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April 08, 2005

Comments

cathy

one arrogant - one humble. Funny that the arrogant man felt like the pope supported him. hmm.

jtbf

And the humble" one disregarded everything the Pope counseled and asked for, asserting that he knew better. "Cardinal Laghi...visited Bush in March 2003 on behalf of the Pope to ask the president not to engage in a 'preventive war.'...Cardinal Laghi said he is certain that the Holy Father will repeat to Bush 'the advice I gave him, which he decided not to heed. Now we see how wise it was.'...he [John Paul] will be able to tell him that the United States' options at present are not re-establishing the law of nations in the Middle East,' the cardinal said. To re-establish law in the Mideast, and in particular in Iraq, requires 'a cultural understanding of that world that is difficult for us and that I think our American friends have not achieved...
To bomb a mosque, to enter holy cities, to put women soldiers in contact with naked men, shows a lack of understanding of the Muslim world that I would label astonishing,' Cardinal Laghi said.'Bridges must be built with Islam, not pits dug...And priority should be given to the Israeli-Palestinian question, which is the first source of terror.'" ZENIT

Roz

I think we may safely infer from Mr. Clinton's remarks that the Holy Father said nothing of the kind. One can hope that they spoke on personal topics, but it seems clear they never discussed the Yugoslav situation.

Donald R.McClarey

"And the humble" one disregarded everything the Pope counseled and asked for, asserting that he knew better."

And now we have a free Iraq, the insurgency in Iraq is waning, democracy is on the march in Lebanon, the mullahs in Iran are facing a growing pro-democracy movement among young Iranians, Saudia Arabia has announced open municipal elections and Egypt has announced open multi-pary national elections. Yep, the humble one had it all wrong.

WRY

You mean the pope, Donald?

Maureen

I've said it before and I'll say it again. People of good will and good sense can agree on values and even love each other, but still disagree on policy. Considering the number of saints of the Church who have engaged each other in, um...spirited debate...I don't think this should be a surprise.

I know diversity has been made into a dirty word through serious misuse. But God did not make us unique and individual souls and bodies so that we would all walk in lockstep and agree all the time.

Kate P

On a lighter note, I was in college during Clinton's 2nd term and I found a picture of him and Pope together, with Clinton's arm spread wide and the Pope looking serious. I added speech balloons. . .
Clinton: "All this can be yours if you bow down to me."
JPII: "I don't buy it, Bubba."
Got a lot of laughs!

Donald R.McClarey

WRY, Saint John Paul II, for I have no doubt personally that he is in Heaven at this moment, was a great man and a great pope. However, while I accept infallibility of the papacy on issues of faith and morals, on issues of diplomacy and military matters popes have often, in 2000 years, been simply mistaken. When a pope speaks on any issue he should be taken seriously and with respect. When he speaks outside of his area of faith and morals, however, even Catholics are not obliged to agree with him.

tantoday

"Four kings, five queens and at least 70 presidents and prime ministers attended the open-air service to pay homage to a man who helped bring down the Iron Curtain, urged unity between faiths and stamped a strict orthodoxy on his own Church"

http://reuters.myway.com/article/20050408/2005-04-08T092118Z_01_L07252420_RTRIDST_0_NEWS-POPE-DC.html

Re 18:9 "And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived in luxury with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,"


10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is your judgment come.


Interesting, isn't it?


Maclin Horton

Kate P, that's great. Score yourself another laugh.

al

Donald,
Just War Doctrine is a matter of Morals, being an extension of the Natural Law.

But this is an old argument, let us rejoice together now that the Holy Father has met his reward!

Jay Anderson

Regardless of our opinions on the Iraq War, President Bush did indeed express humility in his comments, unlike his predecessor in office who apparently doesn't understand the concept of humility.

Daniel H. Conway

Humility in word and deed are separate things. Identifying that one differs in opinion from you is not humility, just an observation.

The only humble one was Bush 41 who expressed regret. Regret is an act of humility.

