Tag Archive: Vatican City


File:Vaticano 34.jpg

The  Vatican  – View from Castel Sant’Angelo

By  :  Jorge Valenzuela A

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Vatican tries to draw line under clerical sex abuse scandals at UN hearing

The Vatican has been given another hostile interrogation by a United Nations committee over its record on clerical sex abuse.

One member after another of the committee against torture brushed aside the Holy See’s argument that its obligation to enforce the UN convention against torture stopped at the boundaries of the world’s smallest country, the Vatican City state. They demanded the pope’s representative give answers to a long list of questions about the treatment of sex abuse claims against clergy throughout the world.

The Holy See, which long predates the city state, is a sovereign entity without territory. It is as the Holy See that the Catholic leadership maintains diplomatic relations and signs treaties such as the convention against torture.

But Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s UN ambassador in Geneva, told the committee: “The Holy See intends to focus exclusively on Vatican City state.”

The American expert on the committee, Felice Gaer, made plain her disagreement. She said the Holy See had to “show us that, as a party to the convention, you have a system in place to prohibit torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment when it is acquiesced to by anyone under the effective control of the officials of the Holy See and the institutions that operate in the Vatican City state”.

 

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Vatican faces tough questions at UN torture committee

Vatican to answer questions on past, present and future handling of clerical sex abuse

 Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, (R), Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See  to the Office of the United Nations in Geneva, and Vincenzo Buonomo, (L), of the Secretariat of State of the Holy See   prior to the UN torture committee hearing on the Vatican, at the headquarters of the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights  in the Palais Wilson, in Geneva, Switzerland. Photograph:  Salvatore Di Nolfi/EPAArchbishop Silvano Tomasi, (R), Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the Office of the United Nations in Geneva, and Vincenzo Buonomo, (L), of the Secretariat of State of the Holy See prior to the UN torture committee hearing on the Vatican, at the headquarters of the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Palais Wilson, in Geneva, Switzerland. Photograph: Salvatore Di Nolfi/EPA

Tue, May 6, 2014, 01:00

As expected, a Holy See delegation faced tough questioning at the UN’s Committee Against Torture in Geneva yesterday. For the second time in three months, the Vatican was appearing before a UN body to answer questions about its ratification of a UN treaty, especially with regard to is past, present and future handling of clerical sex abuse.

In his opening address to the committee, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See’s permanent representative at the UN in Geneva, argued that while the Holy See lent “its moral support and collaboration . . . to the elimination of torture”, it had signed the torture convention in 2002 “on behalf of the Vatican city state”.

No jurisdiction
Archbishop Tomasi said he intended to “focus exclusively on the Vatican city state”, the 100 -acre statelet that surrounds the Basilica of St Peter’s.

In that sense, he claimed, the Holy See had “no jurisdiction over every member of the Catholic Church”. Rather, he said, persons who “live in a particular country are under the jurisdiction of the legitimate authorities of that country and are thus subject to the domestic law [of that country]”.

Inevitably, that assertion prompted a critical reaction from the UN committee, with US human rights activist Felice Gaer accusing Archbishop Tomasi of making an “alleged distinction” between the Holy See and the Vatican city state.

She questioned the Holy See’s apparent assumption that the torture convention applied only to the “four corners of Vatican City”, saying that as far as she could see, Vatican City was simply a “sub-division” of the Holy See.

 

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Prophetic Sign? Pope Francis Releases Peace Dove and Black Crow Attacks Instantly!

DAHBOO77

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Published time: January 26, 2014 19:23
Edited time: January 27, 2014 10:39

Pope Francis (C) watches as children release doves during the Angelus prayer in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican January 26, 2014 (Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi)

Pope Francis (C) watches as children release doves during the Angelus prayer in Saint Peter’s square at the Vatican January 26, 2014 (Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi)

Pope Francis on Sunday prayed for the start of a “constructive dialogue” in Ukraine, releasing two white doves to symbolize the hope for peace. However, the doves were immediately attacked by a crow and a seagull.

