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Pope Benedict XVI Ratzinger given Catholic Head Job


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#301 Davey Jones' Locker

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 10:35 PM

This won't kill him but we haven't had any health news on the old boy for a while so interesting to read:


Pope 'suffering degenerative joint disease’

The Pope is suffering from arthrosis, a degenerative disease of the joints which has made it increasingly difficult for him to walk, according to Vatican insiders.


The condition may explain why Benedict XVI, who is 84, recently took to being wheeled down the central aisle of St Peter’s Basilica on a mobile platform.


He requested the use of the platform last month for a Mass, with aides pushing him towards the main altar, saving him from having to walk.


The arthrosis has affected his knees, hips and ankles, according to Andrea Tornielli, an Italian journalist with La Stampa newspaper who is considered one of the best connected and most authoritative Vatican observers.


The revelation will raise concerns about the Pope’s state of health as he prepares to make a three-day trip next week to Benin in West Africa – his second visit to Africa during his six year pontificate.


The Vatican also announced yesterday (thurs) that he is considering a trip to Cuba and Mexico next year.


Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, brushed aside the reports of arthrosis, saying that for his age the Pope was in generally good health.

“He is currently studying the possibility of going to Mexico and Cuba in the Spring, which I think is rather more important,” he told The Daily Telegraph. “His state of health is fine and he is able to carry out his duties.”

The Pope has said in the past that he would consider stepping down as the spiritual leader of the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics if he became sufficiently incapacitated.

In an official biography released last year, he said: “If a pope clearly realises that he is no longer physically, psychologically, and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office, then he has a right and, under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign.”

The volume, entitled “Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times,” was based on 20 hours of interviews conducted by Peter Seewald, a German journalist and Catholic convert.

The Pope’s health has generally been good since he began the role in 2005, and he has maintained a busy schedule, travelling around the world.

The most serious setback to his health was in 1991, when as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger he suffered a mild stroke which temporarily affected his vision.

Source: http://www.telegraph...nt-disease.html

Also, there are still a few rumours around that he might retire on his birthday next April. If so, he would be the first pope in 700 to do so. No idea if such rumours have any credence.

#302 Eesti

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 04:28 PM

Pope is tired

Edit: wrong topic :(

Edited by Magere Hein, 17 December 2011 - 05:20 PM.
Fixed.

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#303 Davey Jones' Locker

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 03:23 AM

View PostEesti, on 17 December 2011 - 04:28 PM, said:

Pope is tired

Edit: wrong topic :(

Thanks - great find. (Welcome to Deathlist, by the way!) There have been very few articles about this Pope's health with that much detail. I expect we will see more and more of these as the media will scrutinise his health more closely the older and weaker he grows. For those who can't be bothered clicking the link above, here are some key quotes:


"Pope Benedict XVI seems worn out.

People who have spent time with him recently say they found him weaker than they'd ever seen him, seemingly too tired to engage with what they were saying.

He no longer meets individually with visiting bishops. A few weeks ago he started using a moving platform to spare him the long walk down St Peter's Basilica.

Benedict turns 85 in the new year, so a slowdown is only natural. Expected. And given his age and continued rigorous work schedule, it's remarkable he does as much as he does and is in such good health overall: Just this past week he confirmed he would travel to Mexico and Cuba next spring.

But a decline has been noted as Benedict prepares for next weekend's grueling Christmas celebrations, which kick off two weeks of intense public appearances. And that raises questions about the future of the papacy given that Benedict himself has said popes should resign if they can't do the job.

Vatican spokesman the Reverend Federico Lombardi has said no medical condition prompted the decision to use the moving platform in St Peter's, and that it's merely designed to spare the pontiff the fatigue of the 100-metre walk to and from the main altar.

And Benedict rallied during his three-day trip to Benin in west Africa last month, braving temperatures of 32 degrees Celsius and high humidity to deliver a strong message about the future of the Catholic Church in Africa."