Larry

The last line of the article:

"The president and his delegation occupy a worse position at the funeral than the Iranians."

1. I hope this isn't true.

2. If true, if hope it was happenstance, not an attempt on the part of the Vatican to diss President Bush and the American delegation. Or that the Vatican would consider Iran and the mullahcracy a greater friend to them than the United States.

CG

The Vatican assigned seating arrangements in alphabetical order based on the name of the dignitary's country in the diplomatic language, French. In French USA begins with an E. I'm not sure what Iran's official diplomatic title is in French.

Sydney Carton

Assuming that what Clinton said was true, I have to wonder if there's really any distinction there. Saddam's mass graves were probably worse than those in Bosnia. It seems entirely inconsistent to support military operations in Bosnia and not those in Iraq. I think that every argument in favor of war with Iraq had more force than those for war in Bosnia.

Dan W

In French, Iran is "République Islamique d' Iran"

Not sure how that would come before "E"...

Maybe they went alphabetically backwards?

carrie ryckman

Just curious: why were Laura Bush and Condy Rice wearing veils? I've been to St. Peter's and it is not required to wear a veil. Was it a sign of respect? Laura Bush reminded me of pictures of Jackie Kennedy at JFK's funeral.

Maureen

Laura was given a mantilla by somebody in the family, and she used it when she went on the Vatican visit to the Pope's residence a while back. Condi and the other women in the delegation followed her lead then. (I think I remember hearing that this was the polite thing in the Pope's residence. Or that Jackie Kennedy did it.) So if you're going to a funeral, and you've already got a black headcovering, you may as well wear it, ne?

Condi looked a bit unhappy that the rest of the women in attendance weren't wearing veils and she was. (My incredible telepathic powers tell me this....) I wonder, would she have worn a church lady hat if she hadn't been going along with Laura's mantilla thing? Will this turn into a diplomatic thing, if Condi will wear a headcovering for visiting Catholics but not for visiting Muslims? _Has_ she worn a headcovering while visiting Muslims? It's an interesting question.

Bill H

Kate P,

I can't claim credit for this one, but sometime around the Lewinsky fiasco, The Economist ran a picture with the Pope and Clinton together. The Pope was looking forward and appeared to be commenting about something, while Clinton was looking at the Pope and leaning in slightly to hear what he was saying. The caption said "That's 10,000 Hail Marys."

Richard

Hello Carrie,

When the Bushes visited the Pope at Castel Gandolfo in 2001, not only Laura but both daughters were dressed in black with veils.

They have been consistent about the practice, whatever their motivations - which I can't speak to.

Jay Anderson

Another story with an example of Presidential humility vs Presidential trashiness with respect to the Pope:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=4&u=/ap/20050408/ap_on_go_pr_wh/pope_bush

Regardless of how you feel about President Bush, it is clear that he truly respected and admired the late Holy Father. And I reject the insinuation that disagreement with the Pope's position on the Iraq War is evidence of insufficient humility.

Larry

OK. CG, posting at 10:44, is right on the money. Here is a quote from an AP story carried on the MSNBC site:

"Bush was close to the front of the section reserved for world leaders, who were seated in alphabetical order---in French. The United States in French is Etats-Unis."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7429941/

The President and Laura sat next to President and Mrs. Chriac of France, which makes sense (France=F).

Thus the assertion/wishful thinking of the Newsweek writers that the Vatican would be so petty, on this solemn occasion, as to assign the United States poor seats at the funeral over the Iraq disagreement is revealed to be false.

Brigid

LOL about Laura and Condi in veils! I think it's esp. interesting that Condi wore it considering all her work to "free" women "from the oppression" of the veil in the Middle East, thus perhaps her uncomfortable look.

Classic case of American Protestant, and dare I add Republican, women who have no real clue about Catholicism in the year 2005 (not the year 1962 when Jackie did it). They don't know what to do (or are still taking advise from Deal Hudson) and thus take a more conservative bent on an "issue" in order "not to offend."

