Friday, April 08, 2005

Dionigi Tettamanzi, Joseph Ratzinger

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“The American Catholics contribute more money to church efforts than followers from all other nations combined... It is important to be sensitive to their desires. How can we have any commandments if there is no church? If we have to look the other way on one to spare the other nine it is a wise move”.
-- Cardinal Peligrini, Vatican spokesman


Just as I was about to finish my eleventh espresso cup in a sudden gulp, God knocked on my soul's doors. The Pope's death was announced by the ultimate authority. An orchestra of angels provided background music while a cherubins' choir chanted psalms, slowly fading out. I swallowed what little coffee was left. Nominally a Christian, I knew there were matters to be taken care of. The Sadness of the masses. The Mass of sadness. Finally, a new Pope. Ombra mai fu.
Embalming. Dues. Respect. Memory. Posterity. "A well-prepared body -- like that of Johannes XXIII -- can last 20 to 30 years or even more. But without it, bodies cannot remain on display for long. Pope Paul VI, who died in 1978, was only lightly embalmed by the Signorracci family. After just two days his skin and fingernails began losing color.

What will happen to Pope John Paul II's body is not yet entirely clear. The Vatican refused to elaborate on how exactly the body had been prepared. He will be buried on Friday in the vacant tomb of Pope John XXIII, who was moved to the main floor of St. Peter's Basilica in 2001 following his beatification."

Crisis Management. Evaluation. Glory. Issues. Politics. Posterity. "Hans Küng is one of today's leading Catholic theologians. Küng, a Swiss national living in the southern German city of Tübingen, has been embroiled in an ongoing feud with church authorities for decades. As a result of his critical inquiries on the papacy, the Vatican withdrew his church authority to teach in 1979. Nevertheless, Küng, 75, is still a priest and, until his retirement in 1995, taught ecumenical theology at the University of Tübingen. As president of the Global Ethic Foundation, Küng is also an advisor to the United Nations." [But the masses, the masses... How does one avoid the decor and stick to the essence? Here, here, here and here... Totus Tuus ego sum.]

Succession. Intrigue. Factions. Politics. Power. "Yesterday a group of priests that served in the seminary with then Brother Ciani outside of Turin, Italy in the 1960’s came forward with allegations as to why he is unfit to become the next leader of the Catholic Church. The allegations include that he reneged on his vow of celibacy, as he was allegedly observed soliciting a street wader in Venice stating "I put the "lick" in "Catholic". It also was alleged that he performed services wearing nothing but a Speedo under his robe. He also bears "false stigmata" that are allegedly self-inflicted." (via the The New World Odor.)

I have a flight to catch. Tempus fugit.

6 Comments:

Blogger Steph said...

So, you are still alive?! Good. I was beginning to wander whether you were in the process of being enbalmed yourself... :-)

Welcome back to your castle!

8:34 pm EEST  
Blogger De(e)lumina said...

God forgive me (!) but one of those bishops(?) (young, blonde, possibly Irish - or perhaps German) sure was foxy...

I never was one for churches and organised religion, but maybe I should reconsider.

:-)

8:52 pm EEST  
Blogger Steph said...

By the way, the original caption to this picture had G-dubya-Bush reading:

"Dear Dalai-Lama..."

1:13 am EEST  
Blogger Steph said...

Hey, there's some good money to be made here!

1:31 pm EEST  
Blogger dystropoppygus said...

Well, since Ratzinger actually led during the funeral, it goes without saying my bets are on Tettamanzi: Opus Dei personified. I think he's the one.

5:43 pm EEST  
Blogger De(e)lumina said...

Did you know Ratzinger has an online fanclub?
I mean, really...
http://www.ratzingerfanclub.com/Biography.html

1:03 pm EEST  

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