As I said yesterday, I just cannot see this whole Vatileaks/Butler’s Arrest saga coming to pass during the John Paul II (#265) pontificate. He, even towards the end, would not have tolerated these shenanigans.
Most telling is that he would not have allowed his butler to be thrown in jail! First and foremost, if he was told that his butler was guilty, he would have demanded that he would first talk with the butler.
From what I can see, this old pope has made no efforts to have a private conversation with his butler of 6 years. To me that is beyond the pale. He should have intervened. He, and his title says ‘father’, should have had a chat with this poor guy. Ask him what it was all about. Let him tell tell his side of the story.
John Paul II is unlikely to have agreed to this public spectacle. He would have ordered that they get what they need from the butler, if he is indeed in any way guilty, in private with no public disclosure.
This whole sorry sage, coming within weeks of the pope bungling the handling of the American nuns, confirms that this pope no longer has his hand on the tiller of the barque of St. Peter. He is too frail and confused. Yes, it is time for a new pope.
I have always maintained that this pope will not resign. All talk about him resigning is but ‘crazy talk’ — so at least in that respect Padre Lombardi is, for once, on a firm footing.
This, however, is NOT to say that we will not get a new pope soon. There is no longer any choice. This pope is toast. He has to go. The Vatican will have to enforce their ‘Papal Succession Plan “B”‘. With the pope now 85 who will even notice? It is a shame, but the pope has gone beyond being oblivious.
So, who will succeed the pope. Given that it is still 2012, by inclination is still with Lord Bertone, despite all of the undeserved flack aimed at him. The Vatican is polarized. The curia is split and the cardinal electors are torn — but does he, a good ol’ boy Italian who has looked after his team (including his recent batch of recruits)’, still have the votes.
I think Scola is history. Yes, if Bertone can’t get the two-third majority they might elect Scola as a stop-gap, caretaker pope to give Lord Ouellet a change to age! Scola will also be retired — Vatican style.
In all this fray, Lord Ouellet is unscathed and has glided by serenely showing everybody how Presidential he is. He will make an outstanding pope — the best since John XXIII (#262). That he is not European will definitely be in his favor. This latest flap, pitting the German camp against the Italian mob (with some Italians trying to cast their own man, Paolo Gabriele, as German), may convince the electors that the time is finally ripe to go beyond Europe. My only concern is that Ouellet is still young. Maybe they will elect him with the understanding that the Vatican will ‘retire’ him in 15 years. That could work.
So, let us start getting ready for the papal transition.
This remark by Lombardi, in that same bulletin, cracked me up. Talk about ‘supreme irony‘. Lombardi always reminds me of the joke about: ‘how do you tell when a lawyer is lying?‘ Yes, whenever I see a Lombardi statement or hear him make one of shrill pronouncements, all I can think is: ‘his lips are moving‘.
1. So how has been dressing the pope as of last Wednesday when poor Paolo was arrested when he arrived at the Papal Apartment? Not that concerned about who serves him his food or sits with him while he eats. The fours nuns that cook his meals can easily do the serving and Ingrid Stampa, the pope’s right-hand woman, could easily entertain him during his meals. But, as we so graphically learnt after poor John Paul I’s (#264) demise there is this big thing about women in the pope’s bed chamber. So I ask again, who has been helping the pope get dressed. Is there are assistant butler? If so, who is he? Or is Georg Gänswein, the pope’s German film-star secretary, who is getting more and more implicated in this whole unholy scandal, acting as butler too?
2. Why did some Italians, last week, try to make out that Paolo Gabriele, despite his very Italian name, was indeed German, a part of the pope’s German cabal (which includes German educated Padre Federico Lombardi, S.J., the Head of the H.S. Press Office? Never made sense. Were they trying to say that this was a German conspiracy and please leave the poor Italians out of it?
3. It appears that Paolo worked as a butler for John Paul II for some time and then went away. What is the story here?
4. Was the pope briefed prior to Paolo’s arrest? If so, did the pope ask to talk with Paolo before he was rushed down to his cell? Couldn’t/shouldn’t the pope have had a heart-to-heart with this man, who saw him naked for 6 years, and tried to sort out things in private — get the names of the real culprits — and avoid this public spectacle?
5. As I asked earlier this morning, can you see any of this happening during John Paul II’s (#265) reign, even towards the end?
6. Doesn’t this confirm the fears of many that the pope really has got too old?
7. Who appointed the so called lawyers for Paolo? From what I can see they were appointed, unilaterally, by the Vatican. So they are not his lawyers. They are Vatican lawyers appointed to supposedly represent him?
8. Why would Paolo keep incriminating documents in his apartment? He had the perfect safe hiding place — the pope’s study. He had free, unfettered access. He could ferret away documents (in his pants, I assume) but then bring them back. Why would be keep them in his apartment? This smacks so much of a plant, it is laughable, if not for the fact that this poor guy has young children.
9. There have been mentions of a woman involved. Who was she? One of the nuns? I can’t see Stampa collaborating … but has she been considered?
10. How can Lombardi be so sure that there are no cardinals involved (when there are claims that five were questioned) unless, of course, the Vatican has already decided that all cardinals are automatically excluded?
Part II to follow when I have more time. Right now Vesta and Dawn have priority over popes.
There are plenty of posts about the pope’s remarks this morning, but as ever just read Reuters and you can get much of the picture.
I will post more about all of this in a ‘minute’. Some may recall that I am the one that was hoping that this pope lives to be 93. Well, I changed my mind. He has to go. He has to go now, and I don’t mean him resigning. This whole travesty shows how ineffective he has become. Just answer this question for me: ‘Can YOU imagine any of this when John Paul II (#265) was pope — even towards the end? He would have banged heads together and when he got too weak to do so he still would have had called up Marcinkus and told me which heads he wanted banged.’ But, even before the pope departs, Padre Federico Lombardi, S.J., the Head of the H.S. Press Office needs to go or be served with a gag order. He is just making things worse. This was the guy responsible for leaking the condom interview. He reminds me of Girolamo Savonarola! From where I sit, he just comes across as shrill and supercilious. He seems to think that just because he is a priest and has a bully pulpit we need to believe every word he utters — especially when he talks loudly. The world would have been so much better served right now by Dr. Joaquín Navarro-Valls, his illustrious, impeccable predecessor.
Yes, the Italian press, taking my lead from Sunday, is claiming that poor Paolo Gabriele will get bail soon. That is GREAT. But, not so quick. Yes, they wouldn’t want him committing ‘suicide’ in their precious little secure room. So let him free on bail and then say … ‘look … he hung himself underneath Blackfriars Bridge‘. Sorry too busy to spoon feed you. Look it up. If and when he gets bail, as he should, he should be placed under the protectorate of a reputable nation who will safeguard him and his family. Please ….
Just remember, if Paolo Gabriele decides to sing like a lark he could end up like a canary in a mine. The Jack Ruby defense.
Three interesting, must read articles. Vatican credibility plummets.