Ricca Scandal: Bishop Francis Had Been Warned
I have learnt Sandro Magister had published a first article about Ricca on the 3 July.
I might be wrong, but this kind of article seems to me a “polite notice” of sort: the Bishop of Rome is generously given the opportunity to draw the consequences and save face, before the steamroller takes its course.
What I think happened is that “L'Espresso” sent the clear message they have the story and the story will come out, but Bishop Jorge is allowed to be proactive in the matter; not escaping a great embarrassment of course, but at least appearing as one who is good at understanding when he is wrong, and is rapid in his reactions when he is.
In fact, the embarrassing denial of the always embarrassing Father Lombardi – stating Bishop Francis was informed of the allegations, and found Ricca sound – might well refer to a scrutiny and conclusion which took place before the day the major bomb was dropped.
If this is true – and it appears very credible – then it is difficult not to see that this Pope isn't good at choosing people, or making difficult decisions. He is rather in his element when he can travel to Lampedusa pleading for illegal immigration, but when statesmanship – or simply leadership – is required he is simply nowhere. He was given – or should have recognised – an opportunity for damage control, and preferred to simply stick his head in the sand.
Allow me to say your typical Renaissance Prince would have done better.
Further elements appeared and are now scattered all over the press, but are all run by major newspapers.
1. Ricca was beaten several years ago in a place frequented by sodomites, where he apparently used to go frequently. Somehow, I can't imagine the cause of the quarrel was the filioque clause.
2. On another occasion, he remained stuck in a lift and was found in the company of a male sodomite prostitute known to the police. Think no evil?
3. He had quarters arranged for his “friend”, an officer of the Swiss army, in Uruguay. The arrangement was scandalous enough to be remembered today by many (the “Espresso” obviously has watertight and very detailed information on the matter).
4. This shrinking violet and beacon of priestly behaviour had the confidence of Pope Francis, who had lunch with him often. It is reported Pope Francis was “impressed” with the way Ricca ran the Domus Sanctae Marthae. I can imagine the conversation as follows: “We need a prelate for the bank, you say? Hhhmmm, let's see. There would be Ricca. Nice chap. I have lunch with him often. Cracks a lot of jokes, you see. Hey, he runs three hotels. Must be good enough for a bank then, eh? no?”.
Here we see the advantages of not living in the Papal apartments, and happily mixing with the happy (other word for happy: “gay”) crowd of the Vatican: the friendly folks who keep you in touch with reality and help you to make “reforms”.
5. It appears Francis also had had warnings from South American nuncios, who just days after the appointment informed him about his tragic mistake. This might have been before the warning shot of “L'Espresso” on the 3 July. Action taken? Nada.
Once again, a picture emerges of a person tragically out of his depth, but so persuaded of his own humbleness that he is impervious to common sense and sound thinking. When he chooses people of trust, they turn out to be miserable faggots frequenting the dirty underworld of sodomy, and paying for rent boys. When he is warned to admit the mistake and draw the consequences, he refuses to act. When the scandal erupts, he sends his own press man to say the sources are not trustworthy. When further details emerge, he again refuses to act. The … humbleness is breathtaking.
Trust me, this papacy promises to be extremely entertaining.
Bishop Francis flies to Brazil tomorrow, where no doubt he hopes the usual waffle about everything that is fashionable will put his humbleness front and centre, and the scandals in some dark background. We shall see. I am sure he will have fantastic coverage, but I truly do not think the press will stop sniffing in the matters of the Vatican. Particularly considering the happy instincts and prudent conduct of the present… Bishop of Rome.