Addressing tens of thousands of people gathered in Vatican City’s St. Peter’s Square for the Pope’s weekly Angelus prayer, the pontiff said that his thoughts and prayers were with the victims of the Ukrainian unrest.

“I am close to Ukraine in prayer, in particular to those who have lost their lives in recent days and to their families,” Pope Francis said.

He then raised hopes for a “constructive dialogue between the institutions and civil society,” urging both sides to avoid violence and reminding that “the spirit of peace and a search for the common good” should be “in the hearts of all.”

In a symbolic peace gesture, two white doves were then released by children standing alongside Pope Francis.

But as soon as the birds took off, they were immediately attacked by a crow and a seagull.

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Pope Francis’ peace doves attacked at Vatican

A dove which was freed by children flanked by Pope Francis during the Angelus prayer, is chased by a black crow in St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014.  AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

CBS News

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Pope’s dove of peace almost ends in pieces: Seagull attacks bird seconds after Pontiff releases it from Vatican balcony

By Daily Mail Reporter

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Releasing a dove is a symbolic appeal for peace. But when the Pope tried it yesterday, it led to quite a flap.

Nobody had bargained on a resident seagull who apparently hadn’t been listening to the Holy Father’s sermon.

It swooped in and attacked the bird of peace as soon as Pope Benedict XVI released the dove from a balcony at the Vatican.

 

Anticipation: Pope Benedict XVI holds the dove of peace up to the sunlight moments before it is released into the air above expectant pilgrims

Anticipation: Pope Benedict XVI holds the dove of peace up to the sunlight moments before it is released into the air above expectant pilgrims

Message of hope: A boy (right) releases the dove of peace next to Pope Benedict XVI during the Angelus prayer in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican

Message of hope: A  young boy (right) releases the dove of peace next to the Pope during the Angelus prayer in Saint Peter’s square at the Vatican

The poetic moment takes a turn for the worse as the seagull swoops upon the unsuspecting dove

The poetic celebration takes a turn for the worse as the seagull swoops upon the unsuspecting dove

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Alfred Lambremont Webre

Published on Jan 15, 2014

Kevin Annett: Former Argentine official to testify against Pope Bergoglio’s child trafficking under Junta in Argentina

http://exopolitics.blogs.com/breaking…

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Houston Chronicle

Vatican facing UN showdown on sex abuse record

By NICOLE WINFIELD and JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press | January 15, 2014 | Updated: January 15, 2014 3:21pm
Photo By Gregorio Borgia/AP
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FILE – In this Feb. 8, 2012 file photo Monsignor Charles Scicluna, the Holy See’s chief sex crimes prosecutor, meets journalists in Rome. The Holy See on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, will be grilled by a U.N. committee in Geneva on its implementation of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, which among other things calls for signatories to take all appropriate measures to protect children from harm and to put children’s interests above all else. The Vatican will be represented by its most authoritative official on the issue, Scicluna.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican is gearing up for a bruising showdown over the global priest sex abuse scandal, forced for the first time to defend itself at length and in public against allegations it enabled the rape of thousands of children by protecting pedophile priests and its own reputation at the expense of victims.

The Holy See on Thursday will be grilled by a U.N. committee in Geneva on its implementation of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. Among other things, the treaty calls for signatories to take all appropriate measures to protect children from harm and to put children’s interests above all else.

The Holy See ratified the convention in 1990 and submitted a first implementation report in 1994. But it didn’t provide progress reports for nearly a decade, and only submitted one in 2012 after coming under criticism following the 2010 explosion of child sex abuse cases in Europe and beyond.

Victims groups and human rights organizations teamed up to press the U.N. committee to challenge the Holy See on its abuse record, providing written testimony from victims and evidence outlining the global scale of the problem. Their reports cite case studies in Mexico and Britain, grand jury investigations in the U.S., and government fact-finding inquiries from Canada to Ireland to Australia that detail how the Vatican’s policies, its culture of secrecy and fear of scandal contributed to the problem.

