RTÉ are hilarious. An entire hour or so was dedicated to his Popiness calling it off- personally, I think he should be made carry this papacy to term (Joke courtesy of @emjb but too good not to include here) and understand that if he didn’t want to be a pope, then he shouldn’t have become a priest in the first place. I mean, I’m not trying to be judgemental, I support his decision, but you know… I still judge him. Anyone with a bit of life experience would
But yeah, I find myself not able to wring much comedy out of the Pope resigning. I did try. I made a cup of coffee and sat down at the computer to make some LOLZ about his special pope chair and the special pope hat that makes him infallible as long as he’s in the chair and has the hat on, the dresses, the fact that he looks like emperor palpatine, his German-ness, and I tried to write a long thesis on why I should be crowned the Ultra pope- I’d be fifty feet tall like a power rangers bad guy and stamp on St Peters- but all my efforts at humour fell flat.
Irish people have been pretty playful about the papacy thing, as we always are about matters of the catholic church; that kind of self deprecating, eye rolling father ted style ‘sure where would you be without it’ kind of humour. I think the main reason Father Ted is watchable is because it is brutally satirical- pointing out the hypocrisy of the 1990s catholic church. It was from an era just prior to the Ryan report and the really massive child rape scandals, so I’m not sure how it would look if it was made today.
But I can’t make lolz out of the pope, because the Catholic Church is, to me, just too screwed up an institution. I can’t laugh about the silly hats and the robes and the cardinals having a piss up when just last week I found out the state I’m a citizen of was complicit in the slavery of thousands of women over 70 years at the hands of religious orders. Just three years ago my best friend spoke up in a religion class to question our male religion teacher on the very obvious bias against abortion in the lesson we were having on morality. When I was seventeen the speaker who came to talk to us about ‘the facts of life’ dropped her voice in the middle of a presentation about the rhythm method of contraception and told us ‘girls, I used this method, and I have three children, so just… consider that.’ It’s an institution in Ireland that consistently discouraged me from being loud, from having opinions, from having agency. Look even now, I’m trying to be light hearted and I can’t! I need a different topic.
It’s Richard III I feel the worst for, you know. You spend five hundred years under ground after your grisly murder (in Leicester no less). Then some young upstart named Will Shakespeare writes a play that solidifies you as only the baddest mother fucker who ever walked the earth and you go down in history as a twisted crazy tyrant, and then worst of all, someone builds a carpark on top of you. A carpark for a tesco, no less. I can think of no worse a humiliation than to have my resting place disturbed by a budget supermarket chain. If all this wasn’t bad enough only a few days later the horse meat scandal properly broke and twitter, the papers and everyone else had a new story to wring lolz out of. THEN Beyonce blew up the super bowl. THEN the Pope announced he was resigning. Jesus, there was so much. If there is a god and he is planning this shit, last week definitely proves he on the side of the satirists. Maybe God is actually just a celestial Alan Bennett. Think of all the horses that were technically in that tesco next to Richard III all along. All he needed to do was test for them.
Niamh ‘The Pope can’t handle me’ Keoghan