I have alluded to this Vatican scandal before: The pope’s personal butler has been arrested for passing secret documents to some journalist. The head of the Vatican bank has been fired:
The Holy See’s travails became clearly evident on May 17, with the publication of a book, Your Holiness: The Secret Papers of Benedict XVI, in which the Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi reproduced dozens of leaked letters, memos and cables, many of them from within the office of the Pope. Then came the ouster of the head of the Vatican Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, who on Thursday received a vote of no confidence from the bank’s overseers, in part because he was suspected of passing on confidential documents. Finally, there was the arrest the next day of one of the men closest to the pontiff, his personal butler, Paolo Gabriele, who was caught with sensitive papers in his possession.
And this all presumably has to do with a power struggle within the Vatican:
Many Vatican watchers have speculated that the drama is the fall out of a struggle for power between Pope Benedict XVI’s second-in-command, Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, and rival cardinals and the Vatican’s veteran diplomatic staff, which has resented him since his arrival. “Bertone is effectively under fire,” says Magister. “If the government of the church is in such disastrous condition, then it’s clear that the head of the state needs to answer for these.”
So yesterday the pope came up with a strong response to the scandal: he hired someone from Fox News to be the Vatican’s media adviser. Smart move! The Vatican will become fair and balanced! It reports, you decide! Here are the other kinds of things this guy will deal with:
Benedict’s now-infamous speech about Muslims and violence, his 2009 decision to rehabilitate a schismatic bishop who denied the Holocaust, and the Vatican’s response to the 2010 explosion of the sex abuse scandal are just a few of the blunders that have tarnished Benedict’s papacy.
Of course, there is no indication that the Vatican will actually change its beliefs or practices as a result of this move. The Vatican will do what it does; Benedict will believe what he believes; things will presumably just be messaged more smoothly.
Here, by the way, is an exhaustive Wikipedia article about Benedict’s speech that caused such problems with Muslims. Good job promoting religious dialogue, Benedict!
Anyway, let me just remind folks that Pontiff numbers among its many characters the Vatican secretary of state, the head of the Vatican bank, and the pope’s butler (really, his personal aide). Plus scenes of Fenway Park! And it’s currently available for the astonishingly low price of $0.99!