Their submissions reference Vatican documents that show its officials knew about a notorious Mexican molester decades before taking action. They cite correspondence from a Vatican cardinal praising a French bishop’s decision to protect his abusive priest, and another Vatican directive to Irish bishops to strike any mandatory reporting of abusers to police from their policies. The submissions even quote the former Vatican No. 2 as saying bishops shouldn’t be expected to turn their priests in.

“For too many years, survivors were the only ones speaking out about this and bearing the brunt of a lot of criticism,” said Pam Spees, an attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, which provided a key report to the committee. “And so this is a very important moment for many, many people who are here in Geneva and around the world who will be watching as the Holy See is called for the first time ever to actually answer questions.”

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Published on Mar 13, 2013

Cardinals have chosen Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina to be the new leader of the Catholic Church.

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Mar 13, 2013 3:26 PM

76-Year-Old Argentinian Cardinal Bergoglio Named New Pope, First Ever from Americas

Max Read

 Gawker

In a major surprise, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, an Argentinian cardinal predicted by almost no one, has been named Pope by the Papal Conclave. He will be the first-ever pope from the Western Hemipshere, and will take the name Francis I. Bergoglio was announced to a packed and cheering St. Peter’s Square minutes ago, following the traditional burning of white smoke through the chimney of the Sistine Chapel.

Bergoglio, a 76-year-old Jesuit and the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, was a “close second” when Benedict was chosen in 2005, according to the Times‘ Rachel Donadio. Generally, Papal “runners-up” aren’t chosen by the following conclave—it’s seen as insulting to the previous pope—but Bergoglio is thought to appeal to both hard-liners and moderates in the College of Cardinals, according to John Allen of National Catholic Reporter:

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Gregorio Borgia / AP
White smoke emerges from the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel, in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, on March 13. The white smoke indicates that a new pope has been elected.
Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images

The new pontiff appears on the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica on March 13, 2013, in Vatican City. Bergoglio will be known as Pope Francis.

Paul Hanna / Reuters

People wait in the rain under umbrellas at St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on March 13.

Michael Sohn / AP

People watch on a video monitor in St. Peter’s Square as Monsignor Guido Marini, master of liturgical ceremonies, closes the double doors to the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City on March 12, at the start of the conclave of cardinals to elect the next pope. Marini closed the doors after shouting “Extra omnes,” Latin for “all out,” telling everyone but those taking part in the conclave to leave the frescoed hall. He then locked it.

Andrew Medichini / AP

Cardinal Angelo Sodano leads other cardinals in a Mass for the election of a new pope inside St. Peter’s Basilica, at the Vatican, on March 12.

Natacha Pisarenko / AP
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires, leads a Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Feb. 14, 2013. Cardinal Bergoglio was named leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics on March 13, after being elected pope.
Tony Gomez / REUTERS

Bergoglio washes the feet of a unidentified woman on Holy Thursday at the Buenos Aires’ Sarda maternity hospital on March 24, 2005, when he was an archbishop.

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Who is Jorge Bergoglio?

Posted: 03/13/2013 – 1:51 pm PDT | Last Updated: 03/13/2013 – 4:27 pm PDT

Americanlivewire.com

Who is Jorge Bergoglio? As white smoke rises over the Vatican and “Habemus Papum,” is cried from its balcony, the new Pope’s identity is revealed. Cardinal Bergoglio, from Buenos Aires, Argentina, bested all others to become the new Pope of the Roman Catholic Church.

Who is Jorge Bergoglio?

Photo Credit Macdiarmid, Getty Image

Pope Francis
Photo Credit Peter Macdiarmid, Getty Images

Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born December, 17, 1936, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, making him the first Pope born in The Americas, the first non-European Pope, and first chosen Jesuit priest in history. Born to a railroad worker, Bergoglio was one of five children born to Mario Jose Bergoglio and his wife Regina Maria Sivori, Italian immigrants. A life threatening lung infection in his 20′s required the removal of one of his lungs. The remainder of his upbringing was normal and modest. He enjoyed activities typical of anyone, including tango dancing with his girlfriend, until he discovered and committed to his religious calling.

