Saturday, June 8, 2013

Humor from Fr. Fortescue

Fr. Adrian Fortescue had a wicked, acerbic sense of humor that really showed whenever something, usually some centralizing move on Rome's part, infuriated him. Still, he remained a loyal and devout servant of the Church whilst he vented privately. Because Fr. Fortescue needed a laugh, and we need one today, he wrote lines such as the following:
"[The nuns] have given me a picture of a gentleman whom I recognize as that illustrious prelate the present incumbent of the Roman bishoprick: I am informed that if I look at it with the proper spirit it will give me the pontifical blessing—a striking sight which I am naturally anxious to enjoy. Hitherto I have not succeeded in convincing it of my spiritual propriety. I have told it all the things I think it would like to hear, that I am dead nuts on Encyclicals, that ubi Petrus ibi is the whole show, that Roma locuta est (she never stops) nulla salus est (I hope I haven't gotten this mixed); I have even said polite things about its... predecessors of the X & XVth centuries; alas in vain! It hasn't once burst into Sit nome Domini benedittumme."—letter of September 20, 1902, St. Edmund College Archive

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