Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Nicholas Kristof: The Pope and Hypocrisy

Kristof hits it out of the park again:

John Paul wanted world leaders to show compassion for suffering people like these girls [who were raped and discarded], not for dead popes. Mr. Bush and other world leaders flocking to Rome could truly honor the pope by meeting there to establish a protection force in Darfur.


If there is a lesson from the papacy of John Paul II, it is the power of moral force. The pope didn't command troops, but he deployed principles. And it's hypocritical of us to pretend to honor him by lowering our flags while simultaneously displaying an amoral indifference to genocide.

Read the rest here. (NY Times, reg req'd)

The Boston Globe offers this perspective on the "Pope of peace and Bush's war.

THE FAƇADE of respect did not hide President Bush's utter disdain for the pleas for peace from Pope John Paul II. In his press conference Monday to announce that he would attend John Paul's funeral, Bush was asked by a reporter: ''How do you think this pope has affected America's spiritual and political life? And how much weight did you give to his opposition to the Iraq war?"

The London Times asks: Will Vatican's powerbrokers play safe or vote for change?


Steve Bogner said...

I think it's really difficult to know where the Spirit will lead the cardinals when they get into the conclave. As I've said before - in 1978 who would have predicted they would elect a Pole as pope?

As far as world leaders & hypocrisy.... it's nearly impossible for the leader of any country to be free of hypocrisy, in my opinion. It's an occupational hazard that very few, if any, avoid.

Kevin said...


You're right, in the Conclave anything can happen. The world might be very surprised to see who walks out wearing white.

re: world leaders and hypocrisy, agreed, hypocrisy is an occupational hazard. But that doesn't excuse it, especially when the stakes are so high.

Also, with President Bush and his "values voter" base, his hypocrisy seems all the more glaring when he confesses to take moral high grounds with regards to world affairs. JPII was very consistant in his "culture of life" theology, where GWB just seems to "err on the side of life" when it is politically expedient.