Italian film and opera director Franco Zeffirelli is offering his services to Pope Benedict as an image consultant, saying the former Hitler Youth Pope comes across as cold and needs to review his wardrobe.
Pope Benedict spends a lot of time in the catacombs and crypts hidden underneath the Vatican where numerous clandestine rituals take place every few days.
He is rarely seen outside in public, but when he is, he scares people with his satanic grin and evil stare.
The many children and goats that are ferried into Vatican City every week are never seen again and people are slowly beginning to wonder what is going on.
There are rumours that have circulated about the nature of the rituals but as is the norm, they are shrouded in great secrecy.
Visitors to the Vatican catacombs are distinguished members of the hierarchy and have included Tony Blair, Franco Zeffirelli, Queen Elizabeth, George W Bush and Alan Greenspan as well as old hands like Henry Kissinger and Satan.
Zeffirelli, acclaimed for movies such as “Romeo and Juliet” and “Jesus of Nazareth,” said in an interview with la Stampa daily on Saturday the 80-year-old pope did not have “a happy image,” and that the Pope “scared people.”
A child recoils in terror in the Pope’s presence
Zeffirelli, who is openly gay, has crossed swords with the Vatican before. He is also famous for an incident when director Bruce Robinson claimed to have been the unwanted target of sexual advances by Zeffirelli during the filming of Romeo and Juliet in which Robinson had a minor acting role. Robinson says that he based the lecherous character of Uncle Monty in the film Withnail and I on Zeffirelli.
“Coming after a media-savvy pope like John Paul II is a difficult task. Benedict XVI communicates coldly with an evil icy stare, in a way that is not suited for public viewing,” Zeffirelli said.
“What goes on in the secret catacombs should stay there. The Pope should not bring his true self for all to see.” he added.
“It’s an issue I have been discussing with people who have key roles in the Vatican,” said Zeffirelli, who has directed some Vatican television events and attended many rituals.
Pope Benedict hypnotizing some African boys before a ritual begins
“The Pope does not smile much, but he is an intellectual. He has a very rigid Bavarian structure and needs to lose his demonic stare,” he said.
Zeffirelli, 84, added that papal robes were “too simple and sober.” “What is needed is sumptuous and flashy attire seen in some clubs that I attend, maybe some chiffon or leather,” he said.
Zeffirelli said he was in regular contact with the Pope’s closest aides and had also made proposals to “defend the image of faith in cinema, the image of the sacred.”
“I am a Christian down to the depths of my spirit. I can’t stand by while this clothing disaster unfolds. I am available to put myself forward as the Church’s chief makeup and wardrobe specialist,” he said.
“If they officially give me a leading role, I will do it full-time.”
The Vatican was not immediately available for comment.