Source: Vanity Fair

When he retired, the ultra-conservative Pope Benedict XVI was expected to disappear from view, clearing the way for his liberal successor, Francis, to clean house in the notoriously corrupt Vatican. Instead, he stayed, setting the stage for a de-stabilizing brawl over morality, theology, and the Church’s horrific legacy of sexual abuse.
Pope Benedict XVI—in ruby-red loafers and cape—makes the first-ever state visit to the U.K. by a Pontiff, London, September 2010.
Photograph by Stefan Wermuth/Getty Images.

Over a plate of double-egged fettuccine and two bottles of Antinori Chianti at our usual trattoria in Rome’s old city, the Vatican monsignor is gossiping about the late Pope John Paul II: how he wore Penhaligon’s aftershave from Harrods of London; how, as a bishop in Poland, the future Pope camped out with his philosopher friend Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka. Now he’s showing me how John Paul mockingly gave a discreet Nazi salute toward the backs of a departing group of German bishops.

“When I raised my eyebrows disapprovingly at his antic,” says the monsignor, “he punched me hard on the arm. It hurt!”

He’s my Deep Throat, my Sotto Voce, purveyor of unattributable whispers in Vatican cloisters. A middle-echelon member of the Vatican bureaucracy, known as the Curia, he gestures smoothly with his wrists, showing off pure-white cuffs and gold links. “This place,” he says with a smile of self-conscious irony, “floats on a sea of bitchery!”

Read more

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.