The Holiest of Holies is anciently accustomed to red hot scandals – just think the Borgias – but by any standards the one that is rocking the sold marble pillars of St. Peter’s right now is not only unique, but might quite possibly mark the funeral rites of Pope Benedict’s disastrous papacy.
End-The-Lie Editor’s note: In other Catholic news, a Catholic priest accused of molesting multiple children has been discovered to be working as a supervisor with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
At first sight, the arrest of the pope’s personal butler on charges of stealing confidential correspondence to and from to Benedict XVI looks like a passing spat at the kitchen sink.
Even the fact that Paolo Gabriele leaked some of the sensitive material, dealing with the gross financial incompetence of the Vatican authorities, to the media really only serves to confirm what was always public knowledge anyway.
Namely, the Lateran State is an institutionally corrupt racket and always has been.
The arrest comes a month after the Vatican gave an investigative team led by the Spanish Cardinal Julian Herranz, a member of Opus Dei – a cult-like body acting as a sort of Catholic purity squad doubling as a large scale Moonie-style industrial fund raiser – a full “pontifical mandate” to join Vatican police rooting out the perpetrators of what the Italian media has gleefully dubbed ‘Vatileaks.’
Now Herranz is not just any old cardinal. He is the nearest thing there is to a deputy pope, or the chief pope selection officer. He is above all a master schemer and plotter, the veritable Machiavelli of the Vatican.
During the fading days of Pope John Paul II, he swanned around organizing secret congregations of key members of the conclave in a quiet suburb of Rome, specifically to rig the election of the next pope.
It is widely accepted that Benedict, the former Herr Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, was Herranz’s personal pick for St. Peter’s Throne, thus bringing to St. Peter’s the first German pope (who as we know donned the arm band of the Hitler Youth).
The miniature Vatican state increasingly resembles the old Soviet Union and the crooked politics and in-fighting of the Moscow Politburo with each passing day.
It is an open secret in Rome that Benedict is, shall we say, past his prime. The verb in Italian is rimbambimento, or approaching senility, a rather harder take on the English meaning ‘dotage’. In polite language, he finds at 85 that the cares of the papacy are bearing down and begins to prepare for the succession before his own heavenly ascendancy.
He has just ordained another twenty-two very old men as cardinals, which strongly suggests that he considers his earthly tenancy is drifting to an end. Put another way, he is pre-decease gerrymandering the Vatican Politburo.
Once the Vatileaks storm broke, the story goes that Ratzinger called in Herranz, the J. Edgar Hoover of the Vatican, to sniff out the ill-doer.
There is a lot that is significantly unbelievable with this account.
The Vatican, which covers an area not much bigger than Grand Central Station, is really one large village where the principal industries are gossiping and papal politics. Oiling the cash register and industrial money-laundering comes third and supposedly the chief line of business, that of praising the Lord, a way-back distant fourth.