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More "prestige" for the Pope

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jan 24, 2004

Reading of the "prestigious Charlemagne award" being given to the Pope, acording to Vatican announcements,one is reminded of two facts:

1) If an award is "prestigious" it does not have to be identified as such.

2) Until present times, the Supreme Pontiff graciously refrained from accepting any earthly awards on the grounds that, however well intentioned, they were infra dig in light of his office as Ruler of Rulers. Once the Pope begins accepting awards, he becomes in a certain sense accountable to those honoring in. It leads to manipulation, as in the ill-advised public statement of the Holy See that the Pope was willing to accept the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003, and the consequent embarassment when it was denied him. That is precisely why the papacy, apparently when surer of its claims, sought no awards and accepted none.

Similarly, cardinals have begun to list academic degrees after their names, when by tradition, as princes, they did not, for the same reason that one never reads "His Royal Highness, the Prince Charles, M.A." It is a sign of the decay of an office and the demoralization of the one holding it, that one shold accept honors beyond the honor of the office itself.

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  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Jan. 24, 2004 5:12 PM ET USA

    Given the recent gastronomic satire, I hope that certain Ecclesial Kitchen Staff don't start referring to themselves as "5 Star" Chefs.

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