[snip]

"Back at home, however, it seems the daily grind of being pope — the audiences with visiting heads of state, the weekly public catechism lessons, the sessions with visiting bishops — has taken its toll. A spark is gone. He doesn't elaborate off-the-cuff much anymore, and some days he just seems wiped out."

[snip]

""Indeed I was struck by what appeared to me as the decline in Benedict's strength and health over the last half year," said Rabbi David Rosen, who had a place of honour next to the pope at the Assisi event as head of interfaith relations at the American Jewish Committee.

"He looks thinner and weaker ... which made the effort he put into the Assisi shindig with the extraordinary degree of personal attention to the attendees (especially the next day in Rome) all the more remarkable," Rosen said in an email.

That Benedict is tired would be a perfectly normal diagnosis for an 84-year-old, even someone with no known health ailments and a still-agile mind. He has acknowledged having suffered a haemorrhagic stroke in 1991 that temporarily affected his vision.

And his older brother, who has a pacemaker for an irregular heartbeat, has expressed concern about Benedict's own heart. "

[snip]

"And he still cuts a robust figure in public given his age, walking briskly, speaking clearly and emphasising key points. But his public engagements have been trimmed back; he had far fewer speeches in Benin than during his September visit to his native Germany or the United Kingdom last fall.

And behind closed doors, during audiences without the glare of TV cameras or throngs of the faithful encouraging him on, he has begun to show his age, acquaintances say.

The Reverend Joseph Fessio, Benedict's US publisher and one time student, sees the pope every so often, including during the summer when Benedict gathers his former theology students for an informal academic seminar at the papal summer retreat in Castel Gandolfo.

Fessio recalled a day in the 2010 edition that remains with him: "In the Saturday morning session, the pope looked older and weaker than I had ever seen him before. In fact I remarked to someone that it's the first time I've seen him look like the old man that he is. He was speaking in softer tones than even his normally soft speaking voice. His head was bowed. He was pale. He just looked frail."

But then, after lunch and an apparent rest, Benedict returned for the afternoon session. "It was a complete transformation. He was lively, vigorous, attentive, and with his usual good humour," Fessio said.

Clearly, at his age Benedict has good days and bad, even good half-days and bad.

Yet he's never called in sick. In fact as pope, he has only had one significant known medical incident: He broke his right wrist when he tripped on the leg of his bed and fell while on vacation in the Alps in 2009."

[snip]

"[Vatican spokesman Lombardi] refused to give any kind of medical updates on the pope.

"I'm not a doctor. I don't give medical bulletins," Lombardi said. He paused, then added quietly: "In this phase. At this moment." "

***

Of course, the other reason this article was published just now is due to the fact that many eyes will be on the Vatican next week. Will be interesting to see how the old boy copes with the Midnight Mass, just the same. Don't know if he is quite ready to go on Deathlist 2012 though. Depends how dramatically he continues to slow down whether he will be on in 2013, I presume.

#304 Davey Jones' Locker

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 03:42 AM

... Of course, it would be interesting if the Pope died at around the same time as a certain British writer and polemicist...

After all, one was an aggressive opponent of true religion, supported a militant, imperialist regime that illegally invaded other countries and committed shocking atrocities, was rumoured to have homosexual leanings, bullied his religious opponents, made provocative statements to the media, lived a flamboyant, hedonistic lifestyle and wrote a number of bestselling books. The other was Christopher Hitchens.







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#305 Magere Hein

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 11:52 AM

View PostDavey Jones' Locker, on 18 December 2011 - 03:23 AM, said:

View PostEesti, on 17 December 2011 - 04:28 PM, said:


Thanks - great find. (Welcome to Deathlist, by the way!) There have been very few articles about this Pope's health with that much detail. I expect we will see more and more of these as the media will scrutinise his health more closely the older and weaker he grows. For those who can't be bothered clicking the link above, here are some key quotes:

Quote

Fessio recalled a day in the 2010 edition that remains with him: "In the Saturday morning session, the pope looked older and weaker than I had ever seen him before. In fact I remarked to someone that it's the first time I've seen him look like the old man that he is. He was speaking in softer tones than even his normally soft speaking voice. His head was bowed. He was pale. He just looked frail."

