Papal Reign, Papal Reign

While listening again to the recorded lectures from Scott Powell's European history course on the way into work this morning, I heard something that made me burst into song and then into laughter.

In 1294, during a period of crisis in the papacy, Pope Boniface VIII came to power after the abdication of Celestine V. He later had Celestine imprisoned, and began clashing with the very powerful king of France, Phillip IV.

So where is the funny in all of this? Scott said, as he was describing this,
His actions cast a cloud over his papal reign.
Of course, at this, I started singing
I never meant to cause you any sorrow
I never meant to cause you any pain
I only wanted to one time see you laughing
I only wanted to see you laughing in the papal reign

Papal reign papal reign
Papal reign papal reign
Papal reign papal reign
Talk of popes always puts me on the edge of laughter anyway because it is such an absurd institution. And for those playing at home, Phillip IV eventually had Boniface kidnapped, then installed his own pope who up and moved the papal seat to Avignon in France. (Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape, anyone? It's delicious.) And later there were antipopes and anti-antipopes. Hilarious. Do you think if you got the pope and antipope together in the same room, the universe would collapse in on itself?

Well in advance of Christmas, a special collector's edition of the movie is being made available. Here is the promo of the DVD cover:


The Rat Cap said...

First, this is on my short list for post of the year! Hilarious.

Second, in answer to your question, I would say that since Pope's can neither be created nor destroyed, they would simply transform to pure energy except their giant white hats would not be affected due to the "giant white hat invariance" principle.

C. August said...


And I completely neglected to account for the GWHIP in my calculations. Thanks for the correction.

Richard said...

The post and comments are both hilarious!

C. August said...

I just updated the post with a little photoshoppery...

Tom said...

LMAO, this is hilarious

PS - I'm reading "Hamilton's Curse" now about the constitutional convention and Hamilton's activities to subvert liberty in favor of a tyrannical government working for the interests of bankers in NYC. I'll post a book review of it on my blog with some commentary about how we went from freedom (1776) to Fascism (1789) because of the Federalists.

susan dawn wake said...

Thanks. With all the depressing stuff to think/debate about right now (like the accelerating ways the government is managing to ruin our lives), I needed a good laugh. The GWHIP especially.

Jenn Casey said...


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