September 20th, 2006

The Pope's grasp of historical context

When I heard that the Pope had been quoting a 14th century emperor inveighing against Islam, I immediately wondered which one? Most Christian medieval emperors were in practice at least as hostile to the Papacy as they were to Islam - had the Pope left himself open to some juicy counter-quotations?

I now learn that the Pope was quoting a Byzantine emperor, Manuel II - and despite Manuel being a heretic in Catholic eyes, the counter-quotations probably don't exist. Manuel had some very strong reasons for not insulting the Papacy.

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