But then, after lunch and an apparent rest, Benedict returned for the afternoon session. "It was a complete transformation. He was lively, vigorous, attentive, and with his usual good humour," Fessio said.

One wonders what His Holiness had for lunch. Young virgin?

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#306 Davey Jones' Locker

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 10:41 PM

Photo from last week. Not a good angle but he does look fairly crook:

Posted Image

Definitely has aged dramatically in the last few months. Maybe the Committee should think about him for the 2012 list after all. :scratchhead:

#307 Paul Bearer

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 11:21 PM

I reckon he's got a couple of years in him yet*.









* Kiss of death, he'll be dead in a fortnight.
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#308 Davey Jones' Locker

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 01:45 AM

Caught a bit of the Christmas Midnight Mass on the television. He looked surprisingly healthy and had a bright spark in his eyes. Maybe he's not a 2012 contender after all unless we start seeing reports that he was "exhausted" afterwards.

UPDATE: I just learned that the "Midnight" Mass was actually brought forward by two hours so that the Pope wouldn't be too tired... He definitely looked bright and healthy but that is an interesting sign.

UPDATE 2: From the BBC:

"Christmas Eve Mass in Rome was brought forward two hours to 22:00 local time (21:00 GMT) from midnight - in order to spare Benedict a late night.

Wearing cream and gold vestments, the Pope proceeded slowly up the aisle of St Peter's on his mobile platform.

[snip]

Even if he is physically more frail now, his message was firm, the BBC's Alan Johnston in Rome says."

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 05:48 AM

The Christmas Midnight Mass at the Vatican was changed to 22:00 local time (21:00 GMT) from midnight in 2009, so this is not a new indicator of the Pope's health.

#310 Davey Jones' Locker

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 05:15 AM

Thanks Lost in Orbit. Welcome to DeathList.

This is not much of a news story but it is the season to take an interest in the Pope. From trashy gossip site TMZ, it seems Susan Sarandon has been celebrating Christmas by pissing off Herr Pontiff:


"Susan Sarandon referred to Pope Benedict XVI as a Nazi over the weekend – not just once, but twice.

During an interview at the Hamptons Film Festival, Sarandon was talking about sending the pope a copy of the book, “Dead Man Walking,” when she clarified ... “The last one [Pope John Paul II], not this Nazi one we have now.”

When interviewer Bob Balaban expressed disapproval, Sarandon reportedly said the Nazi comment AGAIN -- drawing laughter from the audience.

The Pope's PR people acknowledged that Benedict WAS a member of the Hitler Youth as a boy, a requirement at the time for German boys his age -- but the rep insists he had no "active participation" in the group."

Source: http://www.tmz.com/2...pope-is-a-nazi/

#311 the_engineer

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 05:34 PM

View PostPaul Bearer, on 18 December 2011 - 11:21 PM, said:

I reckon he's got a couple of years in him yet*.









* Kiss of death, he'll be dead in a fortnight.

i also think so he will live for a couple more years , quiet possibly 5 to 10 years.
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#312 Davey Jones' Locker

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 05:14 AM

This press release dates from Jan 1 (missed it at the time):

************


MEXICO CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI will head to the Catholic-rich state of Guanajuato in his first visit to Mexico in March, and skip the country's heavily populated capital.

The Mexican Episcopal Conference says Benedict will arrive on March 23 in the city of Leon where President Felipe Calderon will welcome him.
The organization said in a Sunday statement that Benedict also plans to greet worshippers in the city of Guanajuato.

