In with the new, out with the old [Il mio papa]

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.


Do speed reading economists enjoy poetry, enjoy by feeling emotional welling from Tennyson's Ulysses or Blake's Tyger, Tyger? I've wondered this before, and this post on these two fellow humans beings, their devotion, and their devotees. Does nudge-nudge bemusement denigrate? Of course if you don't value (or sanctify) spiritual devotion, its no more denigrating then commentary on Ellen Degeneres's Oscar escapades.

(Respectfully asked, of course. I am a fan, but also curious about different minds and sentiment-filters).

So this could be one of the few times a tabloid would get in trouble for publishing a load of bull?

Will any good come from Benedict's resignation?

A previous papal resignation was a disaster for the Church.

Some scholars believe Dante placed Pope Celestine V in the Inferno. He is not named in Canto III, the "vestibule of Hell: the opportunists." Some scholars alternately opined that the unnamed shade is Pontius Pilate.

In addition to the deadly sins, Dante (allegory/fiction) places "poor damned souls" (Kipling) in Hell based on his ideas about their guilt for Church corruption; harm to Florence; and affronts to his family's and his political faction's interests.

John Ciardi is convinced it's Celestine. Here his footnote, N.B. the last sentence:

"12. •who, in ... Denial: This is almost certainly intended to be Celestine V, who became pope in 1294. He was a man of saintly life, but allowed himself to be convinced by a priest named Benedetto that his soul was in danger since no man could live and die in the world without being damned. In fear for his soul he withdrew from all worldly affairs and renounced the papacy. Benedetto promptly assumed the mantle himself and became Boniface VIII, a pope who became for Dante a symbol of all the worst corruptions of the church. Dante also blamed Boniface and his intrigues for many of the evils that befell the city of Florence. Celestine's great guilt is that his cowardice (in selfish terror for his own welfare) served as the door through which so much evil entered the church."

"The Catholic church is for saints and sinners alone."

Dante was a poet, not a historian. He had no special insight into the motives for actions, not sinful or heroical in themselves, that recent historical figures had engaged in, with a few limited exceptions where he, like any other person, either had personal knowledge or knew someone trustworthy with personal knowledge.

And Dante was about as partisan as you can get. The whole inferno is the world's most beautifully written polemic.

If anything, there absolutely had to be some eventual establishment of Papal retirement due to age. We are getting better at stopping people from dying, but not retaining the physical endurance for being a global icon at age 90.

Or they could go the other route. Instead of retiring and living out life connected to a dozen life support machines, perhaps the Curia could lay on a round the world Papal Trip? They could start in India. Have him kiss the tarmac. Eat some of the local food. Touch the feet of some local lepers. You know, you don't have to lay it on very thickly before the Pope has joined the Heavenly Choir and reaping his eternal reward and they can get on electing some other future hate target.

He finds his celebrity image offensive, by the way, as per a fresh interview with Corriere. Says, as you would expect, that he is a regular person like everybody else.

Except he's infallible, you know.

Admit it, he of all Popes doesn't take advantage of the assumption of his infallibility. You may be rightfully bothered by the mere existence of that notion, but doing away with it is hardly the Church's top priority.

The pope does not have an "assumption" of infallibility among Catholics. He has the ability to speak infallibly when so moved, but they almost never do.

That untruth is a rather pernicious misconception about Catholicism, usually spread by its detractors.

How you drill this into people is a mystery. I had an undergraduate prof, presbyterian btw, who teaching a reformation class gave that as an extra credit question on both midterms and the final, and people still got it wrong on the final.

Hang on. First you explain that he's infallible whenever he feels like it, then you claim that mention of his infallibility is an untruth. Is this one of those logical contradictions that can be solved by faith?

"I had an undergraduate prof, presbyterian btw, who teaching a reformation class gave that as an extra credit question on both midterms and the final"

When the pope says jump, how the height of the resulting leap depend on whether the pope speaks ex cathedra?

@Roy, even most Catholics have no idea how rare it is, I think.

@dearieme, the belief is not that the pope is infallible whenever he "feels like it", as in emotionally inclined ("moved" to do something for Christians often means moved by the Holy Spirit or something similar, not moved by emotion) -- there are rules you can Google if you'd like. My understanding is that this is a situation that's come up maybe a dozen times in 2,000 years. So yes, the commonly held belief that if the Pope says Pepsi all Catholics have to stop drinking Coke, that's off base. No mystery there at all.

The new Pope is a winner. I like him. The church should not worry about fanzines...

I left the Church as a child, but while I don't believe in God, I certainly believe the Catholic Church operates with a Seriousness not seen in most worldly institutions, especially the powerful. Look at government and politicians - they don't believe any of their shit. Businesses, sometimes, those are the ones to patronize, but anything with a full blown modern marketing and advertising campaign by a big corp generally doesn't believe its own shit. And it's obvious if you're not a rube. Bunch of Bullshitters, and I use that in the academic sense.

The Church, the Church believes their shit.

I actually think barring a "dead girl or live boy" force-majeure situation I actually am unsure if you could force a Pope to resign - the rules just don't allow for forcing a Pope out. You could strongly pressure him, try to make him see wisdom and reason and act for the best interests of the Church... you could assassinate or disable him... but I don't know about kicking him out. I suppose with genocidal sociopathy you could threaten to torture thousands or nuke a city and that might force him ...

If I could get away with it I'd sell bumper stickers at our parish with that slogan. It's excellent.

Mama mia! It has a centerfold of the Pope that I can jerk off to; I'm cancelling my subscription to Hustler!

I find it interesting that the Church would try to enforce copyright on the Pope's "teachings" (i.e. anything of spiritual relevance).

Not that they can, of course, but that they would, rather than preferring them to be repeated by anyone who wished to do so.

The Dalai clique has been treated coldly frequently while it is still willing to be a pawn for the U.S, it said. Over the past 60 years, the Dalai clique has colluded, taken advantage of and supported each other and internationalized the "Tibetan issue," the article said.

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