Monday, December 10, 2012
Increased security in the Apostolic Palace. Raymond Arroyo clears confusion (updated Monday evening)
Early last week Sandro Magister had a post on this subject and I alerted a friend to it. She could not find it. When I checked I found that he had taken it down with no explanation as to why. It had said that all officials working in the AP had been issued with an electronically chipped swipe card which from now on they must use to gain access to their offices. This means that the whereabouts of all officials can be checked at any time and known to the Vatican 'authorities'. Also the log of any photocopying done by the workforce will be more strictly kept and nobody apart from Archbishop elect Ganswein will have free access to the Pope's study. Raymond Arroyo confirmed this on his EWTN progamme last night. (Thanks to my regular commenter Mary, for letting me know.)
Magister had said on his original post, that the new restrictions were part of the Vatican's reaction to the recent 'Vatileaks' scandal. One is left wondering why he took the post down and whether he was asked or told to do so by the Vatican itself. And one spent the week wondering whether it was true or not. At least, thanks to Arroyo, we now know that it was. But the secrecy at that point remains a mystery and unnecessarily so, as far as I can see. The Vatican has every right and duty to put measures in place that defend and increase the Holy Father's security, even at the expense of the private freedoms of those who work close to him. These measures, particularly the one concerning photocopying, will mean that everything will take longer and so communications will be unavoidably be affected. As for the 'officials' themselves and their private correspondents, I am sure they willingly accept these developments as the inevitable price they have to pay for the 'lunacy' of Gabriele's depredations, even though in some cases they do so with deep sadness. I did not see the Arroyo programme and so do not know whether he revealed other new restrictions. I have the feeling that these may exist, and will have the result of upsetting a finely balanced apple cart. Correspondence that used to go direct, and unimpeded to any given official could now be intercepted by the Secretariat of State, or by Archbishop elect Ganswein, thus putting an end to the privacy, or even to the very existence of valuable spiritual exchange.
Anyone who has queued for reserved Audience tickets, knows that the relevant area approaching the Apostolic Palace, beyond the staircase after the Bronze door, is already ultra secure. What it will be like in future, goodness alone knows. .Perhaps a new distribution point will be introduced. When I was there in 2011, the Guard did not allow the Seminarian who was escorting me to assist me up and down those steep stone steps. I was walking with difficulty and with a stick and almost had to crawl up them. At the time I was aware of being in the hands of the Guard, on whose charity and mood I was totally dependent. It was an unpleasant experience, and it need not have been.
The security of our beloved Holy Father would have in no way been adversely affected by allowing me the assistance of that Seminarian.
As I say above, what is going to happen now? .