Ah, Vittorio Messori! Always the sophisticated analyst - now in his comments on the leaks scandal:
“I’ve spent my life studying the history of the Church and attending Church, though more sparingly. I’m hardly going to be shocked.”
“The Roman Curia has always been a viper’s nest. However, in the past at least, it was the most efficient state organisation in the world. It ran an empire the sun never set on and it had an unparalleled diplomatic corps. What is left of that today?”
“The priests in the Roman Curia used to enlist the best people from all the dioceses in the world. Bishops had plenty of clergy around them and had no problem letting them go. Today seminaries have either closed or they’re half empty. So if a bishop has a good priest to hand, he keeps hold of him. And the Pope is like Charles V, who had to run a vast empire and cried out in a depopulated Spain: ‘Give me men’.”
“The boom in vocations [in Africa]? I’m not kidding myself. In Africa men enter the seminary for the same reasons they did here when we were dying of hunger. It’s a way of making a living. And apart from that, celibacy is incomprehensible for African culture so the Church – let’s put it this way – turns a blind eye. Many priests have wives and children. What are you going to do, send them to Rome? To be bishops?” “The decline in quality is obvious. There aren’t even any Latin speakers that are up to the job any more. When Luciani was elected Pope, they were even forced to stop the press at L'Osservatore Romano, the Holy See's newspaper because there was a mistake in the Latin on the front page headline. Even John Paul II’s last encyclicals had Latin mistakes, imagine that.”
Yes, it is true, the Church is in great trouble, things have changed considerably in the past half-century, and mediocrity reigns almost everywhere in our clergy, in the dioceses, and also (despite what he says) in the Curia. As a consequence, ignorance is the queen of the laity... Not even the fall of Latin provided him with a clue? No, he is an enthusiast of the Council, he would never admit it.