Edit: there's no telling how the title will be translated if it makes it into English.
What if the next Pope were Russian? Would the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary be made possible by the Mother of God in Fatima 100 years ago as an essential step on the road to world peace?
A utopian novel
In his novel The Fate of the Russian Pope published last year , the author, Mauro Mazza, assumes the optimistic acceptance of a conclave in 2018. In this concave, the author, the archbishop of Saint Petersburg is elected to the pope completely unexpectedly, and is assigned the name Methodius.
To avoid a misunderstanding, this is not the bishop of the diocese of Saint Petersburg in the USA, which is clearly geographically assignable in its Latin name Sancti Petri in Florida. This is actually the city founded by Tsar Peter the Great in Swedish Ingria in the Bay of Kronstadt, where the Neva River flows into the Gulf of Finland. This Saint Petersburg was the capital of Russia from 1710-1918 and today is the second largest city in the country, with five million inhabitants.
The novel is, of course, fiction, for an archbishopric of St. Petersburg of the Catholic Church does not exist and has never existed. Since 2013 there is a Russian Orthodox Archdiocese of this name. The city itself has been the see of a Russian Orthodox Bishop since 1742.
The author's name is no pseudonym. Mauro Mazza, born in 1955, is one of Italy's best-known journalists. After the passing university entrance examination in the "hot" seventies, he made his first journalistic forays with the daily newspaper Secolo d'Italia, the party newspaper of the then Neo-Fascist party MSI. He remained connected to the party, which in the early nineties, after the collapse of the Communist Eastern bloc, went through a transformation to the bourgeois-conservative party.
The way to the professional journalist opened him the early change to the news agency AdnKronos. In 1990 he became a news editor for the RAI Public Service, 1998 Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the RAI 1 newsreader, 2002 editor-in-chief of the RAI 2 editorial. In 2008, Mazza finally became director of RAI 1. With the return of a Leftist government, he was pushed off to be the director of RAI Sport. In the same year he published his first novel. Since 2015 he has been a member of RAI Vatican's editorship, which is the subject of his latest novel.
118 Cardinals gathered in the Sistine Chapel after the death of the Pope to elect a successor. But days pass by, days pass, and black smoke is rising. After three weeks of stagnation, the quarreling Cardinals agreed on a quite unusual decision. They do not elect a cardinal to the pope, but Nikolai Sofanov, the Archbishop of Saint Petersburg.
The decision is most striking: a Pope from Orthodox Russia and a friend of Russia's President Vladimir Putin.
The acting characters in the novel are, in part, the real (Patriarch Cyril, Putin, Gorbachev, Hans Küng), partly inventions of the author.
The Pope, who isn't liked
In contrast to his predecessor, the new pope does not like the powerful and freemasonry. He is displeasing to them even more because he speaks specifically of the defense of faith rather than of ecology and, above all, of that sentimentality which, "through hugs and skits, between Buona Domenica ( Beautiful Sunday) and "Buon Pranzo" (To your health) is the difference between the pope and the faithful. "Pope Wojtyla" always managed to preserve his charism, which demanded all respect and admiration: cardinals, bishops, priests and laity." (p. 40).
With his daily sermons, Pope Methodius combats modernism, the laicistic and Protestant aberrations and the dictatorship of relativism:
"The pope daily demolishes many of the so-called inviolable assumptions of prevailing thought. He makes it easy. He finds greater and greater approval among the people, but he also attracts an ever-widening dislike" (145).
The freemasons unchain the media against him. A federal daily newspaper, which is close to certain progressive circles in the Vatican, accuses him of concentrating power in his hands and talking too much of faith:
"He is trying to revive the sacredness of past times. In his sermons he contradicts secular (laicistic) values and the rights obtained. And as if that were not enough, he stressed traditional reservations about democracy. Very soon his course of action will turn out to be destabilizing."(147).
The fight against globalization, the gender dictatorship, the surrender against Islamism and the compulsion to ecologism "as a new religion, in which man is no longer the head of the pyramid of creation, but a living person of the planet with the same rights of other 'animals' (108).
World Government and World Religions
Determined to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and restore the unity of the East and Western Churches, Methodius meets with Putin, who complains to the Pope:
"The British are doing what the Americans order. The Germans and the Italians are irresolute and fickle "(134).
The Americans, however, more or less slavishly follow the decisions of the "fraternity," a Masonic organization whose sole purpose is clearly defined:
"The world government, the united world currency (called Bancor), and the world unity religion that unites and overcomes all religions" (120).
Among the Cardinals, who were led by the "Brotherhood," including the Predecessor of Methodius, there are three who are members of the "Brotherhood". This is why a new cosmic ethics, "a mixture of gnosis and New Age", which could actually be ridiculed by a minimum of deepening, spread in the Church. For in their view, man is "equated with all other animals", but with an aggravating element "to practice abortion and euthanasia." Methodius complains that
"Even some bishops, whether from superficiality or conviction, can imagine that catholicity will in the future mix and equate with other religions or their absurd parodies" (108).
Optimistic start, gloomy continuation
The novel begins with an optimistic perspective, then quickly and ever deeper into the sober reality. Thus he unfolds concrete scenarios, which draw a gloomy picture. The secret "fraternity" engages in numerous actions to discredit the new pope.
"It is not just a fascinating story, but a no less exciting 'game', that will enable readers to figure out who is behind the fictionalized names the author has chosen for his novel. This is also the only fun the novel offers, because the rest is the tragic image of a world in which the obscure 'brotherhood' dictates the rules," says Corrispondenza Romana .
It would be desirable if a publisher brought out a translation for the readership of the English-speaking people. As an expression of our time, Mazza's work is not only a timely document, but also provides some illuminating insights, dressed in the genre of the utopian novel.
Mauro Mazza, Il destino del Papa Russo (Fate of the Russian Pope), Fazi, Rome 2016, 256 pages.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Corrispondenza Romana / Wikicommons
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org Link...