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This week Willy Hutton goes wrong in his first sentence

In fact, in the first few words of his first sentence.

The first ever non-European pope takes over at the Vatican

Difficult to take seriously anyone commenting upon the Papacy, Catholicism or even the long run of history who seems not to have heard of St. Peter.

Which is a little odd, given that the name of that girt big church in the Vatican is a bit of a fucking clue.

To say nothing of the six Syrian and 3 African popes we\’ve had (and two Judean, one of which is above).

Seriously Willy, get a grip would you?

8 thoughts on “This week Willy Hutton goes wrong in his first sentence”

  1. Maybe he is recognising that those places used to be culturally European, before they fell to the sons of the Poppet.

  2. I’m actually willing to give him a break here. Was “Pope” really the same office in any meaningful way when any of those people held it? Would they have referred to themselves as “Pope”, particularly St Peter?

    What is interesting is that in choosing a non-European Pope, they have made in many ways a more traditional choice than the last two – he’s closer to being an Italian their either of them. Does this now set a precedent for someone who is culturally less European next time? They move with slow steps.

  3. Find that whole European/no-European divide somewhat specious. I’m living in Northern Carthage, later the Roman province of Iberia. Guys lived the other side of the Straits were the same ethnicity & culture. Not much difference between Spaniards & Moroccans now, though wouldn’t voice that opinion around here.
    The High Islamic Culture mostly an illusion. The guys who did it had great great …. grandparents who were Roman citizens so it’s a much a child of Rome as the Isle de France. Whole of N. America is European. S America’s either Spanish or Portuguese. Philippines. So where would a truly non-European Pope come from? In a sense, the Polish one was the furthest from the Church’s roots.

  4. You surely don’y buy the Roman Catholic foundation myths do you, Tim?

    In 2009 Otto Zwierlein (de) concluded in a critical study that “there is not a single piece of reliable literary evidence (and no archaeological evidence either) that Peter ever was in Rome.”

  5. Referring to St Peter as pope is as silly as referring to communion wine as literally Jesus’s blood. Same for anyone before about 300; the bishop of Rome wasn’t called ‘pope’ at the time, and didn’t have authority over the rest of the church.

    However, from around 550 to 750, the papacy was recognisably a papacy, but was heavily Byzantine-dominated. This was the period of Tim’s Syrians, for example this chap.

    It would be pushing it to say that Syria in 700AD was “culturally European” in any sense that wasn’t loopy.

  6. So Much For Subtlety

    john b – “Referring to St Peter as pope is as silly as referring to communion wine as literally Jesus-s blood.”

    Although obviously many Christians, and not just Catholics, do.

    “Same for anyone before about 300; the bishop of Rome wasn

  7. Wine thing: yes, that was my point. Like Peter as Pope, it’s something that doctrinaire Catholics believe despite obviously being false. The Orthodox churches take a less literal attitude than the Catholic church: because they never really had a Luther, they’ve never clarified the issue in the way the Catholic church had not.

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