Saturday, April 16, 2005
Yep, the Italians certainly think they know their worth:
"For 455 years, the papacy passed uninterrupted from one Italian to another until the Polish pope, John Paul II. Now, after 26 years, many Italians think it is time to get back in office - for fear that changes in the Roman Catholic Church may close the door on them for good...C'mon, guys. You've monopolized the office for almost five centuries; it's really time to share more. Also, there's hardly any Catholics left in Italy, so it might be an idea to give the Papacy to a country where the Church is something more than a cross between a museum and a family heirloom.
"Few experts think another loss for the Italians will knock them out as papal contenders forever, but it seems sure to shatter the notion, reinforced by so many centuries of dominance, that Italians are preternaturally the best men for the job.
"Some here think that shattering would be a mistake. 'There is a vocation, an Italian charisma,' said Vittorio Messori, an Italian writer who collaborated on the pope's 1994 book 'Crossing the Threshold of Hope.' 'The Italians have a tradition of centuries behind them, they know how to do the job of pope, it's in their DNA'."