Pope Francis I, the Vatican, and the Heracles myth


This music video yet again: Bafflin’ Smoke Signals – by Lee “Scratch” Perry.

While I am amidst wildlife in Costa Rica, the rest of the world does not stop.

On 13 March 2014, Dutch daily De Volkskrant published an article by Sarah Venema on the Vatican.

On that 13 March, Francis I had been pope for one year. During the reign of his predecessor, Benedict XVI, Ms Venema wrote (my translation):

Cardinals denounced each other as gays, liars and frauds and leaked anonymous messages about each other to Italian papers. …

A monsignor who cut extravagant expenses -500,000 euro for a nativity manger on St Peter’s square was too much- was kicked upstairs, safely away to the USA.

The chief editor of the Vatican daily Avvenire had to go after he had written negatively about the sexual scandals of Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Ms Venema writes that the new pope sacked cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, a Berlusconi crony. He also sacked all cardinals, save one, who used to be on the Vatican bank board.

The ancient Greek myth on a demigod and hero mentioned that Heracles managed to clean the extremely dirty stables of king Augias with very unconventional means: by diverting a river through the royal stables.

Does Pope Francis I have the courage, intelligence and strength of that mythical demigod? It is too early to tell after one year.

Wenders offers hagiography. The director’s undoubted cinematic achievement is lessened by his undue reverence for Pope Francis which leaves too many vital questions unanswered, writes MARIA DUARTE.

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