Daily Archives: July 31, 2014
Francis’ Own Humble Abode, And A Couple Of Considerations
I wonder if this Marco Tosatti article would have made for a good inspiration for a show in the style of MTV “Cribs” where, instead of the ear-ringed rap singer impossible to understand (no’ wha’ I’m say’? yo!) you get the somewhat more stylish, humble abode of His Humbleness himself.
I have already written about the fact that with Francis’ occupation of vast space (one entire floor, it seems; it makes sense, for security reasons) within the Domus Sanctae Marthae, rooms are taken away from the usual hotel guests, whilst the papal apartments are obviously (and let us hope no one gives Francis the idea) not given to illegal immigrants trying to introduce themselves into Italy through some shitty boat. But this here is different, because it exposes the hypocrisy of the “humble man” thinking in its minutest details.
Firstly: I have thought – like, I am sure, all of us – that the Domus Sanctae Marthae was a decorous, nice hotel for visiting prelates like many, shall we say, honest three star hotels you find in Italy. Something in the range of the 80-100 euro a room per night; undoubtedly nice, but no luxury.
Well, if you look at the photos you will see that this appears rather different, with the atrium revealing a more upscale concept (say: four stars, comfortably), which in turn lets one assume the rooms are equipped and sized accordingly. Yes, it’s not as splendid as the Papal Apartments certainly are; but then again this one is such a boor that in the middle of unspeakable beauty he would merely find himself uncomfortable. So much for the humble living, then.
But what about the “living among the people?” Haven’t we been delighted with the idea of the Pope happily walking among busy Monsignori (some of them not perverts, presumably), greeting them here and there, shaking hands in a friendly atmosphere, and eating together with all the others whilst discussing the news of the day, and asking what is there for lunch today? “!Ola, Paco! Que pasa?”
Well, not… quite.
It appears His Humbleness eats not only suitably detached from the clerical proletariat, but he does not want to be seen by them, either, with plants humbly but effectively screening him from the sight of the more or less adoring fans.
“Ah, but this has to be so, Mundabor!”, you will say, “otherwise everyone would want to shake hands, greet him, and co!”
Quite. Which is why you have the Papal Apartments, conveniently away from hotel rooms.
An apartment is there to keep you apart. If you want to live in community, well clearly you will have a community around you. Not difficult, really.
So: Pope Humble wants you to believe he lives in some humble abode, but it turns out the abode is quite the luxury establishment. He wants you to believe he lives in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the Monsignori, but he keeps himself away from them. And he takes away from them an entire floor of hotel rooms, or a number of hotel rooms, because to use the office in the Vatican is too much of a Renaissance Prince thing.
Congratulations. This wins the Uriah Heep Prize 2014 every day.
Now, let us say a couple of harsh things here: why, then, does Pope Francis the Humble Hotel Dweller live in the Domus Sanctae Marthae? And why does he accept to live under the supervision and the management of a scandalous homosexual priest?
Can it be only for the “image”? Yes, it can. It certainly can. For this man, Francis is everything.
But stop and think, for once, as you would if this were not the Pope, then this is very much a sui generis Pope. Could it be… worse?
Why on earth would one keep as gatekeeper a person obviously depending on his grace to even keep his clerical habit? Could it be, because he needs someone who shuts three eyes concerning who gets in and out, perhaps at night? Could it be that in such a way he has much more freedom of movement for himself and others – perhaps, movements the people better not be informed of – than he would in the papal apartments, with the endless corridors and the inability to move without all the planet knowing it, besides the distances to be covered to get out of the Leonine Walls?
From the Domus, one hop and you are out, in Rome, in the middle of the sheep. Which, at night, tend to be the most smelling ones. or, conversely, you can have all sort of sheep visiting you; with just a handful of people knowing, and they conveniently chosen. But to do this, you need someone who covers you and whom you can trust, because he has so much to lose if you only snap your finger; one who, says, hires and keeps in the strategic places other people who are as vulnerable as he is; then, you can have the people get in and out at ease, Pope included.
No, don’t look at me in that way (I know you are; I can see your face right now): one who openly lives in a hotel run by a well-known pervert at the margin of the Vatican City has deserved that questions are posed.
This isn’t Padre Pio, you see.
And let us leave it at that.
The Thing With The Poverty
Too much luxury. Let’s look good and spend more money instead.
Let us imagine that the Italian Prime Minister, Enrico Letta, were to decide that the wonderful offices in the spectacularly beautiful Palazzo Chigi in Rome (see photo above) were not befitting the modern times of austerity and economic crisis.
Let us further imagine that he would decide to give an example, and move the offices of the Prime Minister in more modest quarters in some conveniently located, but cheaper and far less spectacular office space in, say, the EUR neighbourhood, seat of several Ministries already.
Let us also imagine that, for obvious security and prestige reasons, the Chigi palace were to be left empty.
Finally, let us imagine that the total space occupied by Mr Letta in the new EUR quarters were actually bigger than the space occupied by his former offices.
If all this were to happen, would…
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