"You must understand the brilliance of our strategy with Bergoglio. When he was elected, there was a real danger that he might do a great deal of what the Enemy calls 'good'". Screwtape's fine old eyes moved meditatively along the bound leather volumes of The Wisdom of Aleister Crowley in the Club Library. " He had a Latin American background; the risk was that he would develop the concepts of Liberation Theology and devote his Pontificate to the poor: both to the state of those economically poor and to those our Enemy calls the Anawim; the righteous Poor whose poverty results from their adherence to the Enemy's Law. The very moment after Bergoglio was elected Pope, his friend Cardinal Hummes ..."
Wormwood has gone so far as to open his mouth in order to share a tired witticism about Cardinals Hummous, Tzatziki, and Taramasalata. He saw the red gleam of hungry malevolence in his uncle's eye, and shut his mouth again.
" ... said to him 'Do not forget the poor.' That was the moment at which our Father Below summoned his War Cabinet to crisis session. You see, Gerhardt Mueller is, most unfortunately, an expert on Liberation Theology ... Bergoglio and Mueller in collaboration might have done immense damage to our cause ... Bergoglio providing the the enthusiasm, the boldness, and Mueller the theological control ... some, indeed, quite deep among the Lowerarchy showed signs of panic.
"But Our Father Below simply and calmly asked each Cabinet Member in turn how we might avert this threatened catastrophe. Happily, I suggested that we should work on Bergoglio's liking for empty ritual. And it worked! Bergoglio was childishly keen on making a great parade of Favouring the Poor while actually taking no action whatsoever on their behalf. It suited him to a ... whatsoever ...
"I also suggested backing this policy up by contriving a personal breach between the two of them. Here again, Bergoglio's love for ritual without content provided us with a winner. The tactic I adumbrated involved letting him prose on endlessly about dealing with paedophile priests ... in the land of Airliner Rhetoric, while actually protecting them ... in the real world. So we lured Bergoglio into sacking some of the experts on paedophilia who were working under Mueller. And, again, my plan worked to our Father's great satisfaction. Two ends were served: quite a number of very fine paedophiles were preserved, unmolested, in the full-time, full-hearted, ministerial service of Our Father Below. And Mueller himself was personally affronted by the radical realism (or 'manifest injustice', as humans call it) of Bergoglio's actions.
"Just to make matters the more sure, we contrived that the the breach was sealed by another dramatic public humiliation of Mueller by Bergoglio. He demanded that Mueller be summoned to trot from the altar to the telephone while he was actually celebrating Mass in order to be instructed ... with peremptory discourtesy ... to drop a particular canonical investigation ... "
A long pause followed. Wormwood, whose curiosity had been fostered, eventually broke the silence by enquiring what that investigation had involved. Screwtape glared at him, but could not resist the temptation to boast. about his own master-stroke. "It involved one particular Anglo-Saxon Cardinal ... indeed, a leading member of the group of Cardinals which, under close infernal control, had organised Bergoglio's election to the Roman See. Mueller had to drop that Investigation ... naturally, this rankled.
"With Mueller out of the way, we put into place the brilliant strategy whereby Bergoglio's sympathies were transferred to the monied classes of libertine North European and North American societies, instead of dangerously engaging with the Righteous Poor, faithful servants of the Enemy. Absolutely any disaster could have occurred if we had allowed him to continue fantasising about the really poor.
"Bergoglio's imaginative identification was secured to those who had formally and decisively rejected the Enemy's call to sexual continence by remarrying after divorce. He never even noticed the substitution! In addition, Gropepope, Bergoglio's own personal tempter, put in some good work by reminding him of the immense and tempting wealth of the German Church. We soon had the poor old peronist safely in our bag."