12 August 2022

Pope Francis, Evelyn Waugh, & Humanæ Vitæ

Father Hunwicke draws a comparison between Francis and the fictional 'modernising' Emperor in Evelyn Waugh's novel Black Mischief.

From Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment

Uncanny ... the way my topography overlaps that of Waugh, although not, of course, simultaneously. He was at the College where I spent nearly three decades teaching ... he and I were at the same undergraduate College ... he was married in the Church which is now the Ordinariate Church in London ... he loathed the destruction of the authentic Roman Rite (although he died before the worst of its corruption was engineered) ...

As PF, reportedly, sits huddled over the draft of his intended document destroying Humanae vitae, I recall a jolly passage from Waugh's novel Black Mischief, written in 1932, not long after he became a Catholic.

It is situated on an imaginary island in the Indian Ocean, called Azania, which is portrayed as enduring 1930s-style 'Modernity'. 

" ... the Emperor assimilated the various books that had arrived for him by the last mail. Worst of all, the pageant of birth control was proving altogether more trouble than it was worth; in spite of repeated remonstrances ... it continued to occupy the the mind of the Emperor in precedence of all other interests. He had already renamed the site of the Anglican Cathedral, Place Marie Stopes

"'Heaven knows what will happen if he ever discovers psycho-analysis,' remarked Basil, gloomily foreseeeing a Boulevard Kraft-Ebing, an Avenue Oedipus and a pageant of coprophagists ..."

Yes ... even that unseemly preoccupation of PF!!

Black Mischief was viciously attacked by a periodical called The Tablet.

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Comments are subject to deletion if they are not germane. I have no problem with a bit of colourful language, but blasphemy or depraved profanity will not be allowed. Attacks on the Catholic Faith will not be tolerated. Comments will be deleted that are republican (Yanks! Note the lower case 'r'!), attacks on the legitimacy of Pope Francis as the Vicar of Christ (I know he's a material heretic and a Protector of Perverts, and I definitely want him gone yesterday! However, he is Pope, and I pray for him every day.), the legitimacy of the House of Windsor or of the claims of the Elder Line of the House of France, or attacks on the legitimacy of any of the currently ruling Houses of Europe.