Remember that stupid, wicked and gawdawful book by David Yallop full of unsubstantiated and prurient speculation about an assassination of Pope John Paul I?

When the speculation about the secret “Vatileaks Report” started to rev up, with its scandalous possibilities, Yallop jumped to mind.  The lefty press is Yalloping the Pope and that Report.   “The Pope was forced out by clandestine [FILL IN BLANK – options: homosexuals, corrupt bankers, the Flying Wallendas, etc.]!”

Now I read a piece at The Telegraph:

The Pope will die within a year: Vatican ‘assassination fears’ revealed

The Pope will die within the next 12 months, a senior Vatican figure has reportedly claimed amid fears of an assassination plot.

The sensational prediction was allegedly made by Cardinal Paolo Romeo, the archbishop of Palermo in Sicily, on a recent visit to China.  [Sounds like a movie screenplay… kinda like the one I am writing, but mine has vampires in it…]
Cardinal Romeo reportedly made the startling prediction of the Pope’s death during a trip to China in November 2011.
He seemed so sure of the fact that the people he spoke with, including Italian businessmen and Chinese representatives of the Catholic Church, were convinced that he was talking about an assassination attempt.
They were so alarmed by his remarks that they reported them back to the Vatican.
The extraordinary comments were written up in a top-secret report, dated Dec 30, 2011, and delivered to the Pope by a senior cardinal, Dario Castrillon Hoyos, a Colombian, in January.

It warns of a “Mordkomplott” – death plot – against Benedict.
The story was broken on Friday by an Italian daily, Il Fatto Quotidiano, with the headline “Plot against the Pope – he will die within 12 months”.  [More about Il Fatto below!]
The newspaper, which has a reputation for scoops, published a page from the confidential report.  [*sigh*]


Shades of Pope Boniface VIII and poor Celestine, his predecessor.

Now, in my version… there’s this cadre of secret Vatican vampire assassins… yes, I know that’s been done before…. but these assassins are the vampires… see?  SEE?

BTW… a friend of mine in Rome describes the Italian paper Il Fatto Quotidiano as:

“An elitist Commie rag of journos dissatisfied with the official party organ.  Even their own relatives avoid buying it.  Subsidies to political parties make this possible.”

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. acardnal says:

    “An elitist Commie rag of journos dissatisfied with the official party organ.”

    I wonder what organ that would be?

  2. Supertradmum says:

    Subsidies, great…who is paying all the other people to drag up rot this past week?

    Well, the good nuns, not the Magisterium of Nuns, taught me that curiosity was a sin.

    Using research skills for a purpose is one thing. Spreading nonsense or scandal, or evil is another.

    I use to teach logic, debate and argumentation. Most journalist would earn a big “F” from me.

    Wait, wait, I think there is an albino Opus Dei assassin in all of this somewhere, or maybe
    yes, the editor of The Tablet!

  3. jessicahoff says:

    I see the Italians have their equivalent of the Fishwrap and the Bitter Pill. Like the poor they are always with us, it seems.

  4. inexcels says:

    That bizarre Telegraph article underscores my lament that I’ve lost the ability to tell the difference between satire and reality–and I don’t think it’s because my satire-detector is poorly developed.

  5. AvantiBev says:

    “An elitist Commie rag of journos…” You mean the New York Slimes?

  6. RichardT says:

    Hang on. Someone predicted in November 2011 that the Pope would die within 12 months?

    That might have been an interesting story, but only until November 2012.

  7. mike cliffson says:

    For the sake of your uk and britculture anglosshper followers
    please bring into the plot
    Dr who
    Prosthetnic vogons

    or possibl y, just Mrs blit(She of the sinister handbag) and the blitmen
    bonzo dog dodah band

  8. Supertradmum says:

    mike cliffson, the man who made the Daleks just died….makes me feel old.

  9. Stumbler but trying says:

    The article made me laugh and quite frankly, had me thinking of the Japanese and their odd misrepresentations and obsessions with all things Catholic. I am a fan of Japanese animation and believe you me when I say that some of the stuff they animate is shocking, vulgar and distorted.
    One series, “Trinity Blood” has as its main character, Abel Nightroad, who is a traveling priest from the Vatican and a crusnik, (a vampire that drinks the blood of vampires). He is a member of the “Ax”, a special operations group led by Cardinal Catherina Sforza. Yep, you read it here…a female. When I saw that and the cleavage revealing robes she was wearing I dropped it and fast.
    Anyway, not to stray way off topic…I can see why some are just fascinated with all things related to the Vatican.

  10. WesleyD says:

    This Telegraph article is dated 10 Feb 2012 — just over a year ago. So the prediction has already failed.

