samedi, février 16, 2013

Roman holiday

Ancient Israel looks fascinating.

In fact, the land of Israel is the subject of my new series of columns.

But medieval Italy, the land of Dante and the Popes (except when there were three claimants) looks more fascinating still.

It always did, I confess.

That's why, in part, I enjoyed writing this column on the Pope's resignation -- which I, along with many other journalists, keep calling a "shocker."

Shocking even though it is perfectly canonical, and he's hinted at it before.

Shocking although his older brother Georg apparently thought Benedict XVI was a little too old to be Pope to begin with.

Shocking even though he left his pallium on the tomb of the last Pope to resign of his own free will...the Pope that Dante apparently castigated for making "the great refusal."...

To borrow a metaphor from the great poet, let me admit that I, along with many others, apparently find this story, rent from the back pages the Catholic Church,  a hell of a lot of fun.

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