The Tablet’s Sourpuss – POLL BELOW!

I wrote HERE about the interview that Archbp. Gänswein gave to German TV in which he spoke, inter alia, about Francis asking Benedict for comments on one of his interviews.  I wrote that the interview reinforces my view that Pope Francis, through Gänswein, is shaping the role of Pope Emeritus.

Now I see that in The Bitter Pill (aka RU-486 aka The Tablet) deputy editrix Elena Curti has had a little spittle-flecked nutty about the Gänswein TV interview.  Channeling her inner Red Queen, she wants Gänswein sidelined.

We all know the facts of what Archbp. Gänswein has been doing. He is open. He is frank and conducts interviews. He would not be giving interviews and talking about Pope Francis and about Benedict XVI if either of them didn’t want him to. He is an old hand. He understands (unlike some prelates) discretion with the press. He understands what damage the wrong information in interviews can cause.

Pill‘s Curti watched Archbp. Gänswein’s interview and came to a different conclusion. She thinks that Gänswein is sour about Benedict’s renunciation of the papacy. Watch the interview and then ask yourself who is being sour.  I suspect Curti is indulging in a bit of projection.

She goes on to suggest that by choosing to live at Santa Marta rather than in the Apostolic Palace, Francis is keeping Gänswein “at arm’s length”. Is she dreaming? If Francis wants to remove him he knows how to do it. Extraordinary.

For a nano-second while watching the interview I too wondered if Archbp. Gänswein had some agenda that was not in keeping with both Francis and Benedict. Then I dismissed that goofy notion as absurd and moved on to reality.

I included a link that should take you to the German interview.  Watch it yourself and see if the Archbishop is “sour”.  I think not.

So he said that he was surprised that Bergoglio was elected and that he wasn’t his own choice.  Big deal!  Who thought Card. Bergoglio was going to be elected?  Everyone had their choices.  And how does that amount to Gänswein being in any way disloyal to Francis?

Liberals are binary creatures.  They can’t fathom that one can have a preference and then, nevertheless, submit and be obedient.

What Curti’s piece does is reveal her own sour animus for Benedict and everything he stands for, and that he still has influence.

Be careful, Ms. Curti! You don’t want to end up a “sourpuss”!

Cf Evangelii gaudium 85.


The Tablet: Bitter Pill or Sour?

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HA!  Pill‘s Curti chirrups.

Since when can calumny be debated in a healthful manner?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Liberals, Lighter fare, Linking Back, Throwing a Nutty, What are they REALLY saying?, You must be joking! and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. SimonR says:

    The Tablet article stated:

    “Pope Francis has kept Gänswein at arm’s length by choosing to live in the Domus Sanctae Marthae rather than Apostolic Palace where the Prefect of the Papal Household holds sway. Looked at with hindsight that was a wise decision”.

    Aha, the secret has finally been revealed as to why Pope Francis decided not to live in the Papal Apartments! It was because of concern over Archbishop Gänswein !!!!!

  2. Incaelo says:

    I think they’re more bitter than sour. Bitter that Francis hasn’t done away with anything that reminds them of Benedict XVI. I think you’re right about them being binary, Father. Surely it is impossible that Francis would keep a Benedictine confidant like Archbishop Gänswein so close to him?

  3. benedetta says:

    What a lovely interview that was. I understood nary a word. Anyway, hilarious that this Tablet aka The Bitter Pill writer, foil-hat donning, is saying and wants us to believe that somehow he secretly decided to give this interview without fully informing his boss ahead of time. Why do liberal nutties never disclose things in their contexts, any context just about? They just try to chew your food for you. What so VII about that?

  4. SimonDodd says:

    Curti is working terribly hard to misunderstand a simple point. The quote is this: “I had favored other candidates – I was wrong – but then so were other people.” The most natural reading is that the verb expresses prediction, not preference; otherwise what sense does “I was wrong” make? That parenthetical observation strongly suggests that his comment parses as “I thought that someone else was more likely to win, but I was wrong, and so were the others.” And that is precisely in alignment with what happened: Cardinal Bergoglio was not papabile. All of us “favored” other candidates to win, in the sense that we “favor” a particular horse in the 3:15: Not that we prefer that horse but in the sense that we think it will win, and we are “wrong” when it doesn’t.

    If the horse analogy doesn’t grab you, try this one, in which the verb is deliberately ambiguous: “In the 2012 election, I favored Mitt Romney (but I was wrong).” Without the parenthetical, the verb is ambiguous: It is unclear whether the speaker means “favor” in the sense of “supported” or “predicted the victory of.” But with the parenthetical, it’s very obvious that the sentence has the latter sense. So too with Ganswein.

  5. benedetta says:

    And as to her allegations, where is her proof? Certainly not in the interview. So, proof? Context? Any? Crickets… If one is pleased to make an attack of this sort without any evidence whatsoever to support it, and the full context makes a lie of it, it can only be to generate a reactionary response from their instrumentalized readership. At this point journalism of course no longer informs with objective reportage but makes slaves of its readership. What would be the problem in airing the full context and facts, without the incitement? Would it mean the end of their jobs? I wonder.

