Shy, reserved. Joseph Ratzinger was not a TV Pope. A presence limited to his Sunday appearances, a few official visits picked up by the news, but nothing more. Elected in April 2005, his Pontificate lasted almost eight years, less than the period he lived as Pope Emeritus.
Benedict XVI was symbolically crushed by two disruptive figures such as Karol Wojtyla and Jorge Bergoglio, decidedly more media-oriented and in tune with the spotlight. If John Paul II in 1998 spoke by telephone to Door to door to thank a moved Bruno Vespa for the special dedicated to him on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of his appointment, Francesco did even more, giving incursions to One morning and interviews with Tg5 it’s at What’s the weather like.
Nothing conceivable for Ratzinger, who was nonetheless the perfect target of satire, ready to understand his German accent and his introverted ways.
The most famous and at times ferocious portrait was the one made by Maurice Crozzaalready starting from 2006, when the show was launched on La7 Croatian Italy. The parody did not please at allto comewho went down hard: “It is a failed satire, not without cowardice. These are television programs of low level and heavy vulgarity, with bankruptcy pretensions of irony. The real problem of Crozza Italia is the weakness of the lyrics and the lack of rhythm”.
Crozza, surprised by the unleashed uproar, replied by giving an interview to Courier: “I am more famous than Agca – joke – I got a call from the New York Times. I have a 3% share on La7, don’t they have better things to do?”. The accusation of the Catholics was that of not using the same yardstick with Islam: “What do I know? – he retorted – I don’t have three years of Koran behind me, but three years as an altar boy yes. I’m not a priest eater, I’m talking about a world that I know and belongs to me. We live in a country that is very little secular, very clerical. All of this shouldn’t affect the culture. Nor the freedom of satire”.
There was no satire involved instead on February 4, 2007. In the course of Those who football Goofy Baudo he railed against Benedict XVI. Not even forty-eight hours earlier the police inspector Salvatore Raciti had died, killed in the clashes that broke out outside the Massimino stadium in Catania and the conductor ruled: “The duty of the Church is to be close to social problems and the Pope did not say a word in the Angelus”.
The reactions were immediate and inevitable. The director of the Vatican press office, Federico Lombardi, called it an exit “not appropriate”, as the Holy See had “promptly expressed his censure for the very serious episode”.
Returning to the imitations, with the announcement of the resignation the couple gag was launched. The old Pope on one side, the new one on the other. From Germany and Argentina, in the perfect exaltation of contrasts. The first to imagine the hypothetical dialogue were Luke and Paul on March 17, 2013 at What’s the weather like. The same broadcast that, more recently, hosted the duets of Massimo Lopez (Francesco) and Tullio Solenghi (Ratzinger).
From anti-television, In any case, Benedict XVI was able to identify the most important week of the year for taking his leave: it was 11 March 2013, on the eve of the start of the 63rd Sanremo Festival. In an Italy already distracted by the atmosphere of the event, she was the Vatican correspondent of theHandle Giovanna Chirri to understand the meaning of a speech read entirely in Latin.
“I thought the news was Luciana’s nonsense”, exclaimed Fabio Fazio in the press conference referring to Littizzetto, his partner in that edition. Only then to get serious a few hours later, also in relation to the tense climate that reigned due to the imminent political elections. “What happened reminds us that those things make history and we make the Sanremo festival”.