Bergoglio spent the majority of his early Catholic career in academia. His rise to papacy started upon his attendance to seminary school in Villa Devoto before entering the Society of Jesus on March 11, 1958. Bergoglio continued his studies at Colegio Maximo San Jose in San Miguel, obtaining a license in philosophy to teach literature and psychology at Colegio de la Inmaculada in Santa Fe and the Colegio del Salvador in Buenos Aires.

On December 13, 1969, Archbishop Ramon Jose Castellano ordained Bergoglio into priesthood. Demonstrating distinguished leadership skills, Bergoglio quickly rose through the ranks within the Society of Jesus, promoting him as provincial for Argentina from 1973 to 1979 before transferring to San Miguel to serve as its rector of the seminary. He served as rector of the seminary until 1986, when he transferred to Germany to complete his doctoral dissertation. He then returned to Argentina serving as Cordoba’s confessor and spiritual director.

Bergoglio was elevated as archbishop replacing Cardinal Quarracino. On February 28, 1998. Meanwhile, the Eastern Catholics of Argentina lacked a prelate and archbishop Bergoglio summated as ordinary until February 21, 2001 when Pope John Paul II ordained him Cardinal Priest of Saint Robert Bellarmino in Vatican City.

Bergoglio exceeded expectations as cardinal being appointed multiple positions in the Roman Curia, serving on the congregation of Clergy, Congregation of Divine Worship and Sacraments, Congregation of Societies of Apostolic Life and Congregation of Institutes of Consecrated Life. Infamous among the Church for his humility and commitment to social justice, Bergoglio was known to cook his own meals, use public transportation, reside in a small apartment, and is an avid football fan, supporting a popular Argentinian club dubbed ‘The Saints’. His genuine humility was further demonstrated in the 2005 papal conclave. Rumor has it his odds of beating Ratzinger in a tie were indefinite until he pleaded with the other cardinals not to vote for him. Perhaps it is this humility that has made the 2013 conclave one of the quickest turnovers in papal history.

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New pope slips out of Vatican for morning prayer visit

A photo of the membership card of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio from the San Lorenzo soccer club, of which he is known to be a fan, is seen in this undated handout photograph distributed by the club on March 13, 2013, after Bergoglio was elected as the new Pope. REUTERS-San Lorenzo soccer club-Handout

By Crispian Balmer and Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY | Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:54am EDT

(Reuters) – Pope Francis, barely 12 hours after his election, quietly left the Vatican early on Thursday to pray for guidance at a Rome basilica as he looks to usher a Catholic Church mired in intrigue and scandal into a new age of simplicity and humility.

Francis went to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, the oldest church in the world dedicated to the Madonna, where he prayed before a famous icon of the Madonna called the Salus Populi Romani, or Protectress of the Roman People.

“He spoke to us cordially like a father,” said Father Ludovico Melo, a priest who prayed with the pope. “We were given 10 minutes’ advance notice that the pope was coming”.

The first South American pontiff and the first non-European pope in 1,300 years, Francis is also bishop of Rome.

In his first words on Wednesday night he made clear that he would take that part of his role seriously and made good on the promise by visiting one of the capital’s most important churches.

Later on Thursday he was to go to the papal summer retreat at Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome, to meet Emeritus Pope Benedict, who last month became the first pontiff in 600 years to step down, saying he was too frail to tackle all the problems of the 1.2 billion-member Church.

Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio’s election has broken Europe’s centuries-old grip on the papacy but he is also the first to take the name Francis, in honor of the 12th century saint from Assisi who spurned wealth to pursue a life of poverty.

His elevation on the second day of a closed-door conclave of cardinals came as a surprise, with many Vatican watchers expecting a longer deliberation, and none predicting the conservative 76-year-old Bergoglio would get the nod.

He looked as startled as everyone, hesitating a moment on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica before stepping out to greet the huge crowds gathered in the square below to catch a glimpse of the new pontiff.

“I ask a favor of you … pray for me,” he urged the cheering crowds, telling them the 114 other cardinal-electors “went almost to the end of the world” to find a new leader.

