Pope Commends Luther’s Laxative
The other day, my eldest grandson asked me if I had noticed that many traditional Catholic blogs had recently become quite scatological in content. I said this was hardly surprising, in view of the example set by His Holiness.
It occurs to me that Pope Francis may have got his strange metaphor about faeces-eating from the British author D.H. Lawrence who, I recall, referred to some of his critics as “coprophagous baboons who make the filth they feed on”. Charming.
The founder of Protestantism suffered grievously from constipation, to such an extent that he had to set up an office in his privy. John Osborne, one of the luminaries of the “kitchen sink” drama of the 1950s wrote a play about Martin Luther in which he portrays the reformer, agonising over his sins during a marathon session on the loo, suddenly receiving the insight that man is justified by faith alone, so that his sins don’t really matter. At the same instant his bowels are set free. What a wonderful double relief!
Damian Thompson of The Spectator believes the Holy Father may be losing his marbles and should consider retirement. This weekend the Pope will turn 80, which means he is about three weeks older than I am. But a blog called Ignatius His Conclave, which deserves to be better known, speculates that this obsession with matters cloacal may be caused by the state of the Holy Father’s bowels, rather than by any incipient senility. Here’s how he develops his thesis….
Is Pope Francis constipated?
The question – a strange one – arises from his recent repeated use of the term ‘coprophagia’ in an attack on irresponsible journalists.
Commonly encountered only in dogs, faeces eating is an unusual image, even when applied to the paparazzi.
Says Arnold Dubekker, the distinguished clinical psychiatrist: ‘Though rarely used, such imagery is most common among those who themselves have reason to be fixated on excretion – typically the victims of chronic constipation. Another common symptom is talkativeness. Victims habitually compensate for inability in the one area by laxity in the other’.
Dr Dietrich Hartlieb, a Reformation history specialist of the University of Jena, concurs. ‘Both conditions are to be found in Martin Luther. Shared symptoms may well account for Pope Francis’s obvious affection for the founder of Protestantism.’
Yes, our Holy Father certainly has a great deal in common with Luther. After all, on one of his mid-flight press conferences he even went so far as to say: “And today Lutherans and Catholics, Protestants, all of us agree on the doctrine of justification. On this point, which is very important, he did not err. He made a medicine for the Church.”
I conclude with an appalling pun: What sort of medicine had the Pope in mind? A laxative, of course!