The luxurious Domus Sanctae Marthae
#1
Jesuit Father James Martin, who appears here and there as an Authoritative Catholic Source (and he is), threw a classic rant on Facebook the other day:
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Exterior, Domus Sanctae Marthae, Vatican City.

Which is all by way of leading up to something I read on FOXNews that nearly caused me to do a Danny Thomas spit-take:  Bryan Llenas of FOX News Latino was desperately trying to evoke a John Le Carré/Robert Ludlum atmosphere concerning all the different meetings and kaffe klatsches that will take place during the conclave, as cardinals meet and part to push different candidates.  However, as one of his primary sources, Fr. Michael Collins, admitted, "These guys … don’t want to be away from their mobile phones and computers that long, it’s going to be very boring."  As skulduggery goes, it's pretty tame stuff.

In the middle of it came this howler:

    Once the congregation meetings are over, the actual conclave or election process will begin. During that time, the cardinals are housed in a posh hotel, Casa Santa Marta [i.e., Domus Sanctae Marthae], on the Vatican grounds. Cardinals are not allowed contact with the outside world during the conclave: no laptops, mobile phones or use of wi-fi. Each cardinal gets his own room.


posh (comparative posher or more posh, superlative poshest or most posh)

    Associated with the upper classes.

        She talks with a posh accent.

    Stylish, elegant, exclusive (expensive).

        After the performance they went out to a very posh restaurant.

    Snobbish, materialistic, prejudiced, under the illusion that they are better than everyone else; usually offensive (especially in Scotland and Northern England).

        We have a right posh git moving in next door.

Excuse me ... we are talking about the Domus Sanctae Marthae, right?  Let's get a look at these luxurious digs, courtesy of His Hermeneuticalness, Fr. Tim Finigan:
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Okay, a marble-floor lobby.  Nice touch.  But you'll notice that there isn't much more to it than that.


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Along with 22 single rooms and one apartment, the Domus has 106 suites.  This is the bedroom half. Almost pagan in its creature comforts, n'est-ce pas?

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And here is the sitting room. Donald Trump couldn't do any better.


Over six years of my working life were spent booking rooms for two major hotel chains. And I gotta tell ya — a Renaissance or Adams Mark this ain't. If anything, this is a devout monk's conception of a business-class hotel. It does have a dining room, several conference rooms, plus a main chapel and two smaller chapels to accomodate private Masses. So it is a bit more than an ecclesial Motel 6.

But no mezzanine with deluxe shopping. No pool with swim-up entrances and tiki bar; in fact, the one "bar" it has consists of two vending machines, one for coffee and one for soft drinks. No California King beds with 17"-deep mattresses and small mountains of pillows. If you want to watch TV, there are a couple of rooms with six straight-backed chairs in them (however, the satellite receiver will be turned off for the conclave) — no in-room X-Box, Skinemax or Netflix ... which is just as well.

Mind you, I'm not saying that the beds are uncomfortable, or that the food is substandard; that's not what the "star system" is about. But if you're not there on Church business, you don't want to stay there on vacation. Retreat, yes; vacation, no. Give it two and a half stars for its unique amenities, but don't push it further.

Now, all this information is readily available on the Web.  However, the "five-star hotel" trope fits better into the non-Catholic imagination of what Vatican City must really be like (because you know the Catholic Church is, like, really really rich). And so the Myth of the Five-Star Vatican Hotel goes its merry way, inviting reporters like poor Bryan Llenas to repeat it as fact while they vamp to fill the pre-conclave dead air.

Alas, when the conclave comes to an end, errors about the Catholic Church won't.
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#2
Good! This means the conclave won't last long... But yes, never expect the MSM to get anything about Catholicism right.  LOL
Lynne

+JMJ+

"Certainly, you must be informed about modern errors because preaching the truth involves preaching about distancing oneself from error; but do not make the negative, secondary aspect into the most important! Your first aim is not to fight against error but to know the truth. Your central concern should be study, your sanctification, silence, meditation, and the exercise of charity." - Archbishop Lefebvre
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#3
(03-05-2013, 02:45 PM)catquilt Wrote: Good! This means the conclave won't last long... But yes, never expect the MSM to get anything about Catholicism right.  LOL

Even before laptops and mobile devices, the longest conclave of the 20th century was five days. The average length since 1900 is three days. I don't think it's going to be a long wait. Smile
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#4
But the Chapel there is atrocious!

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/03/0...architect/

"So now, instead of the Sistine Chapel, the cardinals stay in a modern hotel on the other side of St. Peter’s Basillica called The Doma Sanctae Marthae.

And nestled next to the hotel, in a tiny space, is “The Chapel of the Holy Spirit.”

It is a chapel built by Astorino."

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#5
(03-05-2013, 03:24 PM)Lateran15 Wrote: But the Chapel there is atrocious!

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/03/0...architect/

"So now, instead of the Sistine Chapel, the cardinals stay in a modern hotel on the other side of St. Peter’s Basillica called The Doma Sanctae Marthae.

And nestled next to the hotel, in a tiny space, is “The Chapel of the Holy Spirit.”

It is a chapel built by Astorino."

[Image: 628x471_zps69b43525.jpg]

They should vote on who likes that chapel and whoever votes *for* it cannot be made Pope.  LOL
Lynne

+JMJ+

"Certainly, you must be informed about modern errors because preaching the truth involves preaching about distancing oneself from error; but do not make the negative, secondary aspect into the most important! Your first aim is not to fight against error but to know the truth. Your central concern should be study, your sanctification, silence, meditation, and the exercise of charity." - Archbishop Lefebvre
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#6
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#7
(03-05-2013, 03:24 PM)Lateran15 Wrote: But the Chapel there is atrocious!

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/03/0...architect/

"So now, instead of the Sistine Chapel, the cardinals stay in a modern hotel on the other side of St. Peter’s Basillica called The Doma Sanctae Marthae.

And nestled next to the hotel, in a tiny space, is “The Chapel of the Holy Spirit.”

It is a chapel built by Astorino."

[Image: 628x471_zps69b43525.jpg]

It's not the worst.  At least the basic form and structure of the interior is sound enough to permit an overhaul in the future when people come to their senses and rebuild the churches.  Being elongated (suitable for ad orientem) and having a high ceiling means that a simple facelift and some new furnishings would make it very presentable.
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#8
That chapel looks more to me like the flight deck for the Star Ship Enterprise than anything else, although I admit that, given a serious overhaul it could be turned into something nice.
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#9
(03-05-2013, 06:20 PM)ImpyTerwilliger Wrote: [Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT_Wb_kY3bWCV0cGbZ_ATh...cdiwTYOBVQ]
 I have a feeling that the Vatican gendarmarie would quickly be able to clear a listening device the size of the "Monolith" from the Domus Sanctae Marthae, Impy. Salute
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#10
(03-05-2013, 07:18 PM)AdOrientem Wrote: I have a feeling that the Vatican gendarmarie would quickly be able to clear a listening device the size of the "Monolith" from the Domus Sanctae Marthae, Impy. Salute

LOL You don't know how relieved I am that someone finally caught the reference and didn't take it for another room at the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
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