The 68-page Il Mio Papa (My Pope) will hit Italian newsstands on Ash Wednesday, offering a glossy medley of papal pronouncements and photographs, along with peeks into his personal life. Each weekly issue will also include a pullout centerfold of the pope, accompanied by a quote.
“It’s a sort of fanzine, but of course it can’t be like something you’d do for One Direction,” the popular boy band, said the magazine’s editor, Aldo Vitali. “We aim to be more respectful, more noble.”
There is more here. It will sell for fifty cents, but there are intellectual property issues:
“Various magazines publish the pope’s teachings, but they have an accord with us,” said the Rev. Giuseppe Costa, the director of the Libreria Editrice Vaticana. A similar accord has not been signed with My Pope, he added, though the magazine should have known better “because we have a relationship with Mondadori.”
“In the case they publish the pope’s words, I will have to intervene,” Father Costa said.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the ledger:
Former Pope Benedict, in one of the few times he has broken his silence since stepping down nearly a year ago, has branded as “absurd” fresh media speculation that he was forced to quit.
And his world of scarcity continues:
Libero also suggested that Benedict chose to continue to wear white because he still felt like he was a pope.
Benedict, who lives in near-total isolation inside a former convent on the Vatican grounds, was also asked about this and responded:
“I continue to wear a white cassock and kept the name Benedict for purely practical reasons. At the moment of my resignation there were no other cloths available.