(Rome) In addition to investigating the misconduct of a bishop in the United States, Pope Francis also ordered a review of the finances of the Pontifical Choir of the Sistine Chapel. This was confirmed today by the Vatican Press Office, without giving any further details.
The two topics are unrelated.
The daily La Stampa, which is also the producer of the ecclesiastical news portal Vatican Insider, and is coordinated by the papal house Vaticanista Andrea Tornielli, reported that Francis had established an investigation against Maestro Massimo Palombella, the musical director of the world-famous Sistine choir, and investigative director Michelangelo Nardella. The charge, according to the Turin newspaper, is for embezzlement, fraud and money laundering.
Critics are convinced that since the emergence of Mgr. Domenico Bartolucci in 1997, the famous choir "is only a shadow of its former greatness," said Vatican writer Sandro Magister in 2010.
Pope Benedict XVI. emphasized his sympathy for Maestro Bartolucci, who was not only the person, but also his understanding of sacred music and its repertoire. The musical reference Bartolucci, who celebrated throughout his life in the traditional form of the Roman Rite, was the Gregorian chant and the polyphonic tradition of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594). The famous composer himself was choirmaster of the Sistine Chapel.
In 2010, Benedict XVI created. the then 93-year-old Bartolucci cardinal. At the same time he appointed, however, at the suggestion of his Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone the Salesian Palombella to the new choral master. An appointment that triggered considerable criticism not only in traditional circles.
Main critic was the Vaticanist Sandro Magister.
The Pontifical Choir of the Sistine Chapel has existed since 1471. Its task is entirely in the musical arrangement of the liturgical celebrations of the Pope.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
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