Tolerable and acceptable… the Vatican and others… August 10, 2012Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture.
Intriguing to read the response of the Vatican to a proposed Bulgarian envoy. As the Irish Times details it wasn’t warm.
THE HOLY See has rejected the man nominated as next Bulgarian ambassador to the Vatican because of a steamy gay scene in a best-selling novel recently written by him, it is alleged in the Rome newspaper La Repubblica.
And as the IT notes;
On paper, Kiril Maritchkov (39) looks the perfect choice.
He is married to an Italian, he is the father of two children and a graduate in law and political sciences.
He not only speaks five languages but he is also an expert in post-Berlin Wall eastern Europe.
But as the IT also notes:
In his book, Clandestination, he tells the story of Ivan, a young east-European graduate in architecture, who comes to Italy, enticed by false work promises.
In a manner that accurately reflects the experience of many clandestini (clandestine immigrants, hence the book’s title), it all falls apart for Ivan in Italy.
At one point, he is so short of money that he prostitutes himself for €50 to a man he encounters casually at Valle Giulia, central Rome.
Odd that the Vatican is hung up on this. But apparently the Holy See has form in this regard:
In 2008, France and the Holy See went through at least three candidates before finally agreeing to the appointment of Stanislas de Laboulaye.
The first choice was divorced, the second Protestant and the third was living in a long-term gay relationship.
In the same year, Argentina reportedly withdrew its nomination of former minister for justice Alberto Iribarne as ambassador to the Holy See.
On that occasion, the Vatican had objected to the fact that Mr Iribarne had been divorced and then remarried.
It brought to mind the Rocco Buttiglione controversy, which while not precisely analogous, did raise similar issues. Buttiglione, to refresh memories, was nominated by the Berlusconi government in the early 2000s as a European Commissioner. Problem was civil liberties was part of his proposed brief, and Buttiglione was not shy about his pronounced conservative views on a range of issues including LGB&T issues and the family (or rather and more significantly, the role of women in same). Buttiglione assured all and sundry he wouldn’t let these views influence his role and function as Commissioner but doubts were raised.
The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs voted 27-26 not to endorse him as Commissioner and subsequently the Parliament itself would not vote for him so the nomination was withdrawn. There was, as can be expected, some controversy on the Catholic right about this, with talk quoted on the Wiki page about ‘new soft totalitarianism’ and ‘’the real face of Europe, a face [which is] fundamentalist’.
While the latter was clearly incorrect (and one would wonder how many other Commissioners over the years have shared his views albeit never expressed them openly) there was an interesting question about the limits of what is tolerable and acceptable in the discharge of public duties. Buttiglione was – to put it mildly – at the outer limits of that range, if indeed he hadn’t already breached it and it’s telling that there was such a push back both at committee and Parliamentary level. But I wonder if the proposed area of responsibility he had been nominated for had excluded civil rights would his nomination have passed (and should it have?).
But it is interesting to compare and contrast with what the Vatican itself finds tolerable and acceptable.