Quick Hits: Vatileaks defendants targeting Cardinal Pell, adapting the Extraordinary Form
Francesca Chaouqui, the flamboyant publicist who was convicted in last year’s “Vatileaks II” trial, has published a book about her experiences inside the Vatican bureaucracy. John Allen has reviewed the book, reporting that it is self-serving and, despite a great deal of ballyhoo, provides very little new information about Vatican financial troubles. Chaouqui rehashes old news about mismanagement and excessive spending: real problems, to be sure, but problems that have already been covered exhaustively.
What is interesting about the Chaouqui book, Allen notes, is her apparent determination to make Cardinal George Pell the villain of her story. That’s a curious choice for several reasons. Cardinal Pell only came on the scene as the Vatican’s economic-accountability czar after the excesses that Chaouqui recounts, and his campaign (which has been effectively neutralized by other Vatican bureaucrats) was to curtail the financial misadventures. So why would Chaouqui point her finger at the Australian cardinal? Allen remarks that Emiliano Fittipaldi, another Vatileaks defendant who has produced a new book on the subject, also has Cardinal Pell in his crosshairs.
So two of the key figures in the embarrassing leakage of Vatican financial documents have an animus against the prelate who was appointed to clear up the mess. That suggests something, doesn’t it, about the motives of the leakers—and of any other Vatican officials who may have helped them?
When he broadened access to the Latin Mass in Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict XVI said that the use of the Extraordinary Form alongside the Ordinary Form could be “mutually enriching.” Traditionalists usually interpret that comment to mean that the Ordinary Form would be enriched by incorporating some elements of the Extraordinary, and they’re right. But it could be a two-way street, Father Peter Stravinskas in a provocative Catholic World Report essay. He suggests a number of ways in which the Extraordinary Form could be adapted, using elements of the Ordinary Form, without sacrificing reverence or threatening the integrity of the older ritual.
The question is: Will traditionalists tolerate any change in their beloved liturgy? A response to Father Stravinsaks by Father Albert Marcello, also appearing in Catholic World Report, is one strong indication that the answer is No.
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