This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Friday 1 December 2023

Burkegate - What Pope Francis really said

A special article by Austen "Spindoctor" Ivereigh for the Where Pachamama is blog.

The Pope is an astonishly patient man, and will sink his enemies even if it takes him ten years to do it. Seeing all the bad publicity he was getting for his merciful and patient attacks on Cardinal Burke, he summoned me to Rome as a matter of urgency so that I could explain to the world what he was up to. Did I mention that I am an expert on papal matters?

I flew to Rome from Bristol airport, stopping on the way at the Multifaith Bus Shelter for a spot of Pachamama devotion, also in order to pin up a mural by my favourite artist Marko Rupnik. The place was deserted apart from an Incan sacrifice taking place at the same time.

multifaith centre

A sacred place!

Patient merciful Pope Francis the Humble was not in good health - a sprained wrist through slapping too many Chinese girls - but he explained to me that he loved Cardinal Burke - after all, we are commanded to love our enemies, and Burke was one of his worst enemies. With their Dubia, Burke and his fellow-conspirators had asked Pope Francis to explain some aspects of Amoris Laetitia several years ago, knowing perfectly well that clear and unambiguous teaching is against the rules of the Jesuit order.

Burke had also dared to criticise the Synod on Synodal Synodality of Synodhood, arguably the most important Catholic event since Pentecost, saying that it was a complete waste of time. Having myself attended as an expert, I know that getting barmy old ladies sitting round tables and moaning is the true future of the Church!

Synod wimmin

We must all be Synod!

At this point in our discussion, Francis found his patience tried beyond all limits, and he humbly kicked Rupnik, the Vatican cat, through the window. "Don't worry," he said. "Pick up the body and give it to Mike Lewis. He'll eat anything."

Instead of living in a broom cupboard, as the humble Holy Father does, Cardinal Burke has a much larger apartment, and this is now required by other cardinals who wish to hold "get-togethers" there. I know that Cardinal Coccopalmerio has already put in a bid.

Cocco and his shadow

Who is this shadowy figure?

Of course Burke is still a member of two dicasteries, and of the Apostolic Signatura, but as Pope Francis explained, he should regard these positions as honours, and not expect to be paid.

So what message am I to take away from my meeting with the Humble Father? First, although in our conversation he described Burke as his enemy, he has now sent me a note saying "I never used the word 'enemy' nor the pronoun 'my'." Obviously we all misheard - it's easily done. Also he certainly never said "We hates him we hates him, nasty Burkies, we hates him, my precious, and we is going to throw him out on the streets!"

I hope I have made it clear, and let me repeat this: Pope Francis is patient, kind and merciful, and Cardinal Burke is a meanie. Strickland has fallen! Burke has fallen! Who will be next? Aha!

Great stuff, Austen. And the cat pie was delicious! Mike.


Mike Lewis!


  1. Wow! Mr. Ivereigh was fairly quick on the draw. It makes me think that he wrote this ahead of time (and then threw in the extra 'astonishingly patient' lines at the last minute (for comic relief). And it was funny!

  2. What de Pop sed to de Burke :

    You is not savd. Only I is savd.

  3. Cat pie! A cat-astrophe, surely!