He will officiate a Mass in the city of Silao beneath a hill where a 67-foot statue of Jesus Christ stands.

The pope will return to Leon to address bishops from Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean before heading to Cuba on March 26.

The Vatican had said Benedict would avoid Mexico City because of its high altitude although it's the country's biggest city.

Source: http://news.yahoo.co...-234316995.html
************

Apparently, this has lent fuel to the fire about the pope's health, given JP2 went to Mexico City at approximately the same age... I wonder if they released that media statement on New Year's Day on purpose so that it would go under most people's radars.

#313 Davey Jones' Locker

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 05:16 AM

Also:

****


Pope ready for successor, names new cardinals in February

Pope Benedict XVI will host a consistory on February 18-19 to name a series of new cardinals who would have the power to elect his successor, religious news agency I.Media reported on Wednesday.

The pope’s official announcement and the list of nominations are expected next month with at least a dozen senior Vatican officials and bishops from around the world slated to join the Catholic Church’s most exclusive club.

Benedict has named a total of 62 cardinals since becoming pope in 2005.

He could name at least 13 new cardinals and still respect the rule of a maximum of 120 cardinals aged under 80. Cardinals who are 80 or more years old by the time of a conclave are not allowed to take part in voting on a new pope.

The pope is 84 and has seemed weary in recent public appearances, making use of a mobile platform to move around Saint Peter’s basilica. But the Vatican says he is not suffering from any illness and is only showing signs of old age.

Source: http://www.vanguardn...ls-in-february/

*****

I think this is the first time the media has openly talked about a successor to this pope...

#314 Windsor

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 02:08 PM

Cardinal Paolo Romeo, the archbishop of Palermo, says the pope will be dead within a year.
The Cardinal seemed so sure of the Pope's demise that it has prompted assassination fears.

According to this article: http://www.telegraph...s-revealed.html
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#315 Red Flag

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 05:07 PM

I'm quite impressed with the way things are panning out so far with some of my longer shots - Ratzinger's on the slide, Chavez will be dead by the end of the year, and talk of Andy Williams nearing the end too. Just hoping Robin Gibb is lying and I could be on for a good score this year
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#316 Davey Jones' Locker

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 06:03 AM

View PostWindsor, on 10 February 2012 - 02:08 PM, said:

Cardinal Paolo Romeo, the archbishop of Palermo, says the pope will be dead within a year.
The Cardinal seemed so sure of the Pope's demise that it has prompted assassination fears.

According to this article: http://www.telegraph...s-revealed.html


Interestingly that article also states that:


"Cardinal Romeo also named Benedict's XVI likely successor as Cardinal Angelo Scola, the archbishop of Milan – meaning the papacy would return to an Italian after the German Benedict and his Polish predecessor, John Paul II.

He allegedly told his contacts in China that Pope Benedict could not stand Tarcisio Bertone, his Secretary of State and the Vatican's second most senior figure, amid reports of bitter power struggles going on within the Holy See.

Experts said the release of the document could be part of a power struggle within the Vatican administration to try and force Bertone to leave.

Cardinal Romeo said Benedict viewed Cardinal Scola as his ideal successor because they had similar personalities and theological outlooks. "

I have heard that Bertone is disliked in the past and is regarded as an imbecile by his peers but Scola has suffered from bouts of severe depression, which could make for a very interesting papacy (especially for Death List) if he got the top job and all the stress associated with it.

By the way, I don't have a news article or any photos unfortunately, but I read over on another blog a few weeks ago some bloke claiming he saw footage of a somewhat unshaven Pope Benedict. He speculated that this may be due to the Pope being on blood-thinning medication (apparently shaving is discouraged if you are taking this.)

#317 millwall32

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 12:03 AM

I'll say one thing for Cardinal Romeo, he evidently isn't overly concerned with his career prospects.
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#318 Davey Jones' Locker

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 04:28 AM

View PostWindsor, on 10 February 2012 - 02:08 PM, said:

Cardinal Paolo Romeo, the archbishop of Palermo, says the pope will be dead within a year.
The Cardinal seemed so sure of the Pope's demise that it has prompted assassination fears.

