Pope Francis gets his own Fan Magazine “Il Mio Papa”
The 68-page Il Mio Papa (My Pope) will hit Italian newsstands on Ash Wednesday, offering a glossy medley of papal pronouncements and photographs, along with peeks into his personal life. Each weekly issue will also include a pullout centerfold of the pope, accompanied by a quote.
Silvio Berlusconi’s media empire has taken a surprising new direction with the launch of its latest magazine. Best known for celebrity titles full of paparazzi pictures, Il Mio Papa – My Pope in Italian – will be devoted entirely to Pope Francis. Scheduled for a print run of 3m for the launch issue, the target circulation is said to be 500,000.
“In fact, the current Pope is a figure who, thanks to his empathy, as well as the power, the courage and the simplicity of his message, has won over everyone, both the faithful and non-believers,” he observed.
“Various magazines publish the pope’s teachings, but they have an accord with us,” said the Rev. Giuseppe Costa, the director of the Libreria Editrice Vaticana. A similar accord has not been signed with My Pope, he added, though the magazine should have known better “because we have a relationship with Mondadori.”
As spiritual leader of the largest Catholic city in the world, Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer has an important position, that makes the Latin American one of the favorites for the Papal Office.
The Cardinal of the largest Catholic city in the world, is traded not only in Latin American media, but also in the Italian “Repubblica” as “Papabile”: The name Odilo Pedro Scherer (63), since 2007 Archbishop of Sao Paulo, is found in all favorites lists as potential top candidate of the Conclave.
The eloquent Cardinal from Brazil is regarded as very well networked and has strong backing in the Vatican. He belongs to the conservative wing of the Brazilian Church, but from a European perspective, he could probably pass as a moderate conservative.
Odilo Pedro Scherer was born on September 21, 1949, in the State of Rio Grande do Sul as one of eleven children. His ancestors migrated in the 1880s from the Saarland (Germany) to Brazil. The dignity of being a Cardinal was virtually predestined: His uncle Alfredo Vicente, who died in 1996, was the Archbishop of Porto Alegre and also Cardinal.
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi is President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, and considered an intellectual like Benedict XVI. The 70 year-old Bible expert has also a reputation as an expert on media and youth culture.
Ravasi has published vast numbers of books on Bible topics and writes for Italian newspapers. Since 2007, the internationally renowned Biblical scholar heads the Pontifical Council of culture. Through his Office and also with his initiative “Court of the Gentiles” he tries to push the conversation between Church and contemporary art, culture and, in the tradition of Cardinal Konig – Agnostics and Atheists. However, he lacks the pastoral experience. This résumé might limit his chances, in case the voting Cardinals should decide they want an experienced priest as new Pope, and not again a Professor.
Ravasi was born in 1942 in the Lombardy. He was ordained a priest in 1966. The appointment as an Archbishop was connected with his appointment as the President of the Culture Council, and became Cardinal in November 2010. Prior to his appointment at the Vatican, Ravasi was prefect of the Milan Ambrosiana library. Benedict XVI. entrusted him with the management of the two Pontifical Commissions for the cultural assets and the Christian archeology.
He was regarded a low profile pastor, but as chairman of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, Cardinal Bagnasco developed a pro-active role as strict preserver of the “non-negotiable values”.
The family, based on the marriage solely between a man and a woman. is part of these “non-negotiable” principles. It is strange, when the way towards a developed Europe requires the denial of human values, said Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, President of the Italian Episcopal Conference, in January 2013.
With his attitudes, the 70-year-old Cardinal attracted a lot of attention in recent years, while Vatican experts assume, that he only was appointed chairman of the powerful Italian Bishops’ Conference in March 2007, due to his lack of profile. Supposedly he get roped into the power struggle between his predecessor, Cardinal Camillo Ruini and the Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone. At one level, the contest was between moderates, who wanted Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi of Milan, and conservatives, who wanted someone like Cardinal Angelo Scola (then of Venice, now in Milan) or perhaps Cardinal Carlo Caffarra of Bologna. The bottom line is that Bagnasco was thrust into the spotlight largely because he profiled as someone who wouldn’t do much with it. Over the last six years, however, something unexpected happened: He grew into the role.
He travels by bus and train, eats lunch with beggars and has very forthright things to say about abuse. Filipinos would love to see Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle from Manila soon as Pope in Rome.
Since October, 2011, Luis Antonio Tagle is Archbishop of one of the large dioceses in the world, of the Archdiocese of Manila. This is a not only a religious, but also a politically influential post. Yet, you can still find the Cardinal traveling by bus. He is proud of not having a car of his own, as “it gives you the opportunity to escape the insulation that high management positions often bring along,” says Tagle. In reality, the communication talent Tagle, has no need to worry about isolation or aloofness.
From his diocese is reported, that he approaches people with an open and easy way of doing, has lunch with beggars and does not hesitate to visit the dark corners of the city Manila. Time after time, people are surprised that the person they are talking to is not just a simple priest, but the Archbishop himself.
Close to the people
In his lectures and sermons, the Cardinal often refers to his contact with the people, of which many videos can be found on the Internet. During his speeches, the audience is repeatedly moved to tears, and people are literally hanging on Bishop Tagle’s every word. But he admits, “to be also very emotional”. When Pope Benedict XVI. elevated him to the rank of Cardinal last November, he wept. It was a moment of joy, but at the same time of deep respect for the exceeding greatness of the new task, he told journalists.
New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan is a conservative with lots of humor. He could become the first American Pope. The U.S. magazine “Time” named him one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.”
“I can not remember a single moment when I did not want to be a priest,” Dolan once said. The 63-year-old is the Archbishop of New York since 2009, became chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference in 2010, and was appointed Cardinal in 2012. Of all American Cardinals he is said to have the best chance of becoming the next Pope.
In the view of the Vatican, the strongly-built, down-to-earth and dynamic Bishop of Irish descent, seemed to be the right man to jump-start the religious life of the “Big Apple” with its more than 2.5 million Catholics in 2009. Because of the special status of New York as a trendsetting, media and commercial capital, John Paul II. once named the New York Archbishop as the “Bishop of the capital of the world”. Among the Bishops, Dolan is considered a moderate conservative. His humor and his enthusiasm impressed the Vatican, which often lacks both. The Cardinals are however sceptical about a Pope from a “superpower”, also for some his pally appearance might be too “American”.