On this day dedicated (on the old calendar) to celebrating Rome’s most important saints, Peter and Paul, the more ecumenically minded often have kind words to say about the papists. Though I am not so ecumenically inclined, I freely admit that Rome’s top dogs are first class, Westminster grade specimens.
The Wall Street Journal has a short article on the Padishah’s visit to the Vatican, “Pope Presses Obama on Contentious Points.” Therein, we read that Benedict evidently gave the president copies of Dignitas Personae and Caritas in Veritate. I wonder if our Marxist in Chief will read them. Who knows? At least, the bishop of Rome understands his role as magister well enough to extend some instruction to his visitor. I suspect that many Orthodox prelates would not be so bold . . . or frank.
I suppose that an Easterner cannot out-frank a Frank!
Bad, bad historical joke . . .
Anyway, the next time that you have to listen to an ultramontane tirade, diplomatically acknowledge that the Roman Church, to its credit, has selected quite impressive leaders throughout its time. Of course, men like Honorius, John XXIII (the second, not the first, who was just a scheming politician like most from his age), and Paul VI will occasionally crop up, but overall, they are impressive folks. Even the wicked ones like Alexander VI were admirable secular rulers, though wretched religious examples.
I think that such worthiness is due to the College of Cardinals. It is an aristocratic regime mixed with gerontocracy—not a bad recipe for choosing wise leadership. I wish that our president and Congressional members were selected by similar means. I am confident that the resulting rulers would be much more fit to legislate and to command.