According to this article: http://www.telegraph...s-revealed.html

Some more details are coming to light about the recent fun and games in downtown Vatican City:


VATICAN CITY — Money laundering at the Vatican bank. Corruption in the awarding of Vatican contracts. Even a purported plot to kill Pope Benedict XVI.

The Vatican is being besieged by near-daily leaks of confidential documents and tabloid-style reports of alleged financial mismanagement, political infighting and gossip about who might be the next pope — all coming out at an exceedingly delicate time for the Holy See and Benedict himself.

The frescoed halls of the Apostolic Palace have been buzzing about the leaks, which have emerged as the pontiff prepares for the ceremony next week to crown 22 new cardinals — the princes of the church who will elect his successor.

Such ceremonies always breed unseemly speculation about a future pontiff since they provide a rare chance for cardinals new and old to size one another up. But the Feb. 18 consistory has taken on greater gravitas since the 84-year-old Benedict is showing signs of slowing down.

Conspiracy theorists reading the Italian media of late might also point to another looming date as reason for why the Vatican’s dirty laundry is being aired now: In June, a European commission will decide whether the Holy See has abided by tough international anti-money laundering and anti-terror finance laws.

[snip]

Veteran Vatican correspondent Andrea Tornielli said the reports showed a clear power struggle is under way inside the Vatican, “the outcome of which is uncertain yet devastating,” concerning both the fate of the pope’s deputy, Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, and any future conclave to elect the next pope.

Another Vatican commentator who has been highly critical of Bertone’s leadership, Sandro Magister, put it this way in a recent column: “The secretary of state is increasingly alone, in a curia he does not govern and with a pope he does not help.”

The question that has yet to be answered is why the reports are coming out now, and whether they are more related to internal power struggles over Bertone’s leadership or external tensions between the Bank of Italy and Italian prosecutors on the one hand, and the IOR on the other. As the financial institution of a sovereign city state, the Vatican’s IOR is outside the Italian central bank’s regulatory grasp.

Some of the leaked documents have carried the processing stamp of the Vatican secretariat of state, implying an internal leak. Other reports have been based on information from Rome judicial authorities. Regardless, however, none of them appear to be so grave as to cause significant harm to the Holy See, particularly given that the Vatican has taken a remarkable steps in the past year to be more transparent in its financial dealings and cooperative with international requests for financial data.

The media campaign kicked off last month with the publication on television news program “The Untouchables” of leaked letters from the former No. 2 in the Vatican city state administration, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, to Benedict and Bertone in 2011. In one, Vigano begged not to be transferred after exposing what he said was corruption in the awarding of Vatican contracts.

Vigano was subsequently named the Vatican’s ambassador to Washington — a high-ranking post that was perhaps better suited to his diplomatic background but that nevertheless sealed the impression that he had been punished for stepping on too many toes in his cost-cutting efforts.

Calvi headed the Banco Ambrosiano, which collapsed in 1982 after the disappearance of $1.3 billion in loans made to dummy companies in Latin America. The Vatican had provided letters of credit for the loans.

Calvi was found hanging a short time later, his pockets loaded with bricks and cash. After an initial ruling of suicide, murder charges were filed against five people, including a major Mafia figure, but all were acquitted.


While denying wrongdoing, the Vatican Bank paid $250 million to Ambrosiano’s creditors.

The case remains unresolved, but Tescaroli has recently revived judicial requests to the Vatican for information about it — information the Vatican insists it has provided..

[... and so on and so on.]

Source: http://www.washingto...5Q_story_2.html

#319 Davey Jones' Locker

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 10:25 PM

More on the chaos in the Vatican this morning:



*****

By Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY — Call it Conspiracy City. Call it Scandal City. Call it Leak City. These days the holy city has been in the news for anything but holy reasons.