  6. Iacobus M says:

    “Tabula Delenda Est”!! Id amo! Et sine mora . . .

  7. acricketchirps says:


  8. majuscule says:

    I’m not sure if this is of interest to anyone but here are some translations of the interview. This link should take you to the English, but further up the page it is also in Spanish and Italian. (If the link takes you to the top of the page then scroll down to the language you want.)

    This appears to be a fan site. The archbishop has a following!

  9. “The tears he was seen shedding as Benedict left office bear testimony to his closeness to the Pope Emeritus and his recent words show where his loyalties lie.”

    I wonder why Ms. Curti thinks there must be a division of Ab. Gänswein’s loyalties between Francis and Benedict, that he could not be serve both loyalty, even be close to both. Could it be that Tablet-type liberals don’t understand loyalty to the pope as the Vicar of Christ, independent of the person of the occupant of that office?

  10. benedetta says:

    majascule, Thank you for posting the multi-lingual translation of the interview. Wonderful. What beautiful humility and generosity. I love the fond and glowing way he speaks of, and appreciates, Pope Francis while at the same time taking nothing from Pope Emeritus Benedict. And, how interesting the glimpse into Pope Benedict’s life of simplicity. It seems after all that Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict are living the way of simplicity very similarly, and surprisingly for the way the media has attempted to portray some sort of shocking contrast really.

    As to the Tablet aka The Bitter Pill’s tweet from the editor, LOL. I guess she’s got to say something. After now reading the interview and comparing it to her bizarre allegations, the additional problem here is that she is actually an editor. Her tweet “What are you afraid of” is just another way of announcing to the world “I claim to be a writer as profession, but I write things I have no foundation for, about others, in the Catholic world, in order to generate hatred and incite divisions amongst believers”. If she is happy with that for her life’s work, well. What more can one do but pray for her. And certainly continue to disseminate factual information even more widely across the blogosphere so that people may learn the facts, form their consciences freely, and choose of their own free will.

  11. The Cobbler says:

    Did she just try to use the fact that debate is basically good as a criticism of… you debating her?

  12. terryprest says:

    Dear Father Z,

    Can I commend you for your act of charity in plucking a completely unknown journalist from obscurity and “spiking her stats”. That will have no doubt made her day [Just trying to help. o{]:¬) ]

    I see from her Twitter account that she has 25 followers and follows 67 [Hey! Tens of followers!]

    No doubt her blog has similar figures

    I think Archbishop Gänswein can continue to sleep easily in his bed for quite some time longer

    Kind regards


    P.S. If I say something outrageous and without foundation too , could you spike my stats too ? It would really cheer me up

  13. Bea says:

    Didn’t vote
    No 5th option?
    I thought:
    Just wants to get on the band wagon of opinionated reporters to make a name for self.

  14. Bea says:

    Forgot to add:
    “But who am I to judge?”

  15. Vecchio di Londra says:

    What Archbishop Gänswein said was this, as quoted in the ARD Tagesschau (TV news for 13/03/2014) – file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/JT/My%20Documents/Downloads/Franziskus.pdf

    ‘ “Für mich persönlich war es auch eine Überraschung”, gesteht er.
    “Der Name Bergoglio war kein unbekannter Name, aber im Vorfeld des
    letztjährigen Konklaves war er einfach nicht unter den Top-Favoriten.” ‘
    My translation:-
    ‘ “For me too personally it was a surprise,” he admits. “The name Bergoglio was not an unknown name, but in the lead-up to last year’s Conclave it was simply not among the Top-Favourites.”‘ (End of quote.)

    Nothing there about the person Cardinal Bergoglio being among the Archbishop’s ‘favoured’ candidates.
    (It is theoretically possible for that second ‘er’ after ‘Conclave’ to mean ‘he’ [the Cardinal], rather than ‘it’ [Der Name/the name] but the former would be rather stylistically lax, and the Archbishop, I note, picks his words with great care, even in a fluently-given interview.)

    The discrepancy with the Tablet’s reported words is puzzling. Perhaps Ms Curti and her informant Ms Pongratz-Lippitt have led sheltered, spiritual lives, and have never been exposed to sporting metaphors. It is even possible that nobody has ever even invited them to the races.

    Or perhaps the urge to exaggerate was too tempting?

  16. Mariana2 says:

    Just watched it, charming. And Gänswein says the choice of Bergoglio was “eine Ûberraschung”, a surprise. Curti hasn’t understood a word of the interview.

  17. celpar says:

    The Tablet has had a swipe at the Archbishop before :
    ( ). At that point they were accusing him of undue influence over Pope Benedict- what a fiendishly clever man he must be! From what I’ve observed of him since the abdication, he does indeed seem intelligent, as well as efficient, diplomatic and intensely loyal to Benedict, a quality which Pope Francis doubtless appreciates.
    I don’t think he needs to worry what the low circulation ‘Tablet’ thinks of him. In my (English) parish, copies have been given away in an attempt to gain readers, but I only know of 2 people who read it regularly (average Sunday Mass attendance about 600).

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