Pleeeeease. Modern Western Catholic women no longer wear them.

Sign of cluelessness, not respectfulness, IMHO. Too bad for them esp. Condi...

Laura

Al is right Donald. War is a matter of morals. Sorry but morals don't just apply to what we do with our genitals.

The Pope had such a strong opinion on Iraq because he knew it had everything to do with morals and it was wrong. (Not to mention the original reason reason to go to war turned out to be a lie.)

As for freedom being on the march in the Middle East, history teaches us not to count our eggs before they're hatched. After the open election sin Vietnam, the US gushed all over itself about what a victory that was. Look at Vietnam now.

As for Saudi Arabia and Pakistan having any kind of open and free elections for anything, I'm pulling a doubting Thomas on this one: I'll believe it when I see it.

Mike Petrik

Actually, it *might* be a sign of cluelessness, but it almost certainly is a sign of respectfullness. The two are not incompatible. It is true that few American women wear veils to Mass (I honestly have no idea about other western nations), and those that do would probably not choose to describe themselves as "Modern Western Catholic women." All that said, my modern American wife was nothing but impressed by the gesture, which she found respectful and even a bit poignant.

Laura

Speaking of doctored pictures....

Let's not forget the picture of the Pope with Dubya reading from a paper. Bush addresses him with "My dear Dalai Lama..."

Then the other picture with the Pope, head in hands, thought bubble above him saying something along the lines of "What a friggin' idiot."

Or, the Pope pointing a finger at him saying "Listen to me you self-righteous little punk..."

Boleslaw

Modern Catholic women are not required to don a mantilla at Mass, nor is there even any social pressure on them to do so. And yet many do, as an outward manifestation of respect. It may be the same spirit that still leads most, if not all, male Mass attendees to remove their baseball caps at Mass.

To draw a parallel between a practice related to liturgical decorum to a requirement in the Muslim world to wear a veil (or more) whenever a woman appears in public is not appropriate.

And how gracious Mrs Bush looked in the photographs!

Liam

The mantilla is simply a very high degree of formality for a state event. No longer required by papal protocol, but only recently so, and still widely observed on state occasions such as this was (and the installation of the next pope will be unless he has other ideas about it). One might argue, though, that formalities should match and that the mantilla for women would be matched by their spouses wearing formal morning [note, not mourning] attire; otherwise, there is a mismatch.

frank sales

I wonder if Clinton took it upon himself to receive Communion again.

Loudon is a Fool

I, for one, am saddened and disappointed to learn that the First Lady and Dr. Rice are not Modern Western Catholic women. Assuming, of course, that Modern Western Catholic women would never show the bad fashion sense of donning a mantilla. Which must be the case as the gentility (and humility) that Modern Western Catholic women have been shown to possess indicate the mantilla is wholly unnecessary.

Larry

Good post, Liam. Good observations about both the mantilla and (the preferred symmetry of) a male equivalent.

And frank, say what you want about Clinton, and I was hardly a huge fan of his, but I will acknowledge a small but growing feeling on my part that he has been conducting his public life in recent months with a measure of dignity and grace. Ever since his major surgery.

frank sales

Larry,
My question was genuine. Do you know if Clinton received Communion?

Larry

frank: no, I do not know either way. (Interesting issue generally as to whether any of the Protestants or other non-Catholics present approached the altar) And my 1:34 post wasn't per se a reply to your question, or in any way a comment on it, but rather your question served to jostle me to make a comment on my feelings about Clinton as of late.

Donald R.McClarey

"Sorry but morals don't just apply to what we do with our genitals."

Now you tell me! If the Iraq war was unjust, I see precious few wars in history, including many that the Papacy participated in, and sometimes blessed as Crusades, that were just. As to the success of our policy in Iraq and the Middle East, I think the current facts on the ground speak for themselves. However, I also agree with Al that on a day dedicated to honoring the memory of John Paul the Great such debates as the war are perhaps best postponed to a later date when the rhetorical cudgels can be happily raised again.

