On Saturday evening the pope witnessed a stunning performance of Verdi’s Requiem Mass, led by conductor Enoch zu Guttenberg, father of Germany’s minister of defense, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, at the Paul vi Hall in the Vatican.
Among the audience was an inveterate Vatican watcher, Dr. Robert Moynihan. He was moved by the uniqueness of the event to make an intriguing observation in respect of this particular performance.
Referring to “the political overtones of the event,” Moynihan noted that “[t]he concert had perhaps unintentional political overtones because the son of the conductor, right now Germany’s minister of defense, Karl-Theodor Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg, 38, has just become, according to polls, the single most popular politician in Germany. This means the younger Guttenberg may have a real chance, and soon, to become the next chancellor of Germany after Angela Merkel” (Inside the Vatican, October 19).
Meanwhile, across the Tyrolean border in neighboring Germany and coincident with this rather remarkable event in Rome, it was as though the whole country was seized with Guttenberg fever. In fact, one German newspaper termed it “Guttenberg Hysteria.” Literally every major German newspaper and magazine has carried a major story on the Guttenbergs over the past month. It’s as though this autumn German enrapture with the Baron Guttenberg and his wife is reaching fever pitch.
But what will be most intriguing to readers of the Trumpet is the following statement made by Dr. Moynihan: “The fact is that this concert for the German pope was conducted by the father of the man who may soon head the German government.
“This at least suggests a strengthened connection between Berlin and Rome, or between the two men, should they come into contact in the future as world leaders” (ibid.; emphasis mine).
Readers of the Trumpet are most aware that for decades we have been looking out for two dominant leaders to come to the fore in Europe—one, a powerful political leader from Germany, and the other, an influential religious leader from Rome—the power pair that will dominate the final rise of a European-based empire, a literal reincarnation of the old Holy Roman Empire.
The fact that one of the most astute watchers of Vatican politics is prepared to suggest a future linkage between Pope Benedict xvi and fellow Bavarian Baron Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, baron of the Holy Roman Empire, is most intriguing indeed.