Thursday, August 25, 2005

Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Ganswein

If this man has his way, the revolution will be sartorially fabulous. The Guardian takes a good look at Georg -- a piece memorably entitled "Thou Shalt Not Drool":
Over the past four months, the Italian press has also swooned over the 49-year-old German priest, who is known in Italy as Don Georgio. In the grey and elderly world of the Vatican, it is hardly surprising that Gänswein - a keen tennis player and excellent skier who even has a pilot's licence - has become the centre of attention. Last month, the Italian edition of Vanity Fair compared Gänswein to the actor George Clooney, while the magazine Chi opened that he was "as fascinating as Hugh Grant".
The model secretary gives the impression of being of one mind -- and one being -- with his boss.
"I think he is very dangerous," Daniel Deckers, the author of a biography of Germany's leading liberal cardinal, Karl Lehmann, said. "He's part of a small but very powerful group within the Catholic church. He will use his power to push Ratzinger in a certain direction."

Deckers recalls travelling to Rome to meet Gänswein. "He's a good guy. He's very eloquent and can be very charming. But he came right up to me and said: 'Oh, you don't like us.' He referred to himself and Ratzinger as 'us', as if the two of them were an institution."
I wonder if he'd count Josef Clemens as "us." Prob'ly not.

Not to be outdone, something is revealed which has been ringing in my ears for several months:
In the Vatican, Gänswein and Ratzinger dine together, recently entertaining Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis, the German socialite, according to reports in the Italian press.
The Romans absolutely love Gloria. Just ask them. Word 'round the campfire -- well, word Gloria was furiously spreading 'round the campfire in Cologne -- has the Pope (and Georg, of course) staying at the TNT compound in Regensburg on the great homecoming tour scheduled to take place in Fall, 2006. If that goes forward, it will bring back some memories for Ratzi: he and Ingrid met at a concert hosted by the TNTs in the summer of 1991....

And best of all is this catty leak:
Gänswein's critics even accuse him of turning the Pope into a fashion victim. This summer, Ratzinger and his secretary went on holiday to the papal residence at Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, as well as to the Italian Alps at Valle D'Aosta. While both men were hiking in the hills, the Pope appeared in public wearing a Nike hat, designer Serengeti sunglasses and a Cartier watch. "This is Gänswein's style. It's his handwriting," one religious affairs writer said. "This is something I don't understand."
Hmmmm... and, for good measure, some Meisner-lieben:
In Germany, the Catholic church is divided more or less between two figures - the liberal-conservative Cardinal Lehmann, the head of the German archbishop's conference, and the ultra-conservative Cardinal Joachim Meisner, the Archbishop of Cologne. Both men were with the Pope last week. But it is no secret as to which Bishop the Vatican favours. "Gänswein is an opponent of Lehmann," one source in the German Catholic church said. "One of Ratzinger's great weaknesses is that his judgment of people isn't always sufficient. He has a small out-reach."
What a piece!




Blogger Sam Martini said...

Not much charity here - the long knives are out! This is unfortunate. And who is the German Church official who presumptuously suggests that B16 hasnt got good judgement - nonsense. This person, a mid or lower level (or worse) adminstrative operative? A good way to pick at the Pope is to pick at his staff - they have enough true issues to deal with without this business - all those whining need to pull their socks up! I seem to remember Don Stanislaw taking a lot of this kind of heat as well, in particular the last few years; the "commentators" have no actual idea whats going on either - as they clearly are not themselves part of any inner circle.

25/8/05 07:10  
Blogger Germanicus said...

"He's part of a small but very powerful group within the Catholic church."

Must have been this small but powerful group which generated so many votes in the conclave ;-)

Who wants to get some insight into the current state of Germany's catholicism from a conservative viewpoint, might read this text by R. Spaemann (in french):

There's lots of "wailing and gnashing of teeth" in the liberal circles described there nowadays :-)

25/8/05 08:03  
Blogger Flambeaux said...

Wow. Attack of the spammers. *sigh* That's part of why I ditched comments from my blog.

Oh well.

It is an amusing piece. And the milk is the purr-fect temperature.

25/8/05 09:54  
Blogger Sam Martini said...

Right on Germanicus! Also its almost Fall and all sorts of changes are rumoured in the Curia- the angst level must be skyrocketing along with the pot-stirring, catty remarks and doomsday pronouncements. The "small but powerful" group which elected B16 must be amused by all this!
While Don Georg may be a formidable Secretary, I'd hardly descibe B16 as a guy who doesn't know his own mind and needs too much "leading". But they have to blame someone 'cause lashing out at the Pope is still basically a no-no - so Georg is the next best target.
Yeah - whats with all these spammers....

25/8/05 12:55  
Blogger christianspectator said...

Women may be drooling over George Ganswein, but the men certainly won't be drooling over Mrs Ingrid Stampa! She's so plain........

So the Pope met her at a concert now did he? Strange, the various stories as to how she 'got into the Vatican' keep changing - has anyone noticed???

26/8/05 06:51  
Blogger Sam Martini said...

Ms. Stampa herself stated several times that she had been offered the job of housekeeper for the Cardinal by a mutual friend, Papal (and Curial) Doctor Buzzonetti, after the death of the Cardinal's sister Maria, who had been his houeskeeper for decades. Ms. Stamp had just prior to that been the housekeeper and aide of a Rome-based Italian Cardinal who had been ill for some time and died, so she was available for the position. Funny how her own story is a bit less dramatic than those put forward by others (who likely were not involved in the actual event)!

26/8/05 07:01  
Blogger christianspectator said...

Sam Martini,

I agree about the drama, but maybe people should be correcting Rocco Palmo's blogs which state some very funny things to say the least regarding Mrs? Stampa. Yes, it has been suggested that she was married. You see what's disturbing about these stories about how she got into the Cardinal's good books is the fact that he's not permitted (according to his divine calling) to have a woman like this in his life.

It's unfair to Priests who are taking the call of celebacy seriously.

26/8/05 07:20  
Blogger Don Biaggio said...

....and the door to the Magdeline House widens ever more.

27/8/05 15:33  
Blogger zei111 said...

interesting, all the things about Ms Stampa and Monsignore Gänswein.
I understand parts of the discussion about Gänswein: He is an interesting figure in Vatican: Not as old as many others, and of course really good looking. Questions about his influenco on B16 - also interesting.
And commentators say: He is good-looking and nice, but conservative and knows about his power and wants to make career in the Catholic Church. An interesting person and it would be nice to learn more about him.

29/8/05 08:29  
Blogger christianspectator said...

Don Baggio,

Nothing to do with that at all! And Pope Benedict is NOT Jesus. He's a flesh and blood man who happens to have taken priestly vows that may or may not still stand. Do you really think that Mrs Ingrid Stampa cares what people are saying about him? I think not. She seems far too concerned with having a big piece of 'Vatican Pie' to even bother to care about his reputation.

30/8/05 08:38  
Blogger christianspectator said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

30/8/05 08:39  

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