It was rumoured that, immediately after his election to the Roman Bishopric, Jorge Bergoglio said to his Caeremoniarius, who had offered him the garment indicating his new status as Servus servorum Dei, "The Carnival is over, Monsignor; wear it yourself". This was subsequently denied ... conclusively, I was very relieved and happy to assume. Back in those days, we had fewer data to go on with regard to how very nasty this man can be.
But now Monsignor Basil Loftus (in the article from which I have derived so much recent enlightenment) has, with that deft and subtle sophistication which is his hallmark, alluded to this story. And the Monsignor is a pretty extreme Bergoglianist, not to say a hyperultraueberpapalist.
So is the story, after all, true? Or is the Monsignor being even more Bergoglian than Bergoglio, and hinting that he would have liked the anecdote to be true?
Sometimes, of course, ben trovato fabrications are indeed truer than Clio, a distinctly unpermissive lady, would in her rather pedantically preserved virginity prefer to concede. I once had an academic colleague of whom it was said among our fellows that he had been Head Boy of ******* [a very minor English Public School]. This was not factually true but it was ... er ... truly true.
It told you more about him than any mere facts could convey.
I think we will leave Fr Basil at this point. Indeed, I do in fact agree with one argument he proposes: to the effect that the Episcopal Conferences in the Three Kingdoms should be open about what goes on in their meetings, just as the USA Conference is. And, when all is said and done, he is a brother priest whose ministry I pray will be ever fruitful, just as I hope and pray to be clear-sighted about the many shortcomings of my own.