Brigid

Again, I felt sorry for Condi. I believe she was misinformed.

She is our Secretary of State, FOR PETE'S SAKE! (pun totally intended)

chris K

Apparently President Bush has just had a very revealing exchange with journalists on the plane back. He talked for 45 min. and spoke of the funeral being probably the greatest experience of his presidency, that it caused a reaffirmation of his own faith, that he felt a presence or spirit about him there, moved by the music and the way the simple coffin was presented, and, differing from Clinton's "mixed bag" reference to the pope's legacy, the president said that the legacy will be clear and exceptional or extraordinary (something like that). Sounded like he was moved and is being quite open about it.

Kathy

I like veils, and I think Laura Bush and Condi Rice both looked lovely. I have one from my days long ago in a Catholic women's college that has since turned goofy. Of course I wouldn't think of wearing it to Mass nowadays (with the exception of St. Agnes in St. Paul or St. John Cantius in Chicago). I'd be intimidated by imagining the sneers of some, and wouldn't be able to concentrate on the truly important. Some beautiful traditions went out with agenda-driven innovations that deliberately misinterpreted Vatican II.

al

I think Cherie Blair wore a mantilla too.

She's plenty modern and Catholic.

Christopher Rake

However, I also agree with Al that on a day dedicated to honoring the memory of John Paul the Great such debates as the war are perhaps best postponed to a later date when the rhetorical cudgels can be happily raised again.

Which gives me the opportunity to say I've been keeping my mouth shut about it for that very reason.

The veils? I'm touched to see them there, just as I am in my own Northern Virginia church.

Roz

Re: Ms. Rice's possible discomfiture when photographed wearing the mantilla. I have two possible alternative theories:

(1) Her mantilla was threatening to slide off, so she had to hold her head stiffly to avoid losing it. (Well I remember that dilemma from my childhood.)

(2) Her feet were killing her. Every walk in Vatican City is a long walk.

Eileen R

What world is Bill Clinton living in? The Pope called for an end to the NATO bombing in my world. Did Clinton not notice?

John J.  Simmins

Mantillas are welcome in a world where most females are either dressed like they should be at the beach or at the singles bar. Most of the men look like they just climbed out of the dirty clothes hamper.

Joseph D'Hippolito

To those who criticize the current president's decision to reject the advice of the late pope concerning Iraq, let's understand what would have been the consequences of following that advice:

1. Saddam and his rapacious sons would still be governing Iraq and oppressing Iraqis.

2. Khadaffi would still be flirting with possessing WMD; he discarded his ambitions as a direct result of Saddam's toppling.

3. The Lebanese would not have had the courage to stand up to Syrian oppression.

Moreover, had the first Pres. Bush listened to the late pope concerning the 1991 Gulf War....

1. Saddam would have annexed Kuwait, just as Hitler annexed the Sudetenland in 1938 (and, later, much of Czechoslovakia)

2. Saddam would have been emboldened to attack Saudi Arabia, thereby creating a situation in which far more casualties (miltary and civilian) would have resulted from an American military response (which would have been justified to protect Saudi oil assets that Saddam might otherwise would have captured and used for his nefarious purposes).

Joseph

Hi all,

The veil is Scriptural, and like the full observance of the Sabath has been tossed aside mostly for the sake of convenience, so the veil out of pridefullness, unwilling to yield to the demands of descipleship and/or of political correctness. The mess caused by the so called "liberation" of women is immense, and I am not the oblivous to the tremendous gifts of women and there contributions, but when we are talking about salvation of souls and things spiritual, well, the "wisdom" of the times is just not relevant. If we say the Scripures are true, especially the fulfillment of the Scriptures in the New Testament, why do we not follow them to the letter, or at least to the spirit of the law? It is because people are by nature rebellious and prideful.

