dinsdag, juli 27, 1999

boek over viespeukerij binnen vaticaan en jp2

ROME — Eager for juicy stories, the public has done what a court order from the Holy See failed to do: cleared store bookshelves of a gossipy, insider look at cardinals and other top Vatican officials.

A decree, issued by a Holy See tribunal, orders one of the alleged authors, an Italian monsignor who retired two years ago after 45 years at the Vatican, to ensure that Gone with the Wind in the Vatican is taken off store shelves.

The book appeared a few months ago to little fanfare, but after the retired cleric, Msg. Luigi Marinelli, said he had been told to appear with a lawyer at a Vatican court hearing, the book rushed off store shelves. He refused to attend a Holy See court hearing to determine if he should stand trial for the book filled with allegations about greed, corruption and arrogance at the Vatican.

The Roman Rota, the Vatican tribunal more known for deciding marriage annulment cases, handled the closed-door hearing. The Vatican press office said the tribunal had requested that no members speak to reporters. In its only comment, the Vatican described the case as a defamation lawsuit.

The 288-page volume paints some prelates as greedy for power and lacking in virtue, with vignettes ranging from a prelate being stopped at the border with Switzerland carrying a suitcase stuffed with cash to a bishop denounced in court by a youth for alleged sexual abuse. The identities are disguised - more or less.
"Morality in the Vatican is infested by intrigue, corruption and favoritism," the book jacket says, alleging that promotions, including appointments to bishops' posts, are often the result of whom you know and not necessarily what you've accomplished.

At Feltrinelli, a large chain bookstore, customers were told that the book had sold out in all 3 central Rome stores. The daily, largely secret, workings of the world behind the Vatican's fortified walls were intriguing even Milan, where stylists and financiers, not clergy and bureaucrats, usually make news.

"They did a great service for the publisher," Marinelli, in an interview with Associated Press, said dryly of the Vatican court, the Roman Rota, which is more known for its decisions on marriage annulments. "The court made a nasty joke," Marinelli said. "The index of banned books doesn't exist any more."
He was referring to the Vatican's Index of Forbidden Books, a now discontinued list of works Catholics were forbidden to read. The monsignor claimed that the work was a collaboration of many people interested in reforming the Roman Curia, the Vatican's bureaucratic machine.
"We all don't even know each other," Marinelli said, adding, "I'm just the spokesman."
A new manual, which was approved by Pope John Paul II this spring, warns Vatican employees that disclosing pontifical secrets is punishable by firing.
Marinelli, 72, worked for many years at the Vatican's Congregation for Eastern Churches. Card. Achille Silvestrini, who is reputedly one of several top Vatican officials described by the book in thinly veiled detail, heads that congregation. Some observers have theorized Marinelli may have been bitter over his failure to become a bishop. He denies that was the motivation.

AP 7/27/99