Breda O’Brien: Sometimes I Have Impure Thoughts About Pope Francis

Breda O’Brien: Sometimes I Have Impure Thoughts About Pope Francis

Some images linger in the mind, long after the moment has passed.

A pope walks slowly, stylishly onto a balcony in front of a rain-slicked St Peter’s Square, as darkness falls. And once again, I am transported!

A familiar shiver of recognition at the still unbelievably potent pull of that old taboo.

Dressed head to toe in white, he is my Valentino, my Clooney, my Daniel O’Donnell.

We must both be strong, I will tell myself, should his holiness and I ever meet.

Because even now, were I to allow myself imagine genuflecting before him, instead of chicken hotpot, this family would be having beans on toast for tea.

Moist and steamy, Holy Father, like the humble sinner you would see kneeling in front of you…