Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pope Snubs Condi?

The American Papist points to this AFP report:
Pope Benedict XVI refused to meet US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in August, saying he was on holiday, an Italian newspaper reported Wednesday.
Rice "made it known to the Vatican that she absolutely had to meet the pope" to boost her diplomatic "credit" ahead of a trip to the Middle East, the Corriere della Sera daily reported without citing its sources.
She was hoping to meet the pontiff at his summer residence of Castel Gandolfo at the beginning of August, it said.
"'The pope is on holiday' was the official response," the paper said.
It said the reply "illustrated the divergence of view" between the Vatican and the White House about the "initiatives of the Bush administration in the Middle East."
The newspaper said the pope had rejected all meetings with political representatives during August.
The Vatican press office refused to confirm the report.

There's a certain amount of 'spin' in the AFP report, and it might be worthwhile recalling this story I blogged last year:
The Vatican has sharply cut back the number of political audiences to prevent the Pope being exploited by visiting politicians looking for headlines.
From now on, only heads of government and heads of state will be granted an audience with the pontiff.
A set of tough new rules has been drafted to protect 79-year-old Pope Benedict XVI from the flood of requests that arrive daily.


bill bannon said...

Then the Vatican should have told the White House so that Condi would not even have asked. On Sep.9 the Pope gave a sermon in which he said that celibates leave everything in order to be "available to everyone"....after Condi was dissed. That contradicts the rule you refer to.
Keep the rule but don't give such sermons....or give such sermons but then take away the rule. He obviously is not available to everyone so ease up with the utopian sermons on celibacy.
No one is giving these Popes feedback on their contradictions because everyone who surrounds them is being too polite...whether out of fear of job loss or who knows what. Flattery is condemned in the OT and not even mentioned now because it is rampant when it comes to the Pope....result is that he is surrounded perhaps by people who do not point out the problems.

Zadok the Roman said...

That's hardly a fair comment.

I doubt that one could seriously argue that Pope Benedict isn't making himself sufficiently available for his pastoral ministry.

The fact that it is not practically possible for the Pope to meet everyone who wishes to see him, doesn't mean that he isn't making himself as availible as he can for his ministry.

bill bannon said...

But it does mean that he is not available to everyone which his sermon says is the advantage of the celibate. One reality is incorrect: the sermon or the behaviour. But the Catholic hyper-papalists want both to be correct simultaneously.
At Regensburg, he gives an anecdote that was avoidable even given his general point which was great and it was an anecdote that was inflammatory not in itself but as fodder for a soundbiting press which will always take things out of context. Yet Catholic pundits can't say out loud that he should have given another anecdote that could not be used in a soundbite and a nun in West Africa might be alive today had he done so....and we all forget her name already don't we. She should have been waked at the Vatican.