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Posts Tagged ‘Pope Benedict XVI’

Psst: The Pope Never Actually Wore Prada

When reading today’s fascinating story on Pope Benedict XVI‘s pending transition into private life, we learned a few interesting facts:

  • The Pope will not go back to using his legal name, Joseph Ratzinger. He’ll be Benedict from now on. He will also be known as “Pope emeritus” and retain the honorific “His Holiness.”
  • He will continue wearing all-white outfits but will no longer rock the velvet capes, “fur-trimmed stocking caps” or those famous red shoes.
  • Finally: despite widespread rumors to the contrary that began around 2005, Prada does not make the ruby red slippers and never did–they came from a tailor shop in Rome that will also be making clothes for his successor, whoever that may be.

The Vatican took nearly three years to clarify the Prada rumors via its official newspaper after The Wall Street Journal printed a story about Pope product placement that mentioned marketers “praying” to see the pontiff wear their own brands in public.

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Gay Blackmail and Scandal at the Vatican!

The VaticanWe knew Ratzinger’s retirement was a little weird! Today’s most interesting story comes to us by way of an Italian paper which claims that Pope Benedict XVI decided to step down and abandon his Twitter feed after receiving a 300-page “bound in red” dossier from the team of cardinals he delegated to investigate Vatileaks, the church’s worst “seriously, the butler did it” PR scandal in years.

The dossier supposedly revealed that a number of prelates within the Vatican, united by the fact that they all happen to be gay, have been blackmailed by “laymen with whom they had links of a ‘worldly nature’” and that “Everything revolves around the non-observance of the sixth and seventh commandments” (the ones that say “don’t steal or commit adultery”). The idea here is that, if the prelates didn’t do whatever these third parties wanted them to do, their covert Gay Mafia would be revealed to the public. And Benedict resigned in order to avoid doing more damage to the church’s reputation.

Juicy! Here’s the kicker: the Vatican “refuses to confirm or deny” the report. Its PR man says that “We shall not be following up on the observations that are made about this”.

On the one hand, we want to congratulate these guys for not following the Lance Armstrong “lie and deny” damage control strategy. On the other hand, “no comment” doesn’t really resolve anything. And we know how much the public loves to speculate…

Most importantly, we can’t wait for Dan Brown to tell us what this all means.

Pope Benedict Resigns, Concedes Twitter Defeat to Justin Bieber

Pope Benedict XVIWe’d like to take a moment this Monday morning to weigh in on the story that’s dominated everyone’s news feed: Pope Benedict XVI, the man who showed the world that the old school still rules new media by winning Twitter without sending a single message, announced his plans to resign effective February 28th.

Why is everyone freaking out? Well, he’s the first Pope to step down on his own accord in six centuries, citing his “advanced age” and the limitations of this mortal coil. He has also effectively declared Justin Bieber the once and future king of Twitter after giving him a serious run for his money.

The obvious questions: Who will replace him (the gambling has already begun)? More importantly, what will happen to his Twitter feed, his 1.5 million followers and his bland messages about God’s endless love?

We’d like to mourn the tweets that will never be: How will we know whether Benedict will ever grow comfortable with the modern world? Will he ever decide that the Catholic church just needs to accept same-sex marriage and get over it? Does he agree with our assessment of Netflix‘s House of Cards as “Just OK–kind of like Homeland without the terrorists or The Wire without the drug dealers?” We demand validation!

At any rate, we hope Benedict enjoys life out of the social media spotlight–and that he finally gets revenge on that demonic seagull.

Vatican’s Dove of Peace Attacked by Demon Seagull

During the annual Caravan of Peace this past Sunday, 2,000 members of the group Youth Catholic Action marched to the Vatican to hear the Pope speak and watch him release two white doves following the recitation of the Angelus prayer.

It was upon the release of these winged symbols of peace that things took a decidedly non-peaceful turn.

Accompanied by two children, Pope Benedict XVI released the first dove into St. Peter’s Square. After flying about in a somewhat disoriented state, the bird landed safely on a ledge above the Pontiff’s window. The flight of the second dove, however, did not go as smoothly. Right after landing on a ledge it was attacked by what one can only assume was a demon-possessed seagull from hell as the crowd of horrified youngsters looked on.

That–as any augur would likely tell you–could not have been a good sign.

Fortunately, the dove was able to fight off the seagull, once again reaffirming our faith that peace can win the day (but not without a bit of strife). Will the Pope offer up-to-the-minute commentary on this traumatic incident via his official Twitter feed? We don’t know–but millions around the world can’t wait to find out! Beat that, Bieber!

The Pope Wins Twitter Without a Single Tweet

Pope Benedict XVI on TwitterThree weeks ago we brought you news fit to shake the Heavens and the Earth: Pope Benedict XVI (who looks absolutely nothing like Emperor Palpatine, BTW) would soon spread 140-character versions of The Word to the easily distracted masses via Twitter.

Today saw the official establishment of the Pope’s account at @Pontifex. Journalists at the Vatican press conference took the opportunity to go snarky, asking questions like “Why Twitter instead of Facebook?” and this gem:

But the most amusing part of the story isn’t the fact that the account will also tweet in Arabic (though that is funny, as is the fact that the very, very German pope, who lives in Italy, uses English as his default language). More significant is the fact that the profile, just unveiled this morning, already has 165,000 followers despite being completely blank.

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Pope Brings the Good Word to Twitter

Today the Catholic Church prepares to take a giant leap into the 21st century. No, the pope isn’t planning on appointing women to the clergy or condoning same-sex marriage, but he is about to bring the word of the Lord into the realm of social media: according to The Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI will soon begin tweeting from a personal Twitter account.

Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi made the announcement Thursday, saying that details are still to come but that the account could be launched before the end of the year. Although the future account will belong solely to Benedict, he will most likely sign off on tweets written in his name (he prefers to write longhand and isn’t terribly computer savvy, surprise surprise).

Benedict isn’t the first religious leader to take to Twitter – The Dali Lama opened an account in 2010, and while this won’t actually be the pope’s first Twitter appearance either (he first tweeted from The Vatican’s account last year), it will be the first opportunity for faithful tweeters to follow an account officially belonging to His Holiness himself.

No word yet on what his handle will be, but hopefully it will be a little less boy band-ish than @Pope2YouVatican.

Pope PR, Part 2: Positive Reviews

Pope Benedict XVI‘s visit to Britain turned out to be PR-positive, reports suggest. The Vancouver Sun runs an AFP round-up on the impression he made, quoting Catherine Pepinster, editor of The Tablet newspaper, a British Catholic weekly, who wrote, “What the visit accomplished above all was to unify Catholics and humanise a pope who has so often been perceived as cold, aloof and authoritarian.”

As PRNewser previously reported, his four-day tour of Britain, which ended yesterday, had potential pitfalls written all over it for his press team.

The article in the Sun quotes the Daily Mail newspaper as offering that “this was a much more successful visit than the Roman Catholic hierarchy had dared to hope.”

It references The Tablet again to suggest that the Pope’s focus on bringing Anglicans and Catholics closer, and resulting comments on common traditions and culture, played a large role in changing perceptions.