“Good night and have a good rest,” Bergoglio said before disappearing back into the opulent surroundings of the Vatican City – a far cry from his simple apartment in Buenos Aires.

“Yesterday he transmitted such humility, love and brotherhood,” said a woman outside the basilica on Thursday morning.

On Wednesday night, delighted priests, nuns and pilgrims danced around the obelisk in the middle of St. Peter’s Square, chanting: “Long Live the Pope” and “Argentina, Argentina”.

In his native Argentina, jubilant Catholics poured into their local churches to celebrate.

“I hope he changes all the luxury that exists in the Vatican, that he steers the Church in a more humble direction, something closer to the gospel,” said Jorge Andres Lobato, a 73-year-old retired state prosecutor.

 

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The Final Battles of Pope Benedict XVI

By Fiona Ehlers, Alexander Smoltczyk and Peter Wensierski

 

DER SPIEGEL

Photo Gallery: Trouble in the Holy See

Photos
REUTERS

The mood at the Vatican is apocalyptic. Pope Benedict XVI seems tired, and both unable and unwilling to seize the reins amid fierce infighting and scandal. While Vatican insiders jockey for power and speculate on his successor, Joseph Ratzinger has withdrawn to focus on his still-ambiguous legacy.

Finally, there is clarity. The Holy See has cleared things up and made the document accessible to all: a handout on checking whether apparitions of the Virgin Mary are authentic.

 

Everything will be much easier from now on. The Roman Catholic Church has taken a step forward.This “breaking news” from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) reveals the kinds of issues the Vatican is concerned with — and the kind of world in which some there live. It’s a world in which the official Church investigation of Virgin Mary sightings is carefully regulated while cardinals in the Roman Curia, the Vatican’s administrative and judicial apparatus, wield power with absolutely no checks and the pope’s private correspondence turns up in the desk drawers of a butler.

It’s a completely different apparition of the Virgin Mary that has pulled the Vatican and the Catholic Church into a new crisis, whose end and impact can only be surmised: the appearance of a source in the heart of the Church, a conspiracy against the pope and a leak code-named “Maria.”

Since the end of May, the pope’s former butler, Paolo Gabriele, has been detained in a 35-square-meter (377-square-foot) cell at the Vatican, with a window but no TV. Using the code name “Maria,” he allegedly smuggled faxes and letters out of the pope’s private quarters. But it remains unclear who was directing him to do so.

Even with Gabriele’s arrest, the leak still hasn’t been plugged. More documents were released to the public last week, documents intended primarily to damage two close associates of Pope Benedict XVI: his private secretary, Georg Gänswein, and Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s top administrator. According to one document, “hundreds” of other secret documents would be published if Gänswein and Bertone weren’t “kicked out of the Vatican.” “This is blackmail,” says Vatican expert Marco Politi. “It’s like threatening total war.”

A House in Disarray

Fear is running rampant in the Curia, where the mood has rarely been this miserable. It’s as if someone had poked a stick into a beehive. Men wearing purple robes are rushing around, hectically monitoring correspondence. No one trusts anyone anymore, and some even hesitate to communicate by phone.

It all began in the accursed seventh year of the papacy of Benedict XVI, with striking parallels to the latter part of Pope John Paul II’s papacy. The same complaints about poor leadership and internal divisions are being aired outside the Vatican’s walls, while the pope himself seems exhausted and no longer able to exert his power.

Joseph Ratzinger turned 85 in April. This makes him the oldest pope in 109 years, and one of the few popes who have exercised what Benedict has called this “enormous” office at such an advanced age.

Of course, he is still enviably fit, both mentally and physically, especially compared to his predecessor in his later years. But speaking has become unmistakably more difficult for Benedict than at the beginning of his papacy, and it’s hard to miss that his movements have become stiff and cautious.

He recently told a visitor that his old piano hardly gets any use anymore. Playing it requires practice, he added, but he doesn’t have any time for that. He prefers to continue working on the last part of his series on Jesus, which he wants to finish before dying.

A Ship with No Captain

These days, it isn’t difficult to find clerics at the Vatican who are willing to talk, provided their identities remain anonymous.

