I spent many years of my life around the Vatican, and very often I have been inside. I knew and saw Popes, Cardinals, Bishops, friars and nuns, priests and lay people. Some were saints, good people, others delinquents or criminals. Everyone was trying to survive in the environment that, as stated by Pope Francis, is and remains a Court (even if he is trying to avoid living in a Court). Here’s what I learned.
- If you want to make a career, always say that your superiors and the Pope are right. Now, it may happen that your superiors will say that the Pope is wrong. When in doubt, do not comment.
- Even if you’re a bitch or incompetent to those who work with you, always smile and be falsely seraphic when you’re in front of your superiors. Very often, they do not go beyond that.
- When you meet a Cardinal or a Bishop pretend to bend down to kiss the ring, to give them a chance to withdraw and pretend to be humble. This always makes a good impression.
- Whenever you happen to talk to someone who can facilitate your climb, include in your speeches “the Church of the Council”, which means everything and nothing. To seem up to date on the outside don’t let them understand how much you are out of date inside.
I realize that this guide does not paint a pretty picture of the Vatican and, as mentioned, there is also sanctity there (those that are not following the 4 points above). But the events of recent years make it clear that in general, my guide is not very far from reality.