Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Anatomising The Pope Some More

It was in code (at first I thought he was complaining about the standard of cleanliness at the airport) but when you take it in context it's fairly clear that what Cardinal Kasper was saying (with a sweet little smile) when he likened Britain to a Third World country was "Oh my God have you see how many ******* there are in London!"

Kasper is in the Pope's inner circle- and his remark opens a window into the way it thinks. Perhaps "thinks" is the wrong word- because what is on display is not so much thought as emotional prejudice. This is a bunch of very old white males and their world view is eurocentric to the point of racism. The pope himself gave us an earlier glimpse of it in that speech at Regensburg in which he saw fit to quote a Byzantine Emperor on the evils of Islam. It's a mindset that Hilaire Belloc summed up in his epigram, "The faith is Europe and Europe is the faith". 

The Pope and his people are late-late romantics- nostalgic for an air-brushed version of the Middle ages and ill-at-ease in the modern world.  At heart they are still crusaders. The despised Third World (which happens to be the only place their Church is growing) is where the saracens live.  Belloc's epigram was reactionary when he first made it 90 years ago. Even then it carried a taint of sadness and self pity.
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