Title & Purpose

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:

for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand, Joel 2:1.

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Thursday, 9 September 2010

The two faced nature of Rome

This is becoming a bit of a habit. I find myself in agreement again with Eamonn McCann. [He also raised the issue about the parades' legislation that thankfully is going to be changed]

In the Belfast Telegraph he writes about the two faced nature of Rome:

Why the Vatican's diplomatic immunity days are numbered

Now you Holy See him, now you don't. One minute, Benedict XVI is a head of state, like Elizabeth II, Omar al-Bashir or Emperor Akihito.

Then, in an instant, shazam!, he's the leader of a religious organisation, on a par with the Dalai Lama, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Rev Ron Johnstone.

Maybe he cannot be in two places at the one time, but he can be two personages in the one place.

His sojourn to Britain, beginning on Thursday week, will have the status both of a state visit and a pastoral journey.

On some stopovers he will be the representative of a state recognised at the UN and enjoying diplomatic relations with, at the last count, 156 countries.

His role at other engagements will be as leader of a religion with 1.2 billion followers scattered across the planet.

The potential political advantages of this double status are fairly obvious. But it does raise the question: how come?

Why is it that, uniquely among religious leaderships, the Holy See can also bestride the world of diplomacy and politics?

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