By Shay Healy Author and Writer with The Irish Daily Mail
Give me a Jesuit cardinal at 70 and in six years I will give you a Pope. The Jesuits have finally got their man into the Vatican. But it’s a toss-up as to whether this will lead to more or less dissembling. Famous for their intellectual rigour and scholarship, the Jays are like a regiment of Clint Eastwoods and a lot of Italians catholics call the head Jesuit, “Il Papa Nero.”
Founded by St.Ignatius Loyola, there are 19,000 Jesuits, making them by far the single biggest order in the church. They must be as surprised as everyone else that a Jesuit has finally reached the throne, because the very word “Jesuit” has become synonymous through the centuries with scheming. Their very reputation as the most free-thinking of Catholics, has made them suspect in the eyes of the church hierarchy. And while they may publicly espouse total obedience to the pope, “perinde ac cadaver,” like a corpse, in practice they are anything but subservient.
Is he tough enough for the gig. The last thing the Latin world needs is for him to be the Pope Francis of a sissy. Fortunately its clear that he took the name from the Franciscan order’s leader, Francis Xavier, who was a militant missionary. Pope Francis 1 is now effectively Il Papa Nero, the “Black Pope,” boss of the Jesuits and head bottlewasher in the Vatican to boot.
Nostradamus made several predictions about this pope. He predicted that this pope would do a runner to France on the day the sky had two suns and it just so happens that a comet is due here in November. Nostradamus also predicted that this pope would start a major religious war to the point where Italy will wind up being invaded by the Muslims. No doubt, tabloid headline writers worldwide are at this moment trying to come up with a snappy nickname for Francis 1. What about “Il Papa Salsa.“ It has an authentic South American ring to it and the fact that salsa is both food and music, lends itself to ambiguity and bad puns for splashy front page headlines.
IL PAPA SALSA SPICES UP CHURCH MENU.
As archbishop and cardinal, Jorge Bergoglio, cooked his own food. He has not yet divulged what his favourite dishes are, but you can bet your sweet bippy that come Christmas, there will be a glut of cook books that exploit Pope Francis 1’s kitchen secrets. Inevitably a TV series, called something like Conclave Cuisine, will hit the airwaves early next year, followed by a spin-off, Francis’s Favourites, quick meals for the clergy. By all accounts, Francis 1 will have to sharpen up his clothes sense and to the disgust of fashion conscious Buenos Ariens, he has reportedly being seen downtown wearing “cheap shoes.” In colourful Latin America, he has a chance to revitalize the pontiff’s wardrobe by splashing a bit of colour into his daywear. Pope JP3 opened the door for him, a bit, by allowing himself be photographed wearing a baseball cap. Maybe now its time for the humble t-shirt to become a staple of Vatican couture, as well as a hot merchandising item. I can see them now. A picture of the pope on the, front with the legend underneath … I AM A ROCK… or how about I KISSED THE POPE’S RING!