|Our Welsh Shepherd (wearing an old Cardiff City scarf).|
As Cardiff City fans have long known, the Pope is a Cardiff fan (they have long sung a song about Swansea fans going to the Vatican and being told, in no uncertain terms by His Holiness, that "Cardiff we'll support you evermore"), of course the Pope says "we" as he speaks for all the Popes on such vital matters of Faith and Morals.
But -- and hold on to your hat/Biretta here -- there is now ample proof that, as many have suspected, the Pope is in fact Welsh.
I will skip the obvious evidence, such as Welsh and Latin being the languages of heaven, and get down to the nitty gritty (as St Thomas Aquinas was wont to do).
A hobbit-like friend and fellow Cardiff City fan who shall remain nameless (let's just say he's the sort of best man who'd forget a ring), has pointed out that the Pope's Twitter id is @Pontifex. Of course Welsh is well known for its mutations, and to Latinise a Welsh word results in this kind of thing, but the evidence is clear.
The Pope is Pontyfex just as Pontypridd is the place where Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (I won't insult your intelligence by telling you that's the Welsh national anthem) was penned.
Furthermore Pontypridd sprung up around a bridge (the "Ponty" in question) built specifically to take pilgrims to the great pilgrimage site of Penrhys where today pilgrims still gather at the statue of Our Lady of Penrhys. So without the Catholic monks present there, and the place of pilgrimage, the bridge at Pontypridd would not have been built, the town of Pontypridd would not exist, and the Welsh national anthem may well not exist in its current form.
The Pope (Pontyfex) knows this and has chosen his Twitter name to reflect the importance of Catholicism to Welsh history, as well as to give a nod to his own Welsh heritage; also to acknowledge that the Papacy is the bridge which leads the Church militant to the promised land (a bit like Jacob's Ladder).
If you are still in doubt watch this week's Weatherman Walking (still on BBC iplayer) to see him visit two sites - the first, the well known Holywell in north east Wales, a place of Catholic pilgrimage for well over 1000 years. The second was the scant remains of a Chapel dedicated to St Michael the Archangel atop Holy Mountain in South East Wales. The guide (accompanying the 'weatherman' Derek) said this Chapel was in use throughout Medieval times and even after Catholicism was outlawed (by the English) it was still frequented by brave recusant souls.
So the Pope is Welsh, a Cardiff City fan and our country is, in every part, scattered with Holy places just as it was Catholic when the English were still living in Germany and its environs.
Case closed. Do you think Tom Hanks will want to make a film about it?