He hath put down the mighty from their seat : and hath exalted the humble and meek. (Click on the link for the scoop)
A photograph taken in Argentina in 2007 shows two cardinals, Jorge Mario Bergoglio and Tarcisio Bertone, sitting side by side, although their chairs are on two different levels. At the time, Bertone was the Vatican’s Secretary of State, having traveled to a village in northern Patagonia “in the name of His Holiness Benedict XVI” to preside over the beatification of a turn-of-the-century religious student.
Bertone’s wooden armchair sits on a dais that puts him a good six inches higher than Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, who perches uncomfortably on his metal-and-plastic seat, and the man known to many as the “vice-pope” occupies his virtual throne with kingly complacency, clad in yards of fine Italian filetto lace beneath his golden chasuble, with a sporty pair of aviator sunglasses to complement his gold-embroidered miter (and is that a Rolex on his wrist?). Next to him, in Jesuit black under plain white robes, Cardinal Bergoglio, with his iron cross and his horn-rimmed spectacles, looks open-mouthed upon the radiant spectacle, his famously mobile face providing the perfect caption to the picture. Six years later, Bergoglio became Pope Francis, and things have not been the same since.
On May 19, the glossy, gossipy German newspaper Bild Zeitung printed a report that made immediate headlines in Italy: Vatican prosecutors had begun to investigate allegations that Cardinal Bertone, as the Holy See’s Number Two from 2006 to 2013, had embezzled 15 million euros ($20 million) from Vatican accounts, apparently to benefit an Italian television producer, a former director of the state broadcaster RAI named Ettore Bernabei, with deep connections to Italy’s conservative establishment and a longtime membership in the powerful Catholic organization Opus Dei. The transfer of these funds allegedly occurred in December 2012. The Vatican press corps swiftly denied that a “criminal investigation” was underway, and Bertone himself insisted that the deal had followed “all the rules.”
But the timing of the presumptive transaction is, to say the least, interesting. It came at the very end of the remarkable year in which confidential documents from Pope Benedict’s private office began leaking to the press, revealing power struggles within the Curia and suggestions of widespread corruption within the Church. In these “Vatileaks” documents, Cardinal Bertone figured prominently: he had personally reproved the general secretary of the Vatican governorate, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, for reporting detailed evidence of nepotism, cronyism, and crooked property deals within the Vatican, and soon Pope Benedict had transferred the whistle-blowing prelate from the Vatican to Washington.
In May 2012, tensions escalated still further: the papers from the Viganò affair and other confidential documents were published and analyzed in a book by journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, Sua Santità (His Holiness); Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, head of the Vatican bank, was deposed from office after a vote of no confidence by the institution’s governing board (whose five members were themselves fired this month); and the Pope’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, was arrested as the probable source of the Vatileaks papers and confined to a room on the Vatican grounds. In October 2012, a Vatican court convicted Gabriele of grand theft and sentenced him to jail. By December, however, when the transfer of monies is said to have occurred, Bertone could have felt more confident about his position within the Church; even the pardon Pope Benedict extended to his former butler was only a partial pardon, for Paolo Gabriele remains exiled forever from Vatican territory….Read More
A bit about yours truly.
Though Catholic missionaries screwed with my head, something akin to mental rape by Jesuits; I do have a soft spot for them — kinda Stockholm syndrome. The less said, the better. The Jesuits and other Catholic missionaries I know keep harping about the fact that they provide India with the best education possible. That is why I have put my kid in an upscale English medium Hindu school. They admit token poor students in the metropolises and exalt in the sadistic pleasure they dole out to parents seeking admissions in their sad conversion mills. Oh yes, they don’t get to catch most Hindus — but then seen from the evangelical viewpoint; that is their failing ( vide Fr. Amaladoss S.J. in Jivan).
By the way, I have two additional qualifications in Catholic theology from a well known Catholic seminary. And by the grace of God, I was barely getting converted by the Jesuits when I was saved by the Atman who is in all — for me, the Ramakrishna Mission.
Incidentally , the Jesuits I know love their Blackberries gifted to them by their businessmen friends; they love metropolitan glamour and are nothing like our sannyasins. Oh yes, the clergy in India prefer saffron clothes and the nuns wear saris — that is because they are trying to inculturate. They want to convert India. If I am wrong then please see Jivan, the in-house journal of the Jesuits of India. Fr. Amaladoss S.J. rues the fact that Indian Jesuits have not been able to convert India; nor are they educationally relevant anymore.
Oh, under Jesuit influence I ran away from home at 18. & I am a single child (now a greying adult ;-) ) of my parents. The Salesians at Sonada, Darjeeling hid me (under the Calcutta Province of the Salesians of Don Bosco). My luggage was conscientiously kept with the cloistered Carmelite nuns in Calcutta. They lied to my dad about my whereabouts. ( I was lucky; I did not convert — but the present Provincial of the Jesuits in Kolkata is a Hindu convert ). Before suing me, please read Jivan … I have an article there too published in 2006, saying how the Jesuits have sold out in India — they published it alongside their Superior General’s interview.
In all fairness I knew a great Christian Brother; a great Canadian Jesuit and a few others who were not after my soul — saints all. Sadly it is my misfortune that the ones I know today are not those who walk with the middle classes of India, leave alone the poor.