The Scripture, by way of Saint Paul (I Cor.1-16) says explicitly that women are to have their heads covered while praying or propheseying. Lest anyone accuse Paul of not giving women their due, hs is calling them, in some cases, prophets. Does this mean that this rule makes sense? NO, it does not, not in the worldly sense, nor in the spiritual, not unless one understands the symbolic undergirdings -- that is, God is the head of man, who should have his head uncovered, and man is the head of the women, shown by her head being covered. (I can almost hear the keyboards clicking away.) Does this mean man is "better' than woman? Absolutely not. But this is the order that God ordained. If it is not the case, let us all just tear out the pages of the Bible we don't agree with.

Don't hit me too hard, I am old and frail.

Joseph

Tom Kelty

Crass political exploitation...W is scoring points for 2008. Their hope is that a strict conservative Pope is elected who will back the Republican agenda again. I am not surprised that W went to Rome. It was the place to be, like no other in the history of mankind. I was hoping that JP2 would rise from the coffin to point at W and wag his finger scolding him again for starting a war which he termed"an attack on humanity". We will leave aside the lies and the number of lives lost and the lack of any withdrawal strategy.

Hannah


"The president and his delegation occupy a worse position...than the Iranians." That's at the judgment seat, Larry.

Donald R. McClarey

Veils? Politics? Veils? Politics? Why did I think I just heard a Polish hand slap a Polish forehead up in Heaven? Pray for us Saint John Paul II, we truly do not know what we are doing.

fbc

Risking another heavenly papal headslap, let me just add that about 85% of the modern Catholic women in my parish in the Midwest wear mantillas (veils) including my wife (but not my 3 yr old daughter.)

catholic

Military matters do not concern morals? Donald, please let Saint John Paul the Great have one day of rest in his grave before you make him roll over.

peace

Whitcomb

Does anyone know--was Bush given communion at the funeral?

Radactrice

I think that trying to determine who received communion and who didn't is akin to looking for silvers in another's eye. If Bush or Clinton or Condi or Tony Blair or King Abdullah of Jordan or Chirac anyone else received communion isn't any of our business. The priest who gave them communion surely would have known who they were and it is on his conscience. And the dignataries were informed of the rules and regulations so if they opted to flaunt those rules, it's on their conscience. Wanting to know who did what is just nosiness, pure and simple.
As for wearing mantillas, I believe if you consult any standard etiquette book it still says that is de rigour for being in the presence of the Pope. Those who did so were erring on the side of Emily Post and Miss Manners. I did notice that the women readers didn't necessarily wear head coverings. It's fashion, folks. And if the fashion for head coverings is returning, that's fine. Let's just not get so caught up in the rules that women have to scrounge in their purses for a ratty kleenix to pin on their heads if they don't remember their veils as used to happen.

Mike Petrik

Whitcomb,
No, he did not. Nor did anyone else in the official US delegation.
Radactrice,
I pretty much agree. Clinton made this an issue while in office since he took communion while on a foreign visit. He converted it from an honest mistake to an issue when he insisted he was glad he did even after he was informed that non-Catholics are not supposed to. Before that the criticism was centered on the presiding bishop.

Richard

I. I kind of like what Mr. Simmons said above:

Mantillas are welcome in a world where most females are either dressed like they should be at the beach or at the singles bar. Most of the men look like they just climbed out of the dirty clothes hamper.

I do not think mantillas are necessary. But it's a nice respectful touch. In my experience they are not worn very often but more than one might think; with what seems to be a slight increase of late in their popularity.

Either way, I think we are all agreed that many Catholics could stand to show a little more sartorial decorum when in the real presence of our Lord. It's mass, not a Chiefs-Raiders game.

2. I post the following reamrks from the president's press conference yesterday on Air Force One for those who might be curious:

--

Q Your predecessor suggested that the Pope would leave a mixed legacy, even though he was a great man. Since you differed with him on the war to such a great degree, do you also think it will be a mixed legacy?

THE PRESIDENT: I think Pope John Paul II will have a clear legacy of peace, compassion, and a strong legacy of setting a clear moral tone.

...

