Culture

Feb 14, 2013

Inside the Vatican, West Wing meets The Da Vinci code

Pope Benedict's resignation is about much more than declining health. This is a Machiavellian power struggle more riveting than any soap opera, writes Vatican watcher Michael Hewitt-Gleeson.

The commentary on the Pope’s resignation seems to be largely ill-informed, naive or perhaps both. One newspaper’s online cover story even featured a 12-second video of lightning striking St Peter’s in Rome shortly after the Pope’s announcement. The point being …?

As more than 1000 years of well-documented history shows, in the salons of the Vatican, it is always about their infamous libido dominandi, their insatiable lust for power. Think The West Wing meets The Da Vinci Code meets The Borgias. Where power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. There is secrecy and blackmail, power and survival, s-x and r-pe, bribery and murder — contrasted with brilliance, virtuosity, bravery, humanity and love. What a story!

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17 comments

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17 thoughts on “Inside the Vatican, West Wing meets The Da Vinci code

  1. GF50

    Thankyou, so the plot thickens! like any form of politics money corrupts, ethics/morality/humanity, an easy conclusion when I have no belief in the Christian myth so no need to function with cognitive dissonance.

  2. Gavin Moodie

    I add my thanx for this piece which I likewise found most informative.

  3. Steve777

    Thank you for a very interesting and informative post. I hope a ‘Good Pope’ gets up.

  4. Harry1951

    Enlightening! I am an ex-Catholic and now an agnostic, but I would be appalled if Pell became Pope.That said there are probably others who might be worse.
    Hoping the church and religion generally sinks into irrelevance.

  5. gapot

    If the government in Italy can tax the church with its vast wealth why is our government unable to even talk about it. We not only give the church tax free status our government pays for their services in education and health care at full price.

  6. puddleduck

    Fascinating. Thank you for this brilliant, informative piece. Best thing I’ve read in crikey apart from Guy R for a while now.

    I’d LOVE to see a Good Pope elected. Not sure the Cardinals are up to the task.

  7. mikeb

    Wow that was a good read. Why isn’t this discussed elsewhere or have I just missed it? Dan Brown couldn’t think up a better story (but he’s probably working on it as we type).
    Hope the next Pope is a strong leader.

  8. Venise Alstergren

    MICHAEL H-G: Congratulations for being the scribe who has written the best comment on Benedict’s retirement that I’ve read. I’ve a couple of questions for you.

    “” He can put the future of the church back into the hands of the College of Cardinals … by resigning! Checkmate.””

    Has the Church got a future in it’s present form?

    Have any of the papal candidates got the pizzazz and the vision to take the Vatican into a two thousand year quantum leap into the present?

    “”That’s where George Pell of Australia might have a chance as he is one of the Pope’s loyal men.””

    By failing to keep the lid on the sodomising priests paedophilia scandal, surely George Pell’s name will not be snow-white? As it were.

  9. Andybob

    Excellent piece. One way we might tell that we have a good Pope is if Benedict came out of seclusion to lead a movement against him.

  10. AR

    It may be interesting to see a decent person as Pope but how could that happen given that the catchment is composed of creatures who’ve smarmed, slimed and slithered their way into position?
    Good riddance to Ratzinger, the 8th level of hell awaits you & your ilk.

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