News of the Papal Election Reaches Downton Abbey

LORD GRANTHAM: I’ve called you all together, family and servants, because I have just been handed a telegram by Carson. It seems there has been a papal election, and a Jesuit has been chosen.

DAISY: Ooh! I ‘ope it’s Father James Martin. ‘E’s such a nice smile!

Advertisement

MRS. PATMORE: Hush, Daisy. And listen.

LORD GRANTHAM: No, not Father Martin. It’s a South American Jesuit, from Buenos Aires.

COUNTESS GRANTHAM: Well, I had hoped it would be an American, but I was thinking, perhaps, Cardinal Dolan. He has such a "can-do attitude." That’s what those Catholics need now.

LORD GRANTHAM: The new pope has taken the name Francis, though in Argentina, he’s being called "Papa Pancho."

MRS. PATMORE: I knew an Italian baker once, named Francesco. Made wine on the side.

DOWAGER DUCHESS: A Jesuit from Buenos Aires? Pope Francis? Papa Pancho? What’s next? A royal prince dancing naked in Las Vegas?

MRS. ISOBEL CRAWLEY: I’m afraid, it’s been done before.

LORD GRANTHAM: They say that his preferred mode of transport is the autobus. That his Vatican car is now a Volkswagen.

TOM BRANSON: And right gladly would I drive ‘im, if I were still a chauffeur. That’s social justice, it is.

DOWAGER DUCHESS: Takes the bus? Rides in a Volkswagen? Heavens! What’s next? A mule?

MRS. ISOBEL CRAWLEY: I’m afraid, it’s been done before.

LORD GRANTHAM: And he appeared on the papal loggia wearing a simple white cassock and a plain pectoral cross. Evidently he’s eschewed the Prada shoes and gold cross.

O’BRIEN: Fine thing, unless you happen to sew for Prada. But who looks after the artisans?

THOMAS: The old Pope dressed so fine. That red Mozzetta on his shoulders, with a bit of ermine. And that Camauro cap when it was a nipper in Rome. Now there’s a gentlemen I could be a proper valet for.

O’BRIEN: Indeed, Thomas. Well, I believe the position is open if you care to inquire.

LORD GRANTHAM: I’ve just been handed another telegram by Carson. It’s from Pope Francis. It seems that, in the absence of a male heir, he is suggesting that Downton revert to its previous owners.

DOWAGER DUCHESS: Revert to its previous owners? My dear, Downton has been in the Crawley Family since his Royal Highness King Henry VIII bestowed it on the first Lord Grantham.

LORD GRANTHAM: That’s just it, Mother. As a question of justice, Pope Francis is suggesting we give it back to the Benedictines. That is, of course, why it’s called Downton Abbey.

DOWAGER DUCHESS: Heavens! Jesuits! Argentina! Busses! Give Downton back to the Benedictines? And what will we do then? Pray and brew beer? Walk on water?

MRS. ISOBEL CRAWLEY: I’m afraid it’s been done before.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Mister Heche
5 years 2 months ago
To read the text of Pope Francis' address during his first meeting with the news media, click on the link. It is good stuff! http://allhands-ondeck.blogspot.com/2013/03/pope-francis-meeting-with-journalists.html

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

 Pope Francis arrives in procession to celebrate Mass marking the feast of Pentecost in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican May 20. The pope at his "Regina Coeli" announced that he will create 14 new cardinals June 29. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Eleven of the new cardinals are under the age of 80 and so have the right to vote in the next conclave.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 20, 2018
Images: AP, Wikimedia Commons
Bishop Curry described Teilhard as “one of the great minds, great spirits of the 20th century.”
Angelo Jesus CantaMay 19, 2018
Both men were close to each other in life, and both are much revered by Pope Francis.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 19, 2018
The Gaza Nakba demonstrations this week have done nothing to advance the situation of Palestinian refugees, nor did they provide relief to the people of Gaza, who dwell in an open-air prison, hemmed in and oppressed at every turn.