Friday, February 03, 2006

From the Apartment

In yesterday's Il Foglio, an unsigned piece points to further changes in the papal apartment.

At the New Year, Angelo Gugel, valet to the Popes since time immemorial, retired. He was replaced by "the young" Paolo Gabriele, the father of three young children.

The author couldn't help noting, however, that Gugel's three daughters are in the employ of the Holy See in various capacities -- "Rafaella at the IOR [the Vatican Bank], Carla at the administrative office of the Propaganda Fide, Flaviana at the Central Statistics Office [the good people who compile the Annuario]."

If you find that shocking, then the Italian way must be news to you.

For some reason, Ingrid Stampa also takes a hit. Gabriele's appointment is said to "complete the team of the papal apartment comprised of the personal secretary Georg Ganswein, the second secretary Mieczyslaw ("Mietek") Mokrzycki [a John Paul holdover], the four consecrated laywomen Carmela, Loredana, Emanuela and Cristina [who are members of the Memores Domini, the lay branch of Communione e Liberazione]. Also part of the papal entourage is Birgit Wansing, of the Institute of Schoenstatt, but not the former governess of the apartment of Cardinal Ratzinger, Ingrid Stampa."

As sources of mine have dealt with Ingrid on things household in recent weeks, I have a hard time believing this report to be the case. But it's there, so take it for what it's worth.

The prospective consistory is also mentioned, with Archbishops Levada, Franc Rode [prefect of Religious], Agostino Vallini [prefect of the Apostolic Signatura] and Angelo Comastri [coadjutor archpriest of St. Peter's], said to be in "pole position." Also named are the heads of four traditionally cardinalatial sees: Carlo Caffara of Bologna, Antonio Canizares of Toledo, Jean-Pierre Ricard of Bordeaux and Andre Vingt-Trois of Paris. Also said to be in line, for obvious reasons, are the two Cracovian Stanislaws: Rylko (president of Laity) and Dziwisz, and the German Paul-Josef Cordes, the ghostwriter of the second part of Deus caritas est and president of the Cor Unum.

Lastly, the piece mentions that the memory of our 2005 International Churchman of the Year, Don Luigi Giussani, Founder of Communione e Liberazione, is being remembered yet again this week for another one of the communities he founded, the Sisters of Charity of the Assumption. The superior-general of the order recalled Don Gius' "forty years of incredible humble and grateful friendship."

Par for the CL course. Gotta love 'em.