...Let me make sure I go back to the first answer on His Holiness. I said -- I think my answer was, is that -- what did I say?

Q I asked if you thought it was a mixed message, and you said, "I think John Paul II will have a clear legacy of peace" --

THE PRESIDENT: A clear and excellent legacy, if you don't mind adding the word "excellent."

Q Clear and excellent.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. In other words, a strong legacy. I wanted to make sure there was a proper adjective to the legacy I thought he left behind. It was more than just "clear."

MR. McCLELLAN: You said "strong," too, in that answer.

THE PRESIDENT: Okay.

Q Yes, you said, "strong legacy of setting a clear moral tone."

THE PRESIDENT: Fine. Okay, good.

----

Nancy

"if they opted to flaunt those rules, it's on their conscience. Wanting to know who did what is just nosiness, pure and simple."

That they push and shove to be in a position to flaunt the rules is something that you think might be unseemly to notice, rad?
Is asking why gasoline prices are going up when Wolfowitz testified before Congress that invading Iraq would improve the oil situation, etc., etc., also looking for "slivers"?

MaureenM

Protocol seems to dictate that women being presented to the Holy Father wear a black dress with long sleeves and a black headcovering. Recall Rosalyn Carter meeting JPII in Boston in 1979 looking like St. Elizabeth Seton in a black bonnet. Mrs. Reagan wore a long black mantilla and today in the newspaper I saw a picture of Charles and Diana meeting JPII back in the 80s and she had a beautiful black mantilla over her blond coif.

Queen Sofia (?) of Spain also wore a black mantilla (with a comb) but she wore the same to her son's wedding-- *that's* a different cultural kettle of fish.

Have the rules of international diplomacy changed in this regard?

frank sales

Radatrice,
Not slivers. I was interested in knowing if Clinton learned anything from his last faux pas.

Sandra Miesel

Several conversations are crossing on the matter of women's headgear. I assure you that pre-Vatican II we wore hats to Sunday Mass but hats have largely gone out of fashion. Small veils (not mantillas) were sometimes seen at daily Mass and for the unexpected visit to a church, the good old kleenex and bobby pin. (Anybody seen a bobby pin lately?)

Protocol for papal audiences required long-sleeved, formal black garments for ladies and a black veil. Catholic queens had the privilege of wearing white. (Less Catholic nobility such as Grace Kelly still had to wear black.) THE CHURCH VISIBLE has pictures of Queen Sofia all in white while King Juan Carlos is in fancy military dress. I assume she wore black this time because it was a funeral. Let's see what she wears to the installation of the new pope.

Few years ago Mary Robinson, President of Ireland, wore emerald green to a papal audience as a deliberate affront. She and her entourage also behaved indecorously. The proprieties still count with the Vatican.

Maureen

Re: Laura and Condi veil talk

Of course we're talking about what people wore to the funeral. This is one of the main post-funeral topics of all time! There is only so much one can say about grief and consolation. There is only so much one can say about the deceased's hope in Christ and status in Heaven. After that, it's time to start making bad wake jokes and make a few comments on all the nice clothes!

MaureenM

... and of course, from one Maureen to the other, the #1 post-funeral topic of all time...

didn't the deceased look good!

jtbf

Sandra Miesel: Regarding your comment about Mary Robinson, see
http://www.answers.com/topic/mary-robinson

"She visited Irish nuns and priests abroad, Irish famine relief charities, attended international sports events, met the Pope (where she was condemned by a young right wing priest in The Irish Times for supposedly breaking Vatican dress codes on her visit; the Vatican insisted she hadn't, an analysis echoed by Ireland's Roman Catholic Bishops who disowned the controversial priest's comments)".

Newton

"In its own coverage of the story, the Irish Times--in a half-page article featuring a large head-and-shoulders photograph of the 28-year-old Father O'Hanlon, interviewed Father Austin Flannery, the compiler of the documents of Vatican II, whom Father O'Hanlon had described as a 'has-been'.

