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Monday, May 23, 2016

Tricky Footnotes in Fine Print and Pope Francis

"In the footnotes you find the fine print, which is tricky." - Pope Francis

 A tricky footnote in fine print 
Gianluigi Nuzzi’s Merchants in the Temple is fascinating. He says that on July 28, 2013, in the Sala Bologna in the Vatican, Francis addressed “all the key players who administer the money and the property of the Holy See.”
“The Holy Father took the floor. He delivered an indictment that would last sixteen minutes, using harsher words than had ever been expressed by a Pontiff to the assembly–words that were supposed to remain secret…but that would not be the case. Foreseeing the risks that his innovative action would entail…someone recorded the Pope’s charges, word for word.” (p.11)
Nuzzi continues for two more pages about the Pope’s castigation of the Cardinals, then arrives at the point where Francis explains how to look at or read a contract making certain the cardinals know how to do this correctly so as to keep Vatican costs under control.

Just after Francis demands “C-l-a-r-i-t-y” (Apparently he spells it out to get his point across that all estimates and contracts must be clear) we read Francis’ astounding (and recorded) words:
“It is no exaggeration to say that most of our costs are out of control. This is a fact. We always have to check the legality and clarity of contracts with the utmost attention. Contracts can be very tricky, right? The contract might be clear but in the footnotes you find the fine print–that’s what it’s called, right?–which is tricky. Examine it carefully!” (p.14)
Gianluigi Nuzzi
So here we are three years later with the u-n-c-l-e-a-r Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia and its famous tricky footnote 351 written in small fine print. While the whole world is zeroed in on footnote 351, examining it carefully as Francis says his curia must do with contracts, he himself says that he cannot even remember it! “Footnote? What footnote?” he apparently said in his April 16th return-flight press conference from the island of Lesbos, and lamented that so much attention had been paid to it.

Francis certainly understands c-l-a-r-i-t-y since he instructed others that they should be mindful of it. He understands the importance of a “tricky” footnote written in fine print at the bottom of a page because, well, in his own words, “Footnotes in fine print are tricky!” And he says that we must “examine them carefully!” That’s what we’re doing, Holy Father!

It seems to me, in all c-l-a-r-i-t-y, that like a sly fox, Francis knows what he’s doing.


Anonymous said...

i also read the book and found comments on Cdl Burke's lifestyle in Vatican City of interest. The references to the well known "Jessica" The deceased Cdl Poletti's former secretary were also of great interest given the fact that the Cdl was a member of the P2 Lodge as reported by the Italian secret police after the raid on the Lodge during the time of PopeJP1. Poletti also was a close ally of Escriva, the Postulater for Escriva's Cause, petitioned for and obtained St Apollinaire Basilica in Rome for the Opus Dei organization, allowed Enrico DePedis, head of Magliana mafia to be interred in the Basilica's crypt for favors rendered. The crypt was reserved for saints and Popes so this caused an outcry among the Faithful. Finally, more recently and bowing to pressure, the Vatican relented and allowed the police to disinter the corpse in the diamond studded casket looking for clues to the kidnapping of the Vatican employee's daughter, Emmanuela Orlandi, which happened decades ago. All this was related to the Marcinkus Vatican banking scandal and you probably noted that even more recently Nuzzi mentioned the theft of papers related to that. In an interview Mr Nuzzi said there have been ongoing blackmail attempts regarding these documents.
Clarity ? Well good luck with that!

Anonymous said...

Clarity! That’s what done in the most humble companies, and we have to do it, too.… Before any purchase or construction job, we have to request at least three different estimates…. Let me give you an example, the library. The estimate said a hundred, and then two hundred was paid. What happened?… [Some say] we have to pay for it. No, we don’t…. We don’t pay! This is important me. Discipline, please!