The following exchange took place an hour ago, after I posted my blog on Pope Francis.


From Fr Bernard Mulcahy to AB:


Dear Mr Boot,

Since I enjoy and admire your work I am sorry to have to tell you

that the quotation attributed to Pope Francis (“Jesus Christ, Mohammed,

Jehovah, Allah. These are all names employed to describe an entity that is

distinctly the same across the world,” etc.) appears to be from the satire

website “National Report”. As a Catholic priest and theologian I would be

more sorry, however, if the Pope had actually said something heretical! (It

would mean I’d have to go become Orthodox, I suppose.)


Fr Bernard Mulcahy


From AB to Fr Bernard Mulcahy:


Dear Fr Bernard,

I feel like an idiot, to have been taken in. My only consolation is that I’m not the only one: several of my friends, some of them priests, sent me the link to the website, asking me to comment. Neither they nor, regrettably, I realised it was a spoof. The reason we swallowed it though is that, alas, the story is believable. Pope Francis has said many things along similar lines, such as those real-life statements quoted in the same article. That, plus Pope Benedict’s recent statement on the impending death of Christianity, followed by its rebirth, made me susceptible to the clever sleight of hand.

Thank you for putting me right – and also for your kind words about my work.

All best wishes,

Alexander Boot


From Fr Bernard Mulcahy to AB:


I agree that it is (almost) believable. I suspected it was a fraud because I believe the Holy Spirit prevents things this awful!


From AB to my other readers who pointed out that the story was a spoof, however believable:

See above – and thank you.





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