The Woes of Pope Frances
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Illustration by Kazimierz Wiśniak
Art + Stories, Fiction

The Woes of Pope Frances

An Alternative Papal History
Adam Węgłowski
Reading
time 4 minutes

We all know the rule from time immemorial that the Church may only be led by a woman. The first Holy Mother was Mary Magdalene, Jesus’ apprentice, whom he elevated above the 12 apostles, as it was she to whom he appeared first after his resurrection. During the following centuries, by the time of Pope Helen, mother of Constantine the Great, the idea that men are generally not suited for higher Church offices became a widespread dogma.

Since then, many notable Holy Mothers have sat on Saint Magdalene’s throne. Let us mention Monica (first to marry after being elected Pope), Joan (first to have a child during pontificate) and Brigid (first non-Mediterranean Pope, who came from Ireland). Men have, however, tried to undermine the

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Planet of the Birds
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Illustration by Daniel Mróz. From the “Przekrój” archives (Issue 1594 from 1975)
Nature, World + People

Planet of the Birds

An Alternative Avian History
Adam Węgłowski

Ćwirek (Chirp) is an ordinary, grey representative of the cawmentariat, employed on a contract scribbled out by a chicken’s claw. He has no chicks, or any prospects of having them. Let’s make a discreet visit to his hollow tree.

In his first step, the Raven carved out the mountains and the lowlands. He fenced off the clouds, the granite peaks and the trenches of the sea. He swept the heat away from the ice floes. He ordered the clumsy creatures to come out: crocodiles, gorillas and crabs. And at dusk he cawed: “Let us crown creation with the kraptak, a caricature of the Raven! Kraptak! Spread through the forests! Clear the hornbeams and Carpathian spruces! Tease and embarrass the kangaroos and the aurochs! But kraptak,” the Raven cawed even more huskily, “I command you not to fly around the Mountain, where I reign. Yet kraptak headed toward the Mountain and the Raven thrashed him with thunder, knocked him to the ground, smote him with catastrophe…”

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