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Outraged NYT: Bush Called Pope ‘Eminence’

From those defenders of the faith (Islam) at the New York Times:

U.S. President George W. Bush (R) listens to Pope Benedict XVI ...

Wait, What Did He Just Call the Pope?

By Patrick J. Lyons

Seven years into his tenure, it will no longer surprise many people to hear that President Bush is not the most formality-minded person ever to hold the office. The irreverent nicknames he makes up for the people around him are legend, and it is not unusual for him to err a bit on the casual side in diplomatic encounters that, in other presidencies, might have been protocol-ed to a fare-thee-well.

Even so, an eyebrow or two arched today at the way Mr. Bush addressed Pope Benedict XVI on meeting him in Rome:

“Your eminence, you’re looking good,” Mr. Bush said, the A.P. reported.

We’re not talking about the Fernando-esque second clause, which was unobjectionably friendly if perhaps a tad over-familiar in tone. It was the “your eminence” part. That’s supposed to be how you address Catholic cardinals. Popes are “your holiness.”

(It isn’t the first time Mr. Bush has put a foot wrong in pontifical etiquette. At a meeting last June, Mr. Bush appalled the Vatican heirarchy and created a small stir in the media by addressing the pope several times as “sir,” which was taken by some as a failure to show appropriate respect, though a blunder rather than an intentional slight.)

In any case, the pope evidently did not succumb today to any temptation to respond to Mr. Bush’s errant greeting with a hearty “So are you, Governor.”

Oh, my Allah, what a horrible faux pas!

Mind you, this selfsame New York Times practically cheered when their Muslim allies were calling for the Pope’s head.

But now they are up in arms over this breach of decorum.

What a laff.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, June 13th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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