The two most powerful men in the world
To bow: cause or to incline to submit; usher or escort obsequiously; be obsequious, fawn; bend or kneel in submission or reverence.
The symbolism of the President of the United States of American bowing ‘in submission or reverence’ to the Bishop of Rome is a metaphor the world now lives by. The death of John Paul II caused the Heir to the Throne to postpone his wedding, and entranced all peoples everywhere with its sublime magnificence. World leaders, elected or not, are acutely aware of the spiritual authority wielded by the Vatican over its billion adherents, and the consequent inherent political power. Thus, unlike any other religious leader in the world, Pope Benedict XVI is able to protest to the President’s face against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as express his concern over issues like ‘the defence and promotion of life, marriage and the family, the education of new generations and sustainable development’. This sounds like a manifesto for world government.
And His Holiness told the President that he wanted to see a ‘regional and negotiated’ solution to Middle-East conflicts, especially the Israeli-Palestinian question. And if the Israeli-Jews and Muslim-Arabs cannot agree on the status of Jerusalem and control of Temple