Vatican on History

My wife was feeling unwell most of yesterday, so while I was online in the living room she was catching the History channel’s Secret Access: The Vatican. I was wondering if we would see one of the players in the Vatileaks scandal. I noticed chefs, that Msgr Georg dude, cars, and documents in calligraphy. But no butler. The narration seemed rather hyped to me: information with a somewhat sexy subcurrent. But no background shots of people filching parchment off the Holy Father’s desk.

I perked up when internet commentator and filming consultant David Gibson appeared the first time.

I really perked up with Brother Guy Consolmagno and the Vatican Observatory.

They also mentioned the Borgia popes. I see there’s a reform2 movement afoot for the infamous family. Is that like trying to suggest that once in a while, one of them went to confession, then said Mass, and it was a very good day, in contrast? No doubt the stained reputation of scandal takes on its own life after the centuries and a pay-tv miniseries. Like the Tudors, and many others. What draws us to such viewing? That we will see a public slip? Hence the popularity of unscripted programming, be it game shows or so-called reality tv.

I suppose my consolation prize for semi-distracted tv viewing was not Paolo Gabriele but the Orange Fanta on the pope’s dinner table. I would have thought him a juice man.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to Vatican on History

  1. Hey bro! Happy Almost Thanksgiving.
    I was reclined at my dentists getting the teeth cleaned when I caught the first hour of the show. I had no idea that it was a three hour deal. I found that hour an odd mix of cheezy, ghostbusters speculation vis a vis the demise of Luciano, the Freemasonry meme (too bad you can’t say “Bugnini” when you have a pic on your gumline!), Banco Vaticano, but there was just enough insider commentary to keep my interest. I had never heard about the Freemason bishop shuttering Luciano’s Venetian bank to turn it into a profit and money laundering deal. It turned out to be an entertainment tooth cleaning, as if Dan Brown was my dental assistant instead of Stephanie.
    For the rest, one has to remember that the copyright of the whole pastiche was 2011. Il Butlergate has been a 2012 scandal for the most part, yes?
    I could have lived without a reference to Gorgeous Georg, I’ll go to Katrina Fernandez for that and the Swiss Guard, thank you. The pope’s closet, so to speak, scenes were borrowed from previous programs. Likewise the “Day in the life of Benedict” segment. I was also caught unawares about his jones for Fanta Orange. But find me a Munchener who doesn’t have at least one idiosyncracy. I did appreciate the emphasis given to the diplomatic relationship formally established after Kennedy’s election, and how the Vatican/pope intercessory roles have had, for the large part, positively influenced international relations.
    It beat watching Rachel Ray or HGTV by a long shot!
    Cheers to your lovely bride and the young miss.
    W and I are staying home (she’s got a fever), so we’re doing the romantic dinner out for Thanksgiving and then coming home to Charlemagne le Harlequin (Charley Harley), our year old Frenchy bulldog and calling the daughters to check in.

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