27 April 2018

Fr George Rutler ...

... gives in Crisis Magazine a very jolly account of Pope Benedict XIV. (Thank-you to friends who drew this to my attention, and to Father for writing it.)

The only blemish in the Pope's character appears to have been that he disliked Jesuits and would never deign to admit that type of person into the Sacred College.

Father wittily includes a Latin epigram about Lambertini, including a couple of Teacher's Intentional Errors just to give his readers a bit of intelligent fun in the art of textual emendation.

And, happily, Father does not mention my own favourite Benedict XIV story ... his reaction to the Marchesa who wore, on her imperfectly veiled chest, a very large emerald cross. Given Internet resources, there must be ways that prurient readers can research such things proprio Marte.

He's upstairs in the Ashmolean, as you know, and along at the end. I haven't narrated any of my recent visits to see him because publicising the violence of his judgement on his current successor would simply have got me into trouble. There are sceptical people out there, y'know, who think that when I report our conversations, I am really just giving my own views. And anyway, I wouldn't want to risk stirring up a gang of inflamed Bergoglianistae, led by the Master of Benets, to take their enraged pickaxes to his patient bust.

Diu illaesus permaneat.

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