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
Recently I’ve heard a lot of people speak about their non-belief in god, and how they feel a bit sad they’ve lost their faith. They observe those of faith with a kind of longing. ‘I wish I could believe.’ they’ll fret. ‘I wish I could believe the way they do.’ I seem to hear this a lot around Christmas time, with all the cribs, the mulled wine, the carols and the family feeling. It’s easier at this time than any other to feel like you’re missing out by not believing in God or religion. I’m not one of these people. I LOL’d so hard at the news that the Pope had joined twitter that I ruptured something.
Now, let me say outright I’m not getting at anybody for their religious beliefs- as sacred as sacraments are to some, so is their freedom to believe in what they like to me. I know good Christians, good Muslims, good Unitarians and a load of good wishy-washy non-denominational people with a spiritual bent. I’m cool with religious people. It just really isn’t for me. It isn’t for me for the following simple reasons- when I was religious, I wasn’t very good at it. I’m bad at Catholicism, full stop. Here are the list of things that made me a bad Catholic.
I’m not good at being told what to do.
I don’t like the taste of communion host.
Incense makes me sneezey
I used to try and take the baby Jesus out of the crib and use him in my dolly’s games
I have masturbated many times a week since 2008
I love eating chicken on a Friday.
I was a practicing-ish Catholic until 2010. I went to Mass pretty often. I believed that generally, God had my back. Even as I drifted from Catholicism, I had my own personal relationship with god. I had a firm faith in the afterlife.
You can trace my split with the Catholic church back to the early days of 2000, when I had a massive nervous breakdown in Second class. When I was in second class I made my first Holy communion and so we were taught by Sr.Dympna, a nun who was a very cool old lady but also very firm. She was old school in a nice way; big on handwriting, sums, nature and common sense. Being as I was bold as brass, completely disorganized, scruffy and unfocused she had a lot to work on. In fairness to her, she saw my potential, which many of my later teachers didn’t. We once had a class inspection by a Christian Brother.
When I was seven I was very sensitive to bad smells. And that day, the classroom stank of a vegetable stench. It was everywhere- it was sort of like raw onion. I still remember the feel of it in my nostrils, choking me. It was the most horrible thing I’d ever smelled. Even now 13 years later when I get a hint of that smell I gag. It was in my throat and up my nose and giving me a migraine. I could hardly breathe.
Of course, when you’re seven and you can’t cope with something, you naturally have a little freak out. I didn’t know where that smell was coming from- I actually think it might have been an onion bulb that the class had in a jar of water, growing the roots- but my tearful cries of ‘the smell! It’s such a bad smell!’ were interpreted by Sr.D as the seven year old saying ‘the christian brother is smelly!’ My mother was spoken to sternly outside the door when she picked me up early for a dentist’s appointment- the nun was disgusted that I would insult a christian brother by calling him smelly, or indeed calling the room he was in smelly!
That’s where it began.