“It is a total mess,” said one high-ranking Vatican official who spoke, like all others, on the condition of anonymity.

The Machiavellian manoeuvring and machinations that have come to light in the Vatican recently are worthy of a novel about a sinister power struggle at a mediaeval court.

Senior church officials interviewed this month said almost daily embarrassments that have put the Vatican on the defensive could force Pope Benedict to act to clean up the image of its administration — at a time when the church faces a deeper crisis of authority and relevance in the wider world.

Some of those sources said the outcome of a power struggle inside the Holy See may even have a longer-term effect, on the choice of the man to succeed Benedict when he dies.

From leaked letters by an archbishop who was transferred after he blew the whistle on what he saw as a web of corruption and cronyism, to a leaked poison pen memo which puts a number of cardinals in a bad light, to new suspicions about its bank, Vatican spokesmen have had their work cut out responding.

The flurry of leaks has come at an embarrassing time — just before a usually joyful ceremony this week known as a consistory, when Benedict will admit more prelates into the College of Cardinals, the exclusive men’s club that will one day pick the next Roman Catholic leader from among their own ranks.

“This consistory will be taking place in an atmosphere that is certainly not very glorious or exalting,” said one bishop with direct knowledge of Vatican affairs.

The sources agreed that the leaks were part of an internal campaign – a sort of “mutiny of the monsignors” – against the pope’s right-hand man, Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

Bertone, 77, has a reputation as a heavy-handed administrator and power-broker whose style has alienated many in the Curia, the bureaucracy that runs the central administration of the 1.3 billion-strong Roman Catholic Church.

He came to the job, traditionally occupied by a career diplomat, in 2006 with no experience of working in the church’s diplomatic corps, which manages its international relations. Benedict chose him, rather, because he had worked under the future pontiff, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in the Vatican’s powerful doctrinal office.

“It’s all aimed at Bertone,” said a monsignor in a key Vatican department who sympathises with the secretary of state and who sees the leakers as determined to oust him. “It’s very clear that they want to get rid of Bertone.”

Vatican sources say the rebels have the tacit backing of a former secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, an influential power-broker in his own right and a veteran diplomat who served under the late Pope John Paul II for 15 years.

“The diplomatic wing feels that they are the rightful owners of the Vatican,” the monsignor who favours Bertone said.

Sodano and Bertone are not mutual admirers, to put it mildly. Neither has commented publicly on the reports.


The Vatican has been no stranger to controversy in recent years, when uproar over its handling of child sex abuse charges has hampered the church’s efforts to stem the erosion of congregations and priestly recruitment in the developed world.

But the latest image crisis could not be closer to home.

It began last month when an Italian television investigative show broadcast private letters to Bertone and the pope from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the former deputy governor of the Vatican City and currently the Vatican ambassador in Washington.

The letters, which the Vatican has confirmed are authentic, showed that Vigano was transferred after he exposed what he argued was a web of corruption, nepotism and cronyism linked to the awarding of contracts to contractors at inflated prices.

As deputy governor of the Vatican City for two years from 2009 to 2011, Vigano was the number two official in a department responsible for maintaining the tiny city-state’s gardens, buildings, streets, museums and other infrastructure, which are managed separately from the Italian capital which surrounds it.

In one letter, Vigano writes of a smear campaign against him by other Vatican officials who were upset that he had taken drastic steps to clean up the purchasing procedures and begged to stay in the job to finish what he had started.

Bertone responded by removing Vigano from his position three years before the end of his tenure and sending him to the United States, despite his strong resistance.

Other leaks centre on the Vatican bank, just as it is trying to put behind it past scandals — including the collapse 30 years ago of Banco Ambrosiano, which entangled it in lurid allegations about money-laundering, freemasons, mafiosi and the mysterious death of Ambrosiano chairman Roberto Calvi — “God’s banker”.

