I am not very interested in what the Holy Father meant a few weeks ago when, according to the official English version of his words, he called upon women to be more "capillary". (If I were to offer a hypothesis, it would be that he is opposed to Lesbian hairstyles, just like the Canadian Moslem hairdresser in yesterday's news.) No: the historical aspects of this event, unusually, interest me more than the linguistic.
There seem to me two main possible alternative explanations. Either (1) that the Spanish Desk in the Vatican Press Office is staffed exclusively by gentlemanly and ladylike Spaniards. They are so Princely and Renaissance that they have no knowledge whatsoever about the current urban slang in the slums of Latin America. So they give a literal, dictionary, equivalent of the Pontiff's more impenetrable idioms. This is understandable. After all, if a typical ordinary Englishman were to be snatched Sinbad-like from the streets of Oxford ... as it might be, me, for example ... and, with no philological preparation, were to be dumped into one of New York's more vividly diverse suburbs, it might be some time before I got the syntactical structure, the intonations, and the vocabulary of the dominant patois entirely straight.
Or (2) that there are some jokers at the Spanish Desk determined to make Pope Francis look as ridiculous as possible. They are probably the same nasty evil miscreants who let loose the cruel black crow that ate up the beautiful white dove that the sweet little children standing beside the friendly lovable Pontiff had just released. These humorists are having a field day subverting the pope's persona, his carefully crafted public relations image. If that is what is happening, it is the first scandal, or Francisgate I, of this Pontificate.
But whichever of these is the truth, Francis should do something about it. He should put on hold his grand scheme to Reform The Curia ... after all, pretty well every new pope Postpones the Reform of the Curia about eleven months after his election, so it would be pretty well what everybody is expecting. Then he should spend his every waking hour getting a grip on his Press Office. On the McAdder Management Principle (vide Decline and Fall: "Give hell to the man immediately below you, and you can rely on him to pass it on with interest") he should have Fr Lombardi given an hour or two of Enhanced Interrogation (Yes!!! we 'Old Europeans' have so much to learn from our American Cousins!!!), daily, until everything was sorted out.
Actually, this is in any case probably the best method of solving the Problem of the Curia. Historians assure us that it is very much the way in which Urban VI, Papa Prignano, Reformed the Curia in his day. Those of Francis' cardinals who survived Sant'Angelo would probably flee to Avignon, annul the last Conclave, and elect Cardinal Burke as Leo XIV.
It could all happen in time for a newly independent Scotland, and Merry England, to be under two different 'popes', just as they were in the Good Old Days, the fourteenth century, the Age of Faith! And then Tally Ho for the 'Spirit' of Pisa II and the 'Post-Conciliar Magisterium' of Constance II!!