Thursday, June 23, 2005

From OpinionJournal :

'I feel less alone when I read the books of Ratzinger.' I had asked Ms. Fallaci whether there was any contemporary leader she admired, and Pope Benedict XVI was evidently a man in whom she reposed some trust. 'I am an atheist, and if an atheist and a pope think the same things, there must be something true. It's that simple! There must be some human truth here that is beyond religion.'

Ms. Fallaci, who made her name by interviewing numerous statesmen (and not a few tyrants), believes that ours is 'an age without leaders. We stopped having leaders at the end of the 20th century.' Of George Bush, she will concede only that he has 'vigor,' and that he is 'obstinate' (in her book a compliment) and 'gutsy. . . . Nobody obliged him to do anything about Terri Schiavo, or to take a stand on stem cells. But he did.'

But it is 'Ratzinger' (as she insists on calling the pope) who is her soulmate. John Paul II--'Wojtyla'--was a 'warrior, who did more to end the Soviet Union than even America,' but she will not forgive him for his 'weakness toward the Islamic world. Why, why was he so weak?'

The scant hopes that she has for the West she rests on his successor. As a cardinal, Pope Benedict XVI wrote frequently on the European (and the Western) condition. Last year, he wrote an essay titled 'If Europe Hates Itself,' from which Ms. Fallaci reads this to me: 'The West reveals . . . a hatred of itself, which is strange and can only be considered pathological; the West . . . no longer loves itself; in its own history, it now sees only what is deplorable and destructive, while it is no longer able to perceive what is great and pure.'

'Ecco!' she says. A man after her own heart. 'Ecco!' But I cannot be certain whether I see triumph in her eyes, or pain.

1 comment:

Irina Tsukerman said...

Have you read her article about the war in Iraq? She's such a strong writer!