Today in Totally Shocking Vatican Facts

[Content note: rape, dismissal of survivors, instutional abuse.]

Here are some totally shocking facts that emerged today about the Vatican!

One: It's secretive!

The College of Cardinals that will elect the next pope cut off formal communications with the news media on Wednesday after their private deliberations emerged in the Italian press, raising the specter of a leaking scandal that cast a pall over the last year in office of Pope Benedict XVI.

Two: It's shitty at being secretive!

“Concern was expressed in the General Congregation about leaks of confidential proceedings reported in Italian newspapers,” said Sister Mary Ann Walsh, director of media relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who has organized news conferences with American cardinals in recent days. “As a precaution, the cardinals have agreed not to do interviews.”

Three: It's shitty at doing media!

...the Vatican has sought to satiate the army of accredited journalists flowing into Rome with brief glimpses behind the conclave curtain. On Monday, the Vatican showed a video of cardinals sitting, standing and reading in the theater where the congregations are held. On Tuesday, the feature presentation was a silent film with a camera panning over the three urns that will contain ballots during the election.

The video, which had the disembodied hands of a home shopping network presentation and the glacial pace of a Michelangelo Antonioni film, was accompanied by a Vatican press release explaining the significance and artistry of the containers. (“These are treated with a light patina which underlines the various chromatics of the bronze, the irregularities on the surface and the contrast between opaqueness and brightness.”)

Four: It's shitty to rape survivors!

Earlier Wednesday, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), an organization that supports victims of sex abuse by clerics, held a well-attended news conference in which it released a list of a “dirty dozen” cardinals it considers unacceptable leaders of the church based on their past handling of the child sex-abuse crisis. Among them were cardinals often mentioned as prime candidates for the pontificate, including cardinals Timothy Dolan of New York, O’Malley of Boston, Leonardo Sandri of Argentina, Peter Turkson of Ghana, Angelo Scola of Italy and Marc Ouellet of Canada.

“It really isn’t up to SNAP to decide who should or should not participate in the conclave,” said [Vatican spokesperson Rev. Tom] Rosica.

SHOCKED! I am SHOCKED to find gambling bumbling and Patriarchy at the Vatican!

Now, about that infallibility....

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