on “Pope Francis’ Plans will ‘destroy’ contemplative life: Franciscan friar”

Here’s a question: What’s it to the pope
how cloistered nuns hear Mass? Is there no hope,
for those who love the Church’s ancient rite?—
it disagrees so with the man in white.
His attitude reminds us of a bloke
whose wishes roared like thunder when he spoke.
Ignoring sentiment and protocol
within the Church, he had the utter gall
to pull out, then declare himself its boss—
in England, anyway. And not a toss
did he give for those keeping to the faith
of old. To them he was an awful wraith.
The grim details we leave to history books.
But we must say, it definitely looks
as if Bergoglio, in unbridled wrath,
Is launched now on a comparable warpath.
Who’s sure that monasteries will not close,
communities soon be dispersed? Who knows
the means a man so driven might embrace
to put his vision for the Church in place?
His thoughts betray a certain disposition
that might remind some of the Inquisition.
“Those pesky nuns … well, if they want to pray,
by God, they’re going to pray the way I say!”
__“I’m not Christ’s Vicar,” famously he’s said.
__It seems he is his own vicar instead.



Julian D. Woodruff, who contributes poetry frequently to the Society of Classical Poets, writes poetry and short fiction for children and adults. He recently finished 2020-2021, a poetry collection. A selection of his work can be read at Parody Poetry, Lighten Up Online, Carmina Magazine, and Reedsy.

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11 Responses

  1. Margaret Coats

    Julian, these are beautifully written, satiric but serious heroic couplets. You picture a great deal of ominous threat working out from the comparison to Henry VIII. And you rightly focus on Traditional nuns, some of the most devout and most vulnerable faithful in the Church. Thanks for bringing my attention to the article linked in the poem’s epigraph.

    I’d like to offer another perspective on the concluding “I’m not Christ’s Vicar.” Less than two weeks ago, I attended a private lecture by a man who has investigated Church corruption for years. He says that as bad as Bergoglio may look, he is a mere puppet. I share your opinion that the false pope has a personal vendetta against every form of Catholic tradition. But he seems not to be serving himself alone.

    • Julian D. Woodruff

      Thank you, Margaret. Of course you’re right about Pope B’o–which makes my last line misleading, to say the least. But I’m not aware of any evidence that on his own he’d have done anything differently.

  2. Peter Hartley

    Julian – a very succinct and well-delivered description of the malaise in the Roman Catholic Church today, your comparison of the “Pope” and his machinations with Henry VIII and the dissolution of the monasteries being cleverly drawn and irresistible.

  3. Julian D. Woodruff

    Thank you, Peter. The comparison seems inevitable. What else might His [title of your choice] be trying to accomplish?

  4. Joseph S. Salemi

    It’s easy for anyone who carefully examines the words and deeds of this disgusting Antipope (Jorge Bergoglio) to divine his true motive. Bergoglio attacks only those elements of Catholicism that have remained true to the Church’s doctrines, traditions, practices, liturgy, and piety. His hatred for all the contemplative orders is blatant and unforgiving. His contempt for the Tridentine Mass is visceral. He’s not just ignorant of theology, but proud of his ignorance. (Anyone who thinks that the Catholic and the Lutheran concepts of justification are “the same” is a theological moron.)

    Sure, the man is a mere puppet — he’s controlled by the vast network of the Conciliar Church that developed in the wake of the Vatican 2 latrocinium. This network includes much of the hierarchy, most of the lay diocesan administration, a very large chunk of the priesthood, and nearly all of the faculty of our so-called “Catholic” universities. Jorge Bergoglio is “their Pope,” and he works to keep them happy.

    • Julian D. Woodruff

      Glad you liked it, jd. There’s often interesting conversation here around the topics I pick to write on.

  5. Margaret Coats

    Just sang for a Traditional Latin Nuptial Mass. Ushers gave out a welcome note from the couple (whom I had never met) to arriving friends and family. “We are thrilled and honored that you are here to witness our very traditional wedding in a very modern world. Your support is invaluable! We started attending Latin Mass in spring 2020 amid government shutdown of churches. We saw several family members risk imprisonment by attending Holy Mass underground on Easter Sunday. This testament of faith got us thinking, and led us to discover the true meaning of Catholicism. We had both fallen away from the Novus Ordo (post-1962 Catholic Mass). We had no theological context for the Latin Mass, but after some research into its rich history and tradition, we fell in love with it. Don’t worry if you are unsure about when to sit, stand, or kneel. We and the altar servers will cue you. Please embrace these moments for silent prayer and reflection. Enjoy the sound of one of the languages of the Cross–one that is beautiful and unchanging.” These young persons (practicing secularists a year and a half ago) seem unlikely to heed Bo’s “pray the way I say.”

  6. C.B. Anderson

    You got teeth, man. I’m glad it’s not I whose ass you are chewing out.

  7. David Watt

    Julian, you posed a question and provided a skillfully convincing answer.
    The assault on tradition in the Catholic church is mirrored in a general war against tradition these days. Thanks for writing this timely piece.

  8. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Julian, this stark, in-your-face comparison sums up exactly what is going on in the church today. Many of those donning the dog-collar and the demeanor of Christ are putting their vision above Thee vision in the church today. Is it their vision, or the vision paid for by those who are seeking to destroy Christianity? Your wonderful poem lays bare the problems we face in our churches today… many appear to be part of the problem and not the solution. “Social” justice, rather than God’s justice reigns. Your poem is an eye-opening privilege to read. Thank you!


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