Jacques Hébert 1790

Fuck the Pope

Source: Le Père Duchesne, No 44;
Translated: for marxists.org by Mitchell Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) marxists.org 2004.

The great anger of Père Duchesne against the bishop of Rome, who has just excommunicated all the French and who, with the Cardinals, the Bishops and all the fucking priests, cooked up the plot to slaughter the National Assembly, the Jacobin Club and all good citizens. The nomination of a Patriarch to govern the clergy of France.


Who does he take us for, that bastard of an indulgence seller? Does he think that with his toilet paper – his bulls – his cannons without primers, and all the thunder and idiocies with which he put to sleep or scared our fathers, fuck, does he still believe he leads the French of today? We’re no longer in the time of King Dagobert, and today we’re no longer such dupes as to buy the pardons that priests trafficked in in past centuries, nor to be upset by an interdiction that the bishop of Rome will cast upon the Kingdom. The hell with them; we won’t let ourselves be fooled by those sons-of-bitches of priests. Their confessions, their purgatory, their absolutions, their indulgences are nothing but feed for the foolish. The so-called keys of St. Peter, with which the Pope’s criers once opened the doors to the great salon of the eternal father, now seem to us to be nothing but skeleton keys with which the Latin pontiff wants to pry open our houses and our coffers so as to take what we own.

How does this bastard still have the audacity to use such methods today? It’s said that he has responded to all the mitred Ravaillacs who fired him up against the French nation and he issued a brief of excommunication against us. O lord, what is going to become of us? In order to make a greater impression on people’s spirits, it’s during the fortnight of Easter that the lightning bolts are going to be thrown at us; all the croziered – and to-be-clubbed – priests must, during this holy time, make a last effort to overthrow the constitution. At the head of the devoted, escorted by knights of the dagger, the fuckers are going to lay siege in groups to the house of every deputy to the National Assembly, and those of all the members of the Society of the Friends of the Constitution and kill them during the night, and then fall upon the guards of the Tuileries and take away the King.

These are the peaceful projects of these sons-of-bitches of priests, and they dare flatter themselves that the French will back them in this abominable enterprise; they think that upon hearing their voices brother will arm himself against brother, son against father, and finally, that for the second time, we’ll give them the abominable joy of a new St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre.

They’ve lied, these rascals, and we’ll know how to handle them. I can reply for the Parisians, fuck, and our pals from the faubourg Saint Antoine are all disposed to fix them. I pity the bastard who will dare assume his pulpit to pronounce the excommunication they threaten us with. He can be sure it’ll be only one small leap from there to the lamppost. And if the sons-of-bitch priests think they’ll do better in the Departments; if they flatter themselves that the same brigands who they armed with daggers in Nimes, Montauban, and Vannes will back up their efforts, then, fuck, 20,000 of us are ready recall them to order.

And so, fuck, all their projects, all their plots will fail miserably, and these bastards of sons-of-bitches would do well to make of necessity a virtue and take the side of the constitution. This is the only choice left to them, and it is in vain that they place their hopes in Capet the Redhead. Despite him, despite the Germans, despite his army of Savoyards, despite his bandits from Spain, we’ll accomplish our task, fuck, and we will maintain the constitution ...

So let the old rascal put away his baubles; let him remain peaceably in his Vatican. Let him feast with all the red donkeys of his fucking college, let him sip the good wines of France and Spain every day with the gluttonous de Bernis, or let him amuse himself with tender young thing, but fuck, let him not trouble his old age by messing in politics.

The bishops we’ll name, fuck, will be worth as much as those of la Guimard[1], and those who will have benefices granted by the people will deserve their confidence more than all those valets of the court, those schemers, those payers of arrérages who won bishoprics and abbeys and who lived off the patrimony of the poor as once was done. But to ward off the blows that those damn low-lives want to deal us, I make the motion to cut off the living of those conspirators, and to take from them the pensions that the nation still accords them, and that we name a patriarch for France, and that the most virtuous of prelates be chosen for that eminent post, and fuck the court of Rome, its cardinals, its bishops, its abbots, its indulgences, its pardons and the Pope himself.

1. The traffic that dancer carried out in benefices while the bishop of Orleans was among her pursuers is well known. A doctor who, as a price for the exactitude and dexterity with which he rubbed that beauty down during her frequent indispositions asked her to accord him a post. Become a priest, Guimard answered him, I don’t know how to read – what difference is it...But don’t you know that between my legs I have a page of benefices. He became a priest had had a priory worth 20,000 livres.