Damian Thompson Damian Thompson

The Pope’s bizarre rant about eating faeces makes me wonder if he should retire

Have you read what the Pope has just said about being sexually turned on by eating faeces? He wasn’t talking about himself, let me quickly add: just human beings in general. They make him sound more like a desperately tasteless stand-up comedian than the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church.

I think the media have to be very clear, very transparent, and not fall into – no offence intended – the sickness of coprophilia, that is, always wanting to cover scandals, covering nasty things, even if they are true. And since people have a tendency towards the sickness of coprophagia, a lot of damage can be done.

‘No offence intended.’ That’s a nice touch, just before the successor of St Peter tells humanity that they have a tendency to ‘coprophagia’ – that is, a sexual fetish for eating actual shit. (It’s not the first time he’s used this revolting image, by the way: he did so a year before being elected Pope.)

The context to these edifying refections is the debate about the spread of disinformation or ‘fake news’ by propaganda outlets. But Francis doesn’t seem to be making any distinction between the deliberately concocted fantasies circulating on Facebook or Russia Today and news stories he considers ‘slanderous’, by which I suspect he means reports that criticise him.

Such as the following, for example. Here’s Rod Dreher of the American Conservative on what he calls ‘Poop Talk With Pope Francis’:

The Vicar of Christ, ladies and gentlemen.

I know I’m the sort of person Francis would call ‘rigid’, but I think we could all stand a bit more rigidity from this guy. Whoever thought they would live to see the day when the Roman pontiff gave an interview in which he raised the subject eating poo for sexual pleasure?

Dreher refers to the ‘in-no-way-like-Donald-Trump Pope Francis’.

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