Misunderstanding Pope Benedict

A great cry went up from the press when the pope lifted the excommunication from a Holocaust-denying bishop. Yet again, the press got it wrong on Benedict XVI.

Back in 1992, Jacques Delors called for “a soul for Europe.” As president of the European Commission, Delors noted the fractious nature of the European Union—even before it grew to its present cumbersome membership of 27 disparate nations. He argued that if Brussels failed to inject a spiritual dimension into the EU, it wouldn’t be able to command the allegiance of Europe’s citizens.

The Vatican raised its profile in Europe powerfully under the papacy of John Paul ii. Now it is pursuing an aggressive agenda to popularize its religion on the Continent. It is ratcheting up the use of mass media; it is intensifying its diplomacy with capitals from London to Moscow and beyond.

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