An Irish woman's social, political and domestic commentary
Tuesday, April 05, 2005  


My suspicions about Sky News were correct. Apparently they had a split screen all weekend. One half contained various interviewees on the pope; the other a close up of the window of the apartment, waiting for the shutters to close, the first sign that he'd died.

On a more intellectual note John Waters and Fintan O'Toole have excelled themselves in the Irish Times. Here's an extract from Fintan's column today:

He was, besides, proof of one of the great political paradoxes - that people are formed in large part by that which they oppose. The Irish nationalists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were, above all, good Victorians. Bolshevism stole the clothes of Tsarism. Napoleon became just another French monarch. And John Paul absorbed much more from the Stalinism he opposed than he ever seemed to realise. He shared its distrust of liberal democracy, looking on the developed West as a weak and decadent culture. He was a fierce critic of consumer capitalism whose Bible, the Wall Street Journal, attacked his views on economics, not entirely inaccurately, as "warmed-over Marxism". And, above all, he despised and crushed internal dissent. Though the language he used was different, his alarm at deviationism and his insistence on adherence to the party line mirrored the Stalinist culture in which he operated for so long. His mixture of idealism and authoritarianism would have made him a brilliant boss of the Polish CP.

Such a mind was never going to come to terms with the imperial phantoms that haunt the legacy of Christ. Even while he was bringing the church so triumphantly into the age of global mass media, he operated as a benign, conscientious and dynamic emperor. He issued edicts and expected them to be obeyed without demur. He visited the far-flung corners of his empire, bucking up his troops but also stamping out incipient rebellions. He established good relations with the other religious empires.

posted by Sarah | 13:47 0 comments
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