Monday, June 04, 2012

Now is the time to gather with Peter

Vatileaks has one purpose, it is to damage the Pope, to destroy his effectiveness, to sew mistrust in his judgement, to isolate him, to cause him personal distress.
I can't help but compare the present situation with the rumours that surrounded the death of Pope John Paul I, where apparently Vatican officials overwhelmed him with work. With the revelations that have emerged over this weekend, a similar pattern is emerging, where the only "leak proof" means of working seems to be face to face communication which will place enormous pressure on the Pope.


Anonymous said...

Napoleon Bonaparte once said to a cardinal “Are you not aware that I have the power to destroy the Catholic Church?” The cardinal replied “The Catholic clergy have done our best to destroy the Church for the last 1,800 years. We have not succeeded, and neither will you.”

Fr Ray Blake said...

Yes, Cardinal Consalvi: but this is an attempt to destroy the Pope rather than the Church.

Paddy said...

the way to deal with something like this would be to: delegate & screen.

The Pope should delegate as much as he can to trustworthy, competent men (& surely there must be some);
these would have to power to deal with most matters, & only bring to the Holy Father the most essential of issues. Even then, they should co-ordinate their efforts to ensure that his work load does not become too severe.

And it should go without saying that everyone in Vatican should be on a need-to-know-basis ...

FrBT said...

Fr Ray

During the last weeks of life of Blessed John Paul II, I can state unequivocally, that His Holiness was protected and there was no adverse influences that reached him.

When he could not speak because his vocal cords siezed up, he chose carefully who was to say what, indicating by fingers.

The rumours are untrue which you refer to.

There were some voices who raised concerns that Cardinal Dziwisz was in control too much, but as you can see the Holy Father needs some trusted person who can make certain decisions.


GOR said...

As more details of the ‘Vatileaks’ imbroglio emerge, I am struck by the phrase (albeit grammatically incorrect) coined by former Speaker of the US House of Representatives Tip O’Neill some years ago: “All politics is local”. Others have stated that the current issue roiling the Vatican – and Italy in general – is a uniquely ‘Italian Story’ with overtones of power broking, covert operations, intrigue in high places, spying and backroom deals. Even the Holy Father is reported to have made some comments about this being “an affair for Italians…”

Vatican intrigue has been a fruitful subject for writers of fiction for a long time (think: Morris West’s “The Shoes of the Fisherman” inter alia…), born out of events of the past and the less than stellar – in religious terms – performance of various incumbents of the Throne of Peter in times past. One has only to mention the Borgias or a Machiavelli to set the scene and conjure up images of nepotism, worldly power, conspiracy, greed and ambition.

While the Vatican States are long gone and Vatican City remains one of the smallest - if not the smallest - sovereign independent states in the world, in Italy the Church and local politics are inextricably bound. The practice of the Faith may have declined and churches may be almost empty on Sundays, but the ordinary Italian still has pride in Rome being the center of Catholicism and a force to be reckoned with in political terms - if not in the conduct of daily life.

While the Holy Father, with a Teutonic bent towards orderliness and precision, might have looked askance at the muddle that is often Italian life, he has lived the Italian and Roman scene for many years and has regard for some of its aspects. When asked if he would have preferred a center of Catholicism, based in the orderliness of his native Germany, to the Roman model, he expressed horror. “It would be a disaster!” he replied.

He went on to praise the Italian bent of letting things develop, of not acting hastily (or at all…) – the “lascia fare!” one often encounters in Italy - which can be so frustrating to foreigners. That Mussolini’s most-remembered accomplishment is that “he made the trains run on time...” is an indication of what one should expect in Italy.

The ‘corvi’ (usually translated as ‘crows’ – but a more apt translation would be ‘ravens’ - which are known for appropriating what does not belong to them…) aver that they want to protect the Pope from the ‘faithless servants’ surrounding him. The Holy Father would disagree that his closest collaborators are ‘agin him’ and has stated as much.

So, what does that leave? As typical of Italian life, politics and religion intertwine. The ménage includes names like: Sodano, Don Verzé, Bagnasco, Il Toniolo, Boffo, IOR (the Vatican ‘Bank’), Gotto Tedeschi, Vian, Viganó, Scola and - last but not least - il Cavaliere himself: Silvio Berlusconi.

The Dan Browns of the future should have a field day with this… Regardless, the Holy Father is still in charge, has the Holy Spirit to guide him and yes, we should keep him in our prayers. Upon election he worried about having the strength to see off the wolves attacking the Church. Now it is the ‘corvi’ – the ravens. Maybe he needs a good cat in the Apostolic Palace!

Fr Ray Blake said...

I was referring to JP the first, not II.

Woody said...

Well, please allow an unwashed Texian like me to say a couple of simple things:

1. Knowing his age, past health issues and the like, I would guess the ravens want to put unbearable pressure on the Holy Father so as to hasten his repose. This is utterly scandalous.

2. What are those people in the Curia thinking? The effect of all this will be that no one who takes any interest in these things will have any confidence in any of them, or their pronouncements. Why should anyone give heed to any curial pronouncement, however purportedly exalted, when we see what a nest of vipers the curia is? Oh, of course, there will always be the pious women...

3. As our Orthodox friends would say, we are paying the price for a (legalistic) system arranged to fit Frankish needs.

John Nolan said...

We've only got to look at national bishops' conferences. Why should the Curia behave any better?

Supertradmum said...

In December, this good Pope said the enemy was within--his own words. Did he realize how "in"? Time for us to become even stronger supporters of the Papacy. God bless him and all workers in the Vatican.

FrBT said...


Sorry, my mistake. The old eyesight is not what it used to be, even with glasses.



Anonymous said...


Our orthodox friends are less than frank - excuse the pun - about the reality of the ecumenical patriarchate under the thumb of the Byzantine emperors. The current curial shenanigans are child's play.

+ Wolsey

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