“It is all settled beneath the chatter and the noise. Silence and sentiment. Emotion and fear. The haggard, inconstant flashes of beauty. And then the wretched squalor and miserable humanity.” (The Great Beauty, Paolo Sorrentino)
When you enter Vatican City for the first time you soon have the feeling that this is a unique place, made of sublime glimpses and it seems distant in the slow passing of time. The long hallways of the Secretary of State, the gardens, the Sistine Chapel and Bernini’s colonnade breathtaking beauty and the dark tower hosting to the IOR. You can see a continual sequence of small and great beauties, which exceed the story (even sinister) of the people enlivening them.
There lies all the effort and appeal of writing a book about the Vatican: the great contradiction. So accepting that someone lingers in vile acts, in high life – quoting Benedict XVI’s words – in front of “the mystery of faith”. The investigative reports I carry out are always marked by the more and more bewildered depositions of people who live and work there, being a cleric or a swiss guar, who defenceless attend to the mess of embezzlments of the Mass offering, devotes’ trust, respect and good faith of very many priests, ministers and believers. This leads them to tell stories, to display documents, to reveal dramatic stories. It was Francis himself, newly elected, to identify the journalists as the natural speakers of whoever would have wanted to report something to the pontiff but wasn’t able to reach him.
Monsignor Renato Dardozzi’s executors did it, entrusting me the IOR’s secret archive. This allowed me to write Vaticano Spa, that has been translated in 14 languages and counts 22 editions in Italy, for a 260 thousand copies sold. Paolo Gabriele did the same, when he decided to talk with me and entrust me copies of documents which led me to His Holiness. Vatileks was blowing up in that moment. Several unusual but clever news leaks anticipated His Holiness clearly aiming to three goals: to weaken the subject of the book that will be published soon, to shift attention from the clash on the approval of the norms against recycling to an alleged but unreal conspiracy against the Pope and, above all, to create a climate of fear in Vatican City. Paolo Gabriele was set up as the head of conspirators, the scapegoat; when this was useful. Several journalist, bonded to the cardinals gang, wrote that he risked 30 years in prison. He did six months and is already free; sometimes he even receives a gift from Benedict XVI.
Francis read very carefully the dossiers left by Ratzinger. Many personalities that appear in my His Holiness soon had troubles. Bergoglio estranged some people and tried to disable others. However, the Argentinian Pope had never realized that indifference and dishonesty could slow down his walk of reforms. For this very reason Via Crucis is arriving this coming Thursday. The stories you will find in it are the exact progression of the same walk of truth and will shed light on the plots of who loves the darkness. My friends editors of McMillan in New York City read the book and translated the title with the words “Merchants in the temple”. In this four simple words lies all Bergoglio’s efforts, the strength of his enemies and their projects, and the story that I am willing to tell you. Via Crucis, namely the Way of the Cross.