Father Flannery said O'Hanlon's attack on President Robinson had been 'ill-informed and very offensive.'. Bishop John Kirby expressed 'shock' at O'Hanlon's views. Columnist Medb Ruane said the young priest's sudden rise to celebrity on Irish radio and in the newspapers was 'a textbook case of how priests who seem funny can in fact be very dangerous.'

Ruane said that, when Father O'Hanlon had mentioned on radio that women were ontologically different from men, President Robinson's 'offense became clearer. The real question is not so much whether she did or did not deliberately flout convention, but rather that she is. She is.' Ruane said Father O'Hanlon's remarks about Robinson 'hint at an attitude to women that may inform his feelings about the president.'

After almost a month of controversy, Father O'Hanlon decided not to respond further to his attackers, but said he would let his arguments speak for themselves.

In a final sally, a letter in the Irish Independent --referring to Father O'Hanlon as a 'verbose Vatican viper'--misquoted King Henry II of England: 'Will no-one rid us of his turbulent priest?'"

Kieron Wood writes regularly from Dublin for Catholic World Report.

http://www.catholic.net/rcc/Periodicals/Igpress/CWR/CWR0697/ireland.html

Donald R. McClarey

The first and most noticeable difference between the current President's visit to the Pope and that of her predecessor was the clothing they wore. This factor may seem relatively insignificant, but it is highly charged with symbolism. Mary Robinson flouted Vatican etiquette by arriving in a bright green suit, her head uncovered, and with "a cheeky sprig of Women's Day mimosa" (as her official biography put it) on her lapel. After perceiving surprise on the part of those waiting to welcome her to the papal household, she told her biographers: "When I recognised that, I was delighted I had taken the decision I had. Far from feeling awkward about it, I felt that this was what I was about." Among other aspects of her visit to Rome, this was interpreted as an deliberate attempt to cause offense to the Catholic Church. A young priest studying in Rome at the time, Father David O Hanlon, sparked off a furious debate in the letters page of the influential Irish Times when he described her appearance as "cheap." The liberal establishment, for whom Robinson is a kind of icon, shrieked in horror that someone should criticize the President, and quickly rushed to her defense, attacking the postgraduate student. Even two bishops joined in the fray, praising the President and distancing themselves from the priest who had dared to criticize her.

Yet as her subsequent Mary Robinson: The Authorised Biography, by Olivia O'Leary and Helen Burke implicitly admitted, Robinson had come to Rome planning to make a political point. It was also worthy of notice that in contrast with her pointed violation of protocol during the visit to the Pope, she had bowed to the usual conventions by dressing "properly" when she met with Queen Elizabeth. This would seem to suggest a deference for secular authorities that she refuses to extend to religious ones. Yet even the distinction is off the mark. Robinson also followed the required protocol when she visited an Islamic Mosque in Dublin. It would seem that her apparent secularism is really a thinly disguised anti-Catholicism. This is something that often occurs in the Republic of Ireland."

Catholic World News 2001

Donald R. McClarey

http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=20763 for the above cited story.

Stefanie

RE: "LOL about Laura and Condi in veils!... Pleeeeease. Modern Western Catholic women no longer wear them..."

I consider myself a Modern Western Catholic Woman. I have a degree in finance, work for a male-dominated investment bank, make more money than my husband, have equal say in all decisions in our household, etc.

I also have deep faith and profound respect for the traditions of the Catholic Church. I wear a mantilla to weekly Latin Mass (see www.stalphonsusbalt.org), and I wear a discreet chapel cap to other (non-Latin) masses and whenever I am in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. This has nothing to do with equality of men and women and everything to do with humility before God.

As far as non-Catholic women wearing headcoverings at the Vatican, consider it a sign of respect and a gesture of diplomacy... it is no different from a non-Jewish man donning a yarmulke in a synagogue or any man removing his hat when entering a church, singing the national anthem, or eating in a restaurant... it just comes down to respect.

Bravo to Mrs. Bush and Ms Rice's ettiquette and respect.

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