UPDATE!UPDATE!UPDATE!: It seems that the blog by La Stampa, Vatican Insider, has removed the statement attributed to the Holy Father,
"I am not a Renaissance Prince who listens to music instead of working." from that post. There is no English translation of that post at the Vatican Insider, but clearly it appears that the one who attributed this snarky remark to the Holy Father may well have been the one who wrote this piece for the Vatican Insider. Even the original headline last night included the snarky remark but now it is changed too! The Italian article though still laments that the Holy Father couldn't take a couple hours off from his rigorous work of cleaning up the curia to attend a concert and calls into question his etiquette in this situation, particularly now in his role as Head of State of the Vatican City. But why would La Stampa first print words attributed to the Holy Father that were more of the writer's conjecture, based upon something the Holy Father said about bishops the day before, than reality? What's up with that??????? More intrigue developing as we enter this Holy Father's second 100 days.
Clearly Pope Francis didn't show up at the concert at the last minute or his chair would have been removed more promptly! Someone wasn't pleased and no one removed the chair, only to make it even more obvious that he wasn't there. Why didn't he go and are the words attributed to him as to the reason he didn't go more of the same from the so-called out of control "curia" trying to discredit him? In other words, did the Holy Father really say the snarky remark or did someone put the words into his mouth?
The Holy Father did show up for all the noise and lots of it of the Hell's Angels rally in Rome:
A bit of a brouhaha is developing in Rome tonight as Pope Francis was supposed to be at a concert in honor of the year of faith. In fact, his chair was set up in the middle aisle for him to sit. But at the last minute he was a no show.
Keep in mind that last week he made a concerted (no pun intended) effort to greet thousands of Harley Davidson Bike riders in Rome and even received two bikes and a leather jacket!
The Vatican Insider is reporting the following about this incident that has the Vatican City-State talking:
The pontiff was expected at a Beethoven concert, but Monsignor Rino Fisichella told the audience just before the concert was to start that Francis couldn't make it due to "commitments that could not be postponed."
And this rather terse statement attributed to the Holy Father (which I hope and pray isn't true, like what was reported that he said to the Msgr. Marini prior to coming out to the balcony of St. Peter's "the circus is over.")
La Stampa's Vatican Insider adds that the Pope allegedly said the following:
For the entire afternoon, Francis did not leave his room at [Domus] Sanctae Marthae and simply told his associates:
"I am not a Renaissance Prince who listens to music instead of working."
MY COMMENT: I just can't believe this is true, that he would have said this. Is this more of the diabolical intrigue in the Vatican to discredit the pope? The gay lobby? I think we'll be hearing more about this PR debacle if it is true and if it isn't true. To me it sounds like someone at the Vatican with sour grapes and an axe to grind against Pope Francis. Certainly the Holy Father would not have said such a thing. Certainly he has more class than that!
The Associated Press had this observation: The pope was smiling with no signs of tiredness when he greeted worshipers at a Mass in St. Peter’s earlier Saturday. Unlike his predecessor Benedict, who was well-known as a music lover, Francis has shown scant interest in music, liturgical or otherwise.
MY FINAL COMMENT: Yikes!