liberal Catholic: Yes, he's the Pope. Of course he's another of those sexist homophobic men in the Church, and we aren't impressed just because he gives himself a grand title. There was this fantastic article in the Tablet explaining that Fr Timothy Radcliffe should be Pope, as he understands how to be Catholic without bothering about the exact details of what Jesus taught, or Paul, or any of those sexist men. Professor Tina Beattie also knows how to practise a non-religious version of Catholicism and I'm with her! And did you see what Fr Tony Flannery has to say? You can find his article in the Guardian, the Tablet and the Beano, and he'll be speaking on a grand tour of the UK with gigs at 25 major venues in a month. He explains very carefully how he's been silenced, and that it's all the Pope's fault.

Flannery at microphone

"There's something wrong with the microphone." "And also with you."

Anglo-Catholic: No, I don't recognise any Pope since Pope Clement VII. We follow - not Justin Wobbly although he's a fine chap I'm sure - God's supreme representative on Earth, who is Queen Elizabeth II, God Bless Her. She's been Queen since 1837 and she has never put a foot wrong - well, perhaps she did sign the abortion bill, and the same-sex marriage bill, and many other bills of dubious morality, but at least she never says anything controversial. People come from over the world to learn from her wisdom. "Have you come far?" she'll ask, or "And what do YOU do?" No trying to stuff religion down people's throats! Pope Francis could learn a lesson there!

Henry VIII

I'm Henry VIII, I am. Have you come far?


  1. This article is woefully incomplete without referencing the views of the Archbishop of Corby - the apotheosis of the apothegm.

  2. If I understand his views, Pope Francis is hopelessly compromised by the Cormac shenanigans, and Damian Thompson should be Pope.

    1. I agree wholeheartedly. I am worried that the African Cradinals in his fan club might be unduly influenced by +++++Corby beforethe next conclave, though. If this invalidates Damain's papacy, he might have to resinge and hand over to Pope Tim Stanley I - or worse still - to Pope Bill Gardner, the notorious Brighton whoreticulturist, who will infallibly dictate to us all to grow pears.

  3. It is simply a daft idea that anyone properly suited to continue the papal line would ever choose to call himself Francis. Such a direct reference to a spiritual tradition so totally removed from the papal role, while also madly trying to gain popularity from association with it, is doomed to failure. That is why I had no interest in the project from seconds into the first balcony appearance.

  4. Better question: Is Francis really saved?

    Only Eccles knows.

  5. A Liberal learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Neo-Pelagian spring. (A Pope)

  6. What do the Anarcho Syndicalist femists think?