It is reported that PF thinks his critics hope for his death.
I can honestly say, without any irony, that I have not heard or read of any of of his critics ... I don't deny that he has critics ... wanting him dead. When I do, I will condemn it. On the contrary, given the fact that his predecessor abdicated, I think some of his critics are rather thankful that this makes it possible for them to hope for an end to this pontificate without thereby hoping for PF's death. Personally, knowing within myself what it is like to be aged and ill, I pray that he may be given respite from the pains and anxieties of being old.
Perhaps the Holy Father is confused by memories of the time around his own election. Readers will remember that some very unsavoury emails were published, showing the then Tablet Correspondent, Bobby Mickens, and one of his chums, delightedly relishing the prospect of what they termed "the Rat's Funeral".
Even Mickens appears to have forgotten this episode. In supplying journalists with statesmanlike quotations about people who, he claims, are planning for After This Pontificate, Bobby fails to explain the circumstances which led to his own sacking from the Tablet for his unprofessional nastiness with regard to Benedict XVI.
An account of it would have contextualised the present reports, surely?
But enough of this sad business. Here is something much jollier from within our own Anglican Patrimony.
There is an anecdote concerning an Anglican priest who, during the last century, prayed publicly that the Almighty would grant the greatest privilege of His grace, the blessed Crown of Martyrdom, to the (then) Archbishop of Canterbury.
Can anybody put any details onto this story? It may be from around the time when Geoffrey Fisher was persecuting the Tridentine Rite.