Damian Thompson

Holy Trail

The Catholics: The Church and Its People in Britain and Ireland, from the Reformation to the Present Day


Chatto & Windus 626pp £25 order from our bookshop

In one of the snarling outbursts that are becoming a worrying feature of his pontificate, Pope Francis recently likened the media’s fixation with public scandals to ‘coprophagia’ – that is, the habit of eating faeces. The Pope’s champions had a hard time explaining that one. The best they could come up with was the suggestion that references to excremental fetishes are a well-loved feature of Buenos Aires demotic – news to most Argentinians, I suspect.

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