The monsignor who finds his way to a restaurant near Piazza Santa Maria in Rome’s Trastevere neighborhood one evening worked closely with Ratzinger in the CDF for years. But even before the waiter arrives with water and wine, the monsignor delivers his verdict on Ratzinger’s papacy: “The pope doesn’t fully exercise his office!” In his view, instead of having things under control, they control him.

The pope isn’t interested in daily affairs at the Vatican, says the anonymous monsignor. Still, this is not exactly unprecedented, as his predecessor also neglected the Curia. While the Polish pope spent a lot of time traveling, his German successor is apparently happiest while poring over books and writing speeches. “He simply isn’t taking matters into his own hands,” the monsignor says. In essence, he adds, the pope faces a different power in Rome — and one he hasn’t take command of.

Although the Vatican is Catholic, it’s also two-thirds Italian. In the end, says the monsignor, the Vatican’s employees and administration don’t care who among their ranks leads the Church. Even for someone who has been living there for decades, the monsignor says, “the Vatican is a ball of wool that’s almost impossible to untangle — not even by a pope.”

When John Paul II died in April 2005, the Curia was in terrible shape. Events and personnel decisions had been postponed during his last few years, in which he was often ill. The new pope was expected to finally clear off the desks and give the Curia a fresh start.

But, for the most part, such reforms haven’t materialized. Priests still hold all key positions, including those on the Council for the Laity and the Council for the Family. The only woman in a senior position, Briton Lesley-Anne Knight, was driven out of office as secretary-general of the Catholic development agency Caritas Internationalis in 2011 for having openly opposed the Church’s male-dominated hierarchy.

Fractured and Ferocious

A “reform of the Curia” is probably a contradiction in terms. Its hierarchical, essentially medieval organizational model is incompatible with modern management. The Vatican is an anachronistic, albeit surprisingly tenacious system, in which pecking orders and an absurd penchant for secrecy and intrigue prevail. “The only important thing is proximity to the monarch,” says a member of a cardinal’s staff. Rome works like an absolutist court, one in which decisions are made by people whispering things into the others’ ears rather than by committees. “There are many vain people here, people in sharp competition with one another,” the staff member adds.

Who spoke with whom, and for how long? What did they talk about? Who attends early Mass with whom, and who invites whom to dinner? Who’s in and who’s out? Who belongs and who doesn’t, and who’s coming into favor and who’s falling out of it? “This mood fosters feelings of exclusion, discrimination, envy, revenge and resentment,” the monsignor says. And all things have now appeared in the so-called Vatileaks documents.

Papal secretary Gänswein, in particular, has made many enemies. As the pope’s gatekeeper, he has influence over who is granted or denied the pontiff’s favor as well as over which events and issues might command his attention. This power can trigger fear, jealousy and derision in the corridors of the Apostolic Palace, the pope’s official residence. For Gänswein, it seemed almost miraculous that he was able to spend an entire evening relaxing and conversing with German clerics at the Vatican’s embassy in Berlin last September. It was an experience he couldn’t have had in Rome.

 

The Vatican is disintegrating into dozens of competing interest groups. In the past, it was the Jesuits, the Benedictines, the Franciscans and other orders that competed for respect and sway within the Vatican court. But their influence has waned, and they have now been replaced primarily by the so-called “new clerical communities” that bring the large, cheering crowds to Masses celebrated by the pope: the Neocatechumenate, the Legionaries of Christ and the traditionalists of the Society of St. Pius X(SSPX) and the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter — not to mention the worldwide “santa mafia” of Opus Dei.They all have their open and clandestine agents in and around the Vatican, and they all own real estate and run universities, institutes and other educational facilities in Rome. Various cardinals and bishops champion their interests at the Vatican, often without an official or recognizable mandate. At the Vatican, everyone is against everyone, and everyone feels they have God on their side.

Perhaps Benedict XVI simply knows the Vatican too well to seriously attempt to reform it. “As pope, this veteran curial insider has turned out to have virtually zero interest in actually running the Roman Curia,” writes John L. Allen, a biographer of the pope.