In Brideshead, Waugh describes his disillusionment with the Army in terms of a husband's disillusionment with a wife:
"I caught the false notes in her voice and learned to listen for them apprehensively ... I learned ... her jealousy and self-seeking, and her nervous trick with the fingers when she was lying ...".
I wonder if I am the only one to have followed this process with PF: "The nervous trick with the fingers when she was lying".
I had precisely this experience again with regard to PF's Declaration of about a year ago which advocated syncretistic relativism. We might sensibly regard it as his Praeparatio Evangelii for his Amazonian Synod, his Pachamama Moment, and the events which occurred when PF, like every traditional seducer, Led his victims Up The (Vatican's) Garden Path.
That Declaration now seems so long ago; things move so thick and fast in this pontificate (I wonder if PF's GP has given him bad news). But you may recall his statement that the Declaration did not "go an inch beyond" the teaching of Vatican II.
Instantly ... I knew ... I had certainty ... that it was going to go, in fact, distinctly more than an inch.
"The nervous trick with the fingers when he is lying".
Perhaps some of you, during these dark days, have recalled Chesterton's words Naught for your comfort, Yea, naught for your desire, save that the sky grows darker yet and the sea rises higher. But at least PF's propensity to resort to mendacity like a duck to water makes him that bit easier to read and, to such a degree, perhaps a trifle less dangerous.
Just imagine the trouble we shall be in if his successor is in the same mould, but cleverer.