  11. MarrakeshEspresso says:

    Fr Z, you couldn’t be more wrong. Everyone knows that Pope Benedict XVI was kidnapped in 2008 by aliens from the planet Zort and replaced by an android imposter.

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  13. inexcels says:

    @Stumbler: As someone who enjoys the better offerings of Japanese animation myself (though it has a lot of crap just like all modern entertainment), I know where you’re coming from. The thing is that Christianity is a TINY minority in Japan. I don’t think most of them have much of a clue about Christianity and just adapt disjointed stereotypes for their own purposes. Since it’s (often) done in ignorance rather than malice, I find it less offensive than a lot of the stuff over here in the West that knowingly revels in ripping on all things Christian.

  14. Charles E Flynn says:

    Christianity in Japan got off to a rough start:

    Tea and Christianity, by Karen Anderson, for Crisis Magazine.

    I had been trying to find evidence that the Mass influenced the tea ceremony for a long time. Be sure to read the part about the stone lanterns in the tea gardens near the end.

  15. Johnno says:

    As a fan of Japanese anime myself I think we should have our own Section XIII Iscariot Division.

    Fans of Hellsing will know what I mean…

    Also as inexcels says, the Japanese don’t typically know what they are doing when it comes to Christianity. They just like the symbols and ‘myth’, they find it cool. So they toss it all together with Japanese folklore to create some weird stuff. But it is not done out of malice.

    But there are also good portrayals of historic Christianity and otherwise in anime. more recently, check out ‘Samurai Champloo’ and also more recently ‘Kids on the Slope’ and there was also the short film ‘My Last Day’ about Good Friday, though that was a co-production between Americans and Japanese.

    I also recommend highly recommend checking out ‘Adam & Dog’ which was nominated for an Oscar this year!

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  17. mike cliffson says:

    RIP Daleks ‘ father then!
    But Ifear the remnants of humanity and ordinary decent Brit quirkiness in BBC corporate culture that were his and others’ growth medium died a long time ago, barring odd holdouts in classical music and here and there in the overseas service; sandcastles with each wave washing away more.

  18. Stumbler but trying says:

    @ Johnno…I am a long time fan of the genre and have watched all the ones you mentioned.
    Hellsing Ultimate…was a trip. (I liked Father Anderson)
    “One Pound Gospel” is good except in one scene Sister Marie Angela is portrayed as hearing confessions and a possible love interest for the main character. I rolled my eyes at that one.
    With regards to how the Japanese martyred the early Christians and the faithful in Japan, it is brutal and yet beautiful since despite hundreds of years underground and misunderstood, they kept the faith to this very day.

    Vampires in the Vatican…always funny in a lite hearted way.

  19. Mark R says:

    First, I don’t understand how anyone can take Italian journalism seriously. What little I have enountered relied heavily on speculation and hearsay. Journalists in some northern European countries are often unemployeable phil. or history majors and are able to to real journalism, compared with Italy or America. I don’t know who they draw from in the country of my forbears.
    Second, why would a homosexual scandal force out a Pope. It would have arisen anyway, it is no mystery to anyone in Rome that there are priests and seminarians who do this sort of thing. It is no news.

  20. Desertfalcon says:

    At least I am starting to see in the American press, some recognition of the nature of these stories, of how they are un-sourced and devoid of facts or proof of any kind.

  21. maryh says:

    Ah, I’m a fan of a few manga and anime myself. So far I haven’t see any distortion of Christianity due to malice, in agreement with what you others have said. It’s more like Westerners portraying an Eastern non-Christian religion – they just think its exotic and cool, and don’t really know much about real practice.

    What I find absolutely fascinating is that these stories generally come from a non-Christain background, so they can often make clear things that we don’t realize are Christian beliefs and have a tendency to project onto other religions because “of course all people of good faith believe this.”

    Fullmetal Alchemist (which has no explicit Catholic content) is like that (at least the manga and second anime). There’s a whole subtext about forgiving enemies and how it is wrong / cowardly to commit suicide. (Lots of other stuff too, just picking those two.) These are two concepts we, as Catholics, just take for granted, even though we don’t always live up to them, and yet the manga/anime doesn’t take them for granted at all. It struggles with the concepts, not just as difficult to do, but as trying to figure out whether they are things we should try to do. Not from an anti-Christian viewpoint but from a viewpoint that just doesn’t include Christianity as a norm at all.

  22. Johnno says:

    Another anime to recommend is ‘Now and Then, Here and There’ about a very spirited young man who is positive to a fault, willing to sacrifice himself and with a very pro-life message.

    Ancient Japan and many of its traditions today about honor, gender roles etc. very much reflect the ancient Biblical mindset.

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