In his visit to America, Pope Francis has had considerable truck with politicians. And has pronounced and prompted (some – not I – would say hectored) on subjects not generally considered the province of religious leaders. This had led to a spate of foolish assertions and spurious expressed hope on the part of TV talking heads, political writers, and others in the chatterati.
No. The Pope, no matter how sincere he is, will not leave behind him a better political atmosphere. The differences that existed when he arrived will persist irreconcilably after he leaves. The scales will fall from no one’s eyes. I suggest it’s time for those asking these silly questions and expressing this dubious hope to revisit their Gibbon.
He spoke to the impact of religion on politics: “The various modes of worship which prevailed in the Roman world were all considered by the people as equally true; by the philosopher as equally false; and by the magistrate as equally useful.”
Even paranoids have enemies, and even clichés can be true. So I am not embarrassed to conclude with: The more things change, the more they stay the same.
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