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« Benedict reflects on life, work of St. Bede the Venerable | Main | Pelosi's spokesman: Meeting with Niederauer "went well" »

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Ed Peters

Here's a question. B16's meeting with Pelosi obviously went much better than his recent meetings with several big Euro-figures. Now, I wonder, if, before a big figure comes to town, the pope and/or his people call in Vatican staffers from that country and say, "Give us the scoop here, who is this guy or gal?", If so, I wonder whether the 'quality' (read: directness) of the American staff remarks enable the pope to prp for an American's visit much better than he has done with some of the Euro-bigwigs? Are Europeans "too delicate" in their briefings, leaving the pope to take the brunt of the bad press that follows his awkward interactions with them?

The shouting down of the Austrian bishop-nominee, that is a much bigger news story than is getting reported here, but it's consistent with my hunch that Euros just don't like blunt talk about other Euros, while Americans don't mind it, and are good at it.

Whaddya think?

Carl E. Olson

Ed: My guess is that you're onto something. And I would also guess that one of those blunt American voices would be Archbishop Burke. I'm sure there has also been communication between Cardinal George and the Holy Father about some of these matters.

Nick Milne

And if it is true, as is now being reported, that Pelosi actually did meet, on February 8th, with Archbishop George Niederauer and still refused to reconsider her stance on abortion, you can be sure Benedict knew about it and took it into serious consideration as to how he would approach her.

Given the events of the last couple of weeks, can we really be sure of this at all?

Carl E. Olson

Nick: Good point. I certainly overstated things. I've changed my post to reflect more accurately my lack of inside knowledge.

Ed Peters

Right re Burke, I just didn't wanna say it. ;) But there are other American over there, is lesser offices. And about this secret meeting, even American can't brief the pope on meetings that were secret.


So you don't think her bishop got a memo saying "If you don't talk with her before she makes it over here you are toast, understand?"
I thought the private meant, excluding "us" and the media, but not the Vatican.
I guess I learned something today.

Robert Miller

I once was the "Catholic" go-to guy for a very prominent non-Catholic Republican politician (one whose name everyone would be immediately familiar with).

When a new Archbishop (now retired) was appointed for our city many years ago, my boss called me in for a briefing on how he should evaluate what it means to be appointed Archbishop of our city. The local media talked like it was a "big deal" (especially because the appointee was a nationally well-known "liberal"). I advised that being appointed Archbishop of our city was like being elected to a "safe" seat in the House. If you aspired to the Senate, you wouldn't want it. My boss immediately understood and tailored his remarks and relationship accordingly.

So, yes, I think the Americans in Rome probably give Sua Santita a much better briefing than his Euro (a/k/a clueless) advisors give him.

The sad thing is that neither the Americans nor the Euros know any history. The Americans are just more clever. But Burke is a wonderful, special case (Stafford too).

Dan Deeny

So Valerie Schmalz and Maurice Healy are wrong? Bishop Niederauer and Rep. Pelosi really did meet? Secretly? What's going on?

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