Friday, July 29, 2005

Fuma Lei, Santità?

My molto-beloved Tablet has posted its editorial synopsis of the First 100 Days. But it contains a curious intimation...
Benedict’s personal style as Pope has been good-humoured, even making self-effacing jokes about being German. On one occasion he wore a white baseball cap; he smokes, plays the piano and likes cats.
He smokes?! I sure haven't heard that one.... This is a good place to note that in the last revision of the Legge Fondamentale, the legal code of the Vatican City State, smoking was banned in the entirety of Vatican City, indoors and out. Se e' vero, this might explain why Papa Bear slips out of the Office so much. Don't forget that felines, too, are banned within the walls.

I'm still waiting for Joe Fessio to release the "Pope Speaks to Cats" CD. Beats JP saying the Rosary... When it comes out, I will back a truck into Ignatius' loading dock and stock up.

Elsewhere in the World's Best Catholic Paper, we have a review of a new book on the papal gravy train: Money and the Rise of the Modern Papacy, by Cambridge don John Pollard. He seems to uncover that The Tab had something to do with the resurrection of Peter's Pence, a revelation which should shut up the ideologues who call it a liberal publication.

Pollard only covers the period of 1850-1950. It gets much more interesting after that time -- enter Chink, Calvi and a golf course in Arizona.... And it would be another 15 years before The Pro (he who is "amazing" with money and monied people) would arrive in Rome. The place would never be the same again.

Would love to get the book and critique it, but it's $85 and my two donors have given too much already. Now if the guitar case were a bit fuller....



Blogger Sam Martin said...

In a commemorative issue of Inside the Vatican a couple of months ago, an interviewer (in 1993) asks then Cardinal Ratzinger about his time as a war conscript. He tells several stories including one about the teenagers being forbidden to smoke. The interviewer asks if this were a problem for him - he laughed and said "No, no, not for me". I guess thats a "no" to the smoking question from the horses mouth!

29/7/05 18:05  
Blogger MoongardenMary said...

hmmm.....I think the smoking story is bull.

Back in May the Sunday Telegraph's gossip/celebrity/sex and scandal columnist Mandrake ran a 'story' from his 'man in the Vatican' claiming that Papa's a Marlboro man, adding that the Vatican has NOT introduced 'no-smoking' zones and are "rather liberal" about smoking in the Vatican, but yet the Curia is concerned over the Pope's smoking, as he just got the job and whatnot.

That just didn't sound right, so i fished around and found an article published around the same time, in an Italian magazine Gente, on Ratzi's health, and I quote: "Per essere una persona di 78 anni Jospeph Ratzinger gode di discreta salute. Alla quale tiene moltissimo. Di statura normale ma di constituzione piuttosto gracile, non beve vino, men che meno alcolici, mangia poco, non fuma, va a letto non piu tardi delle 22 e si addormenta senza bisogno di tranquillanti."

29/7/05 18:09  
Blogger Jeff said...

No, Rocco, the Tablet WAS a staunchly orthodox publication as long as Douglas Woodruff was editor. He retired in 1967.

THEN the Tablet became caught the radical disease and changed its ways. Tablet editor John Wilkins acknowledges this change:

"[Woodruff] was followed by my predecessor, Tom Burns. The parting of the ways with Woodruff’s Tablet and a lasting change in the relations with the hierarchy came over Humanae vitae..."

So its not just cons that claim the Tablet made a radical change--it's the Tablet itself! Cons 1 / Rock 0 on this one.

29/7/05 18:27  
Blogger Un Séminariste said...

I've heard from others that the Pope/Card. Ratzinger smokes/d. I don't know what the big deal is. Also, I've heard from several folks who have been to Rome (I, sadly, have not yet been able to go) that you will see "No Smoking" signs posted with people standing right beneath them smoking... also, folks smoking on buses, etc. So, why should we be surprised if the Vatican has a no-smoking policy yet the Pope smokes?

30/7/05 11:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, come on. Smoking in Italy is omnipresent. Along with cell phones and dirt. You live there, you'll smoke too. Give it a rest.

30/7/05 15:03  

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