February 28, 2013

The Devil Wears Prada And So Does The Pope

Pope Benedict XVI and Fr. Georg Ganswein

Pope Benedict XVI has chosen his new title, and decided how he will be addressed. He picked out his new residence, and announced what his wardrobe will be. He also magnanimously granted permission for his aide de camp to work for the new Pontiff - whoever he might be, as long as he comes home to him every night.

In the Tuesday press conference, Papal spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi, announced that the former Joseph Ratzinger will have a new title, either Emeritus Pope or Emeritus Roman Pontiff. Emeritus does mean former holder of an office, so that makes sense. If you run into him at your local Stop and Shop or Safeway, he is to be addressed as Your Holiness Benedict XVI. I guess calling him Joey won’t work then.

Pope Benedict XVI consulted with advisors about what his wardrobe should be, and despite suggestions that he should go back to wearing black, he dismissed those views. He likes the long white dresses that come with the job. He agreed to give up the red Prada shoes, but the patent leather shoes in every color stay.

In the Associated Press story by Nicole Winfield, she reports:

Two pontiffs, both wearing white, both called "Pope" and living a few yards from one another, with the same key aide serving them.
The Vatican's announcement Tuesday that Pope Benedict XVI will be known as "emeritus pope" in his retirement, be called "Your Holiness" and continue to wear the white cassock associated with the papacy has fueled concerns about potential conflicts arising from the peculiar reality now facing the Catholic Church: having one reigning and one retired pope.
It’s very strange indeed.
Benedict’s trusted secretary, Monsignor Georg Gänswein, will be serving both pontiffs — living with Benedict at the monastery inside the Vatican and keeping his day job as prefect of the new pope’s household. Asked about the potential conflicts, Lombardi was defensive, saying the decisions had been clearly reasoned and were likely chosen for the sake of simplicity. “I believe it was well thought out,” he said.
For the sake of simplicity? It sounds more like an arranged marriage to me.

The inestimable Andrew Sullivan writes:
So Benedict’s handsome male companion will continue to live with him, while working for the other Pope during the day. Are we supposed to think that’s, well, a normal arrangement?
This man – clearly in some kind of love with Ratzinger (and vice-versa) will now be working for the new Pope as secretary in the day and spending the nights with the Pope Emeritus. This is not the Vatican. It’s Melrose Place.
I don’t know if it’s more Melrose Place or As The World Turns, but this WTF situation reaffirms that the Roman Catholic church is dysfunctional --- and this is proof positive that the dysfunction starts at the top.




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