Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dispatch from the Front: Kiss My Ring in Private

David Quinn, writing in the Independent (Dublin) about the p-r disaster that was the pope's recent meeting with Irish bishops:

Right at the start, when the bishops first met the Pope, the optics were wrong. They were filmed kissing the papal ring. There is no way they weren't going to do this. It is always done.

One veteran Rome correspondent told a colleague that he has never come across another group of reporters complaining about this gesture, which is simply a mark of respect for the office.

But he didn't count on Irish journalists in their present mood. In their present mood the gesture was equivalent to nationalists having to watch an Irish politician bow to the Queen of England circa 1955. I remind you again that church-bashing is the new Brit-bashing.

Given these realities, this first meeting with the Pope should have taken place in private, away from the cameras. Pope Benedict should have been filmed with the bishops later.

Yes.  That's it: kiss my ring in private.  That will help heaps.  Should go a long, long way towards resolving the problems in the church today, healing shattered souls, restoring battered confidence in the church's moral authority.  

Kiss my ring.  But just do it in private.