Today, the Vatican bank, formally known at the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), is aiming to comply fully with international norms and has applied for the Vatican’s inclusion on the European Commission’s approved “white list” of states that meet EU standards for total financial transparency.

Bertone was instrumental in putting the bank’s current executives in place and any lingering suspicion about it reflects badly on him. The Commission will decide in June and failure to make the list would be an embarrassment for Bertone.

Last week, an Italian newspaper that has published some of the leaks ran a bizarre internal Vatican memo that involved one cardinal complaining about another cardinal who spoke about a possible assassination attempt against the pope within 12 months and openly speculated on who the next pope should be.

Bertone’s detractors say he has packed the Curia with Italian friends. Some see an attempt to influence the election of the next pope and increase the chances that the papacy returns to Italy after two successive non-Italian popes who have broken what had been an Italian monopoly for over 450 years.

Seven of the 18 new “cardinal electors” — those aged under 80 eligible to elect a pope — at this Saturday’s consistory are Italian. Six of those work for Bertone in the Curia.

Bertone, as chief administrator, had a key role in advising the pope on the appointments, which raised eyebrows because of the high number of Italian bureaucrats among them.

“There is widespread malaise and delusion about Bertone inside the Curia. It is full of complaints,” said the bishop who has close knowledge of Vatican affairs.

“Bertone has had a very brash method of running the Vatican and putting his friends in high places. People could not take it any more and said ’enough’ and that is why I think these leaks are coming out now to make him look bad,” he said.

POPE “ISOLATED”
Leaked confidential cables sent to the State Department by the U.S. embassy to the Vatican depicted him as a “yes man” with no diplomatic experience or linguistic skills and the 2009 cable suggests that the pope is protected from bad news.

“There is also the question of who, if anyone, brings dissenting views to the pope’s attention,” read the cable, published by WikiLeaks.

The Vatican sources said some cardinals asked the pope to replace Bertone because of administrative lapses, including the failure to warn the pope that a renegade bishop re-admitted to the Church in 2009 was a well-known Holocaust denier.

But they said the pope, at 84 and increasingly showing the signs of his age, is not eager to break in a new
right-hand man.

“It’s so complicated and the pope is so helpless,” said the monsignor.

The bishop said: “The pope is very isolated. He lives in his own world and some say the information he receives is filtered. He is interested in his books and his sermons but he is not very interested in government.”
© 2012 Thomson Reuters


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MY THOUGHTS (FOR WHATEVER THEY ARE WORTH): The fact that all of this political manoeuvring is spilling out of control now might mean that the Pope is too tired or ill to control his cardinals any more. We know Herr Ratzinger is an authoritarian leader so it is interesting to read that comment at the end that he is now isolated and cares only for his books and not for governing the Vatican. Perhaps he has simply had enough and is too tired. It seems that the cardinals have outmanoeuvred both him and Bertone and neither of them are really running the shop anymore.

Also, it may be that the cardinals are taking all of these actions so quickly is that they are frightened that Ratzi doesn't have long to go so they want to ensure that a favoured candidate is next in line for the throne. Perhaps Bertone was taking on more power as Ratzi has weakened, hence the backlash against him and the fear that he may become next pope.

Finally, I guess articles like this show that, in this age of rapid communications, Wikileaks, etc, you cannot possibly run a secretive organisation like the Vatican any more. Transparency is winning out and that means that dinosaurs like the Vatican will have to adapt very soon which will lead to a massive shake-up of such an archaic institution. All of these leaks are great for us amateur Pope health-watchers, though. :-)

#320 Davey Jones' Locker

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 10:27 PM

Photo of the Pope from Jan 12th:

Posted Image

The droopy eyes are probably just from a bad photo. His skin is becoming very splotchy now, though. Doesn't exactly look like he is about to drop at any moment, though. Thoughts?




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