The Bergoglio Brief

My Dear Wormwood,

As you will be aware it is my practice to send a personal assessment of the past year to all my operatives.

I have to say that since taking up the Bergoglio assignment you have gone from strength to strength. 2016 was a triumph!

Ymmd2577-lour notion of a Year of Mercy has borne fruit in so many ways. Obviously our ultimate aim is  to eradicate the objectionable notion of ‘sin’ itself – a mere adjunct, as it is, of the Enemy’s over-bearing self-esteem. But if that is too steep a hill to climb, we can at least strive to mitigate the problem. And what better way than to smother it with cheap grace? All those people going through all those doors! And all those adulterers (not to mention, as we now must, the adulteresses) feeling vindicated by Papal authority. It was magnificent.

More satisfactory however was the effect on your patient himself. I sense that he has come to see that being Pope requires him to be ‘holier than thou’. And, moreover, requires him to be be thought to be holier than everyone.

Your unfailing diligence has rendered Francis eager to be seen as more pious, more merciful, more compassionate, than even his recently sainted predecessors. That can only be for the good. He is already showing distinct signs of a healthy self-righteousness – witness his recent outburst in his Christmas address to the Curia. You must keep up the good work.

As for the rest of your assignment – though trivial by comparison with the Bergoglio brief –  your ability to turn the tables on the forces of the Enemy (I mean the Four Cardinals) has been remarkable.  That they have come to be seen in many quarters as mean-spirited and vain, is your crowning achievement.

All in all, things could not have gone better.

It remains only for me, as a proud uncle, to wish you a very happy and fruitful New Year. You are a credit to the family.

You friend and mentor,

Screwtape.

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