Sunday, March 14, 2010

Plus Ça Change

Back in the good old days of the Papal States - and aren't just a few of the boys on the other side of the Tevere just wishing they could return to those golden years - it was dangerous, as it was indeed in all absolute monarchies, to openly criticize the King (Pope) and the government for fear of punishment. But Romans were never known for their silence so, as always, a way was found around the problem. Critical notes - poems, dialogues etc - began appearing on a statue in a small Piazza. The story of Pasquino, that first statue and the colleagues who joined him in the Congress of Wits can be found in this item about the Talking Statues of Rome.

On a recent private visit to the remarkable Casina di Pio IIII in Vatican City - a venue that is normally closed to the public - our guide talked about the effect the famous Council of Trento had on the church and the suppression that followed after its degrees. As often happened a dialogue appeared very quickly between Pasquino and his friend Marforio.
Marforio (above left): So what was concluded at the Council of Trento?

Pasquino (below right): As God wishes we've gone back to 1100 all over again.

Marfoiro: But what happened to Reform?

Pasquino: Shhh.. you'll wake it up.

Given what we hear is going on in the country across the Tiber it could almost be a modern exchange!

14 marzo - Santa Matilde di Ringelheim


Sling said...

I love this stuff!..People have been figuring out ways to express their discontent in subtle and powerful ways for a long,long time.


so how are they expressing themselves about the pope brother and maybe even the pope in the coverup of abuse?