Sunday, December 16, 2007

Style Guru?

I was intrigued by this little story I found on the BBC website:

Franco Zeffirelli, the Italian film, stage and opera director,
has said Pope Benedict XVI needs a makeover of his "cold" image and "showy" clothes.
Zeffirelli told La Stampa newspaper that the Pope communicated in a cold way that was little suited to what was happening around him.
These are not times for high tailoring in papal vestments, he said.
He contrasted the relaxed attitude of the late Pope John Paul II to his official attire with that of Benedict.

I just wonder quite what Senor Zefferelli might bring with him. I would hope that it is not a preference for style over substance. Perhaps the truth of the matter lies in the second part of the story that Zefferelli is to help Vatican officials combat the growing secularism and downright atheism within contemporary cinema.


Anonymous said...

do you have any info/photos of what the pope wore today. i'm interested to find out if wore that infamous very pink chausible again, which incidently i quite liked, after much humming and ha-ing!

Anagnostis said...

Zeffirelli has always struck me as a bit of a kitsch-merchant and an old woman. I'm not surprised he's keener on showmanship than leadership.

Anonymous said...

As a film maker, Zeffirelli is concerned with fantasy. As Pope, the Vicar of Christ and successor of St Peter, the Holy Father is concerned with Truth. I trust he will ignore this nonsensical advice, and continue his urgent mission to save the Church from the ephemeral and superficial - not to speak of banality and ugliness - which has done so much damage over the last 40 years.

Anonymous said...

why in this culutre of "tolerance" is everyone so intolerant of the Pontiff and the Catholic Church - i find it thoroughly amusing and bemusing simultaneously that people try to compare one person with another - we can never be another person for we are the person God since eternity called us to be - so get off the pope's back mr producer!

oremus pro invicem pater raymundus!

Anonymous said...

I give this article about a .001% chance of being accurate- it is ridiculous.

Someone in the Vatican brought in Zefferelli under certain pretenses, then possibly talked to the Pope about consulting him for some very limited purpos, now he is talking to the media, and... wah lah!
1) The Pope has an image consultant!
2) Not only does he admit that he has the very bad image that the media has been trying desperately to create for him since day one- but...
3) He also admits that the Pontiff is just another public person in the celebrity marketplace that needs to follow the advice of professional image experts!

So much for the Holy Spirit attracting us to Christ's Vicar, we just need a few more smiles, a joke here and there, and perhaps a shot or two of the Pope kicking a scoccer ball about in some blue jeans. Papa, would you be interested in ditching your cat for a puppy?

What a strange world that one could even imagine announcing to the public that you are planning to get an image make-over so that the very public you are addressing will think that you are differnt and like you better. Are you announcing to them that they are stupid or shallow? Only one who who has spent his entire life in politics or film could say this without irony.

Is there anything less plausible then Benedict- former Cardinal Ratzinger- after all his words, actions, and work- would bring in an image consultant who thinks the Pope needs to go more "solidarity with everyman casual... more Jeremy-Irons-from-the-Mission, and less Orson-Wells-From-A-Man-For-All-Seasons"?

This talented film-maker is a relic of an age that is blind to the fruit of its own nonsensical tampering. Its problem is that it think that every problem is simply one man-made solution from goinng-away. All would be Catholic, or go to Church, or be nice, or generous, or sensitive, if only we did ________. All problems are of our own making, and most boil down to presentation - marketing.

An image consultant would have cringed at Pentecost, when Peter stepped outside and announced to the Jews that they had just killed the Messiah, and they should repent and accept the Good News. (Oh no, Peter, what have you done? It is going to take years to get past the emotional damage you just inflicted. Couldn't you have started with 'God is Love'?")

Bendict is instituing a reform to undo some of the problems that resulted from the previous generations "solutions." This mostly involves, slowly but surely going back to what was always done before- keeping in mind that fixing a fix has problems of its own. There is no way he is going to fall into this PR trap.

If this were true, it would be an incredible blow to my faith, and I will simply have to stop following the news about the Church altogether.

leutgeb said...

The Pope is 'cold'? The picture on your blog from yesterday of him kissing the sleeping baby tells another story. (The expression on the man in the back ground doesn't say cold to me.)

Also, aren't even more people going to the Wednesday audiences now. Like 30-50 000 every week?

The media have been awful, particularly after Regensburg and when he went to Turkey and what has he done? Carry on being great.

This is just a typical BBC focus on rubbish story.

They can carry on with their nonsense, whilst the rest of us enjoy and learn from him.

Anonymous said...

Judging by some of the reports on Zeffirelli's comments in the press he thinks the Holy Father is too ostentatiously dressed for the times. What rubbish. I can't believe that the Holy Father and those close to him will take the slightest notice of this venture. It is appalling even to consider such a preposterous person giving advice to the Church. As others have said, kitsch is his field.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes. I suppose he'll have the pope back in those officially Marini-approved raffia and burlap chasubles.

Nice to know that the author of Brother Sun Sister Moon is on the job making sure the hippie traditions of the modern Church are carried on.


Anonymous said...

It's rubbish, BTW that the Pope has an "image" or popularity problem.

Unless you count being even more popular than JPII as a problem...

which, come to think of it, the media people probably do.

Anonymous said...

Some of the material on the web suggests that Zeffirelli was behind some of John Paul II's events. Do you suppose he was also behind the dreadful vestments frequently worn at papal functions? It would not surprise me if a combination of sour grapes and vested interest is behind this story. The way he criticizes the 'harm' done by The Passion of the Christ suggests professional envy too.

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