Saving Pope Bergoglio: Mundabor’s Secret Mission
You may or may not know, but in virtue of my knowing his Enemy (Traditionalism), His Humbleness has invited me to visit him, and give him some urgently needed counsel.
He has offered a room in the Casa Sanctae Marthae; but after being informed the doors can’t be locked from the inside I have gently declined. The hotel stinks always from the manager, you know… I now have a room in another hotel, with its own lock, and run by a heterosexual.
I was, therefore, at the presence of Francis Most Merciful. It is strange to be there, in one of the many sitting rooms somewhere in the entire floor of the hotel Francis has so humbly occupied. Francis sits there, fatter by the hour (you haven’t noticed? I have! Humble Roman tiramisu’, no doubt…), and is facepalming like his favourite slum has just voted en masse for the Far Right.
“Only you can help me, Mundabor!”, he says in an heavily accented, bastardised Italian. “Me devi ayudar!” “Por favore!” “Es una situazione di mierda, di mierda!”
Everyone holds his tongue. You would be able to cut the silence with a knife, if the Pope would not noisily sniff all the time.
A rather effeminate man holds a handkerchief near him. He whispers something in his ear, but I can only hear the word “naughty”. The Pope smiles in a strange way, takes the handkerchief and says “gracias, Monsignor!” The effeminate man caresses him, and I think “I must have seen this disturbing scene somewhere”; but then I correct myself, aware of my new role, and make the supreme effort of thinking: “who am I to judge?”
It’s unreal. I reflect how beautifully so much unprecedented humbleness can coexist with such lavish luxury. He is certainly living completely differently from his predecessors. At times it is just difficult to see how, exactly.
I stay there, respectfully standing in front of the Humble Saint Of Our Time. The man of the handkerchief has moved back and is now somewhere behind me. I feel observed, and cannot avoid being uncomfortable. I recede slowly, and am now standing very close to the wall. The man of the handkerchief appears somewhat peeved.
“Quien fare?” Says the Pope. His noble features, only slightly changed by the inclusion of copious tiramisu’ and the constant welcoming of abundant grappas, show a dignified, noble suffering; but the sniffing gives to it that “one of the people”-feeling that moves the masses the world over, and almost won him a Nobel Peace Prize Oscar, or whatever…
I am about to speak, but I hesitate. The presence of the Big Man does not make it easy for me – a humble Traditionalist blogger – to speak. Cardinal Baldisseri has been looking at me for a while with eyes resembling daggers, and I can’t avoid thinking if the man of the handkerchief were to sexually assault him, he (the man with the handkerchief) would be dead in four seconds; five, tops. Baldisseri does not speak, but it is clear after I have gone back to the hotel he will set himself to work.
The Pope is now looking straight at me, in obvious desperation. His facial features reveal a deep suffering. On his table, several Italian newspapers and magazines: Il Foglio, La Stampa, L’Espresso. He looks at them shortly again, and emits a short, suffocated sound before he explodes. He now cries like a baby, poor man.
It’s painful to behold. Unstoppable. A man in his age. It tears your heart apart.
“Tosatti… Socci… my reputation… my reputation!… UUUUAAAHHHHHHHHHH!”
Baldisseri looks at me as if it were all my fault. His eyes have now become light sabers. I put my best Robert De Niro, “You talkin’ to me?”-face on, and the killer gaze is soon averted; but the experience leaves me shocked. “Darth Vader”, I think, “would be shocked, too.”
The Most Humble Holy Father is still looking at me whenever he can avert his gaze from his desk. He is saying without words: “Look where these idiots’ suggestions have led me! Let us see if you can do better than them!”.
I hesitate a short moment, but then I remember my compatriots who fought heroically in Giarabub and El-Alamein. Shall I be weak, when they were strong?
No! To the clarion call Mundabor shall answer: Presente!! The song resounds in my ears, and gives me strenght: “Colonnello, non voglio pane…!”.
And then I talk. Halfway timidly at first. Then more and more relaxed, and self-assured.
“Your Holiness”, I say.
“I would have a small suggestion. If I may”.
“Si? Si?? Habla, Mundabor! Parla, uh?”
“It might be advisable – I say with just a tad of hesitation too much – to announce that the Church renounces to the Kirchensteuer. A poor Church for the poor, Holy Father. Just as you always say!”
A shrill voice interrupts. “Das ist unerhoert! Unbegreiflich! Voellig unmachbar! Kommt gar nicht in Frage! Was geht Ihnen durch den Kopf, junger Mann?? (very high pitched now, almost hysterical) Sind Sie verrueckt geworden?? Das ist Scheisse! Scheisse! Scheisse!””
It is Cardinal Kasper. He had remained silent, in a corner, in the dark. Apparently, he is now terrified of voice recorders. But at this point he speaks, and he is not pleased, at all.
I casually take my smartphone in the hand. The Cardinals thinks I am about to record him. He pales, and shuts up immediately.
“It is very simple, Santita’ “, I say to Francis. “In the same way as, starting from the Seventies, the Church insisted in divesting Herself of Her privileges as State Religion in Countries like Spain, or accepted to lose them without saying one word in countries like Italy, the Governments of Austria, Germany and Switzerland (and in case, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg) could be simply informed that the Church will not participate in the collection system of the Kirchensteuer anymore, getting out of it altogether and relying simply on individual, tax-deductible donations and the substantial income from her own patrimony”.
“Ma Mundabor, Mundabor!” The Pope replied. “Es mucho dinero! Muco, muchisimo dinero!”
“Yes, Santita'”, I said, “in fact, it is. But will this sacrifice not not be a blessing? A poor Church for the poor, remember?”
“But this is what one just says, of course! It sounds well,that’s why one says it! Sei diventato loco?”
“No, Your Holiness. Let me explain:
The effective renunciation to the Kirchensteuer will enhance your reputation all over the world, overnight! The press will praise your idealistic attitude. The liberal priests will proclaim you “the Pope of the Poor”. Give it three days, and no one will mention the huge blunder of the Synod (I feel light sabers on me again as I say this). In short, it will be for you the return to the good old “beach ball on the altar” times, when it seemed whatever stupid thing you did you could do no wrong!
I even see good chances for the Nobel Peace Prize Oscar 2015, or however it is called!”.
Cardinal Kasper is now red in the face again, Mexican Chili-style. He is about to speak, but he bites his lips and decides to remain silent. It is said he wakes up at night, screaming “N0oooo! Not the recordeeerrrrr!!”. The doctor told him to have regard for himself, so he does not say a word.
“Furthermore”- I go on, emboldened – “the end of the Kirchensteuer will mean that there is no need for the Church to prostitute Herself to this unspeakable level. Millions of non-believers will stop paying overnight. The economic factor will simply cease to exist. No money for them means no trouble for you!”
The last words strike him like a lightning. He can now see clearly. Like a true Caudillo, he takes an immediate decision.
The Kirchensteuer will be abandoned everywhere. Lombardi and Rosica are put in charge of the biggest PR exercise even created. The friendly newspapers and magazines are all ordered to say how wonderful this is. A new interview with “Repubblica” is scheduled (“No recorder!” cries Kasper from the corner).
The reputation of the Pope is saved. Therefore, the first three objectives of the meeting are reached.
The rest… ah, I forgot. Let me finish with the words of the Humble Pope.