George and Benedict
Just read this in John Allen’s post… an interview with Mary Ann Glendon: U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.
Allen: It wasn’t just his affection for Americans … Americans also showed a surprising degree of affection for him, didn’t they?
Glendon: Yes, and I thought all of that suddenly became clear in the ceremony on the White House lawn. To me that was incredibly moving, to have the President ‘speaking Catholic.’ In his own way, he was speaking Catholic. It’s a language with which he feels very comfortable. He’s the only president in our history who is so comfortable with Catholic terms and concepts, and he uses them regularly. Then you have the pope on that day … it was like a duet, with each one singing an unaccustomed role, or at least the role you wouldn’t think they would take. The president was poetic, and the pope was the one who sounded like the patriotic American. I think we all felt that. He was reminding us of things in our tradition that we take for granted, and telling us to be proud of that. Sometimes it takes somebody from far away to notice those things.
After the pope gave his speech, the president went up to him and said, ‘Awesome speech!’ It was so great, so American. Both of them were absolutely what they were. That’s who George Bush is, and that’s who the pope is. http://ncronline.org/mainpage/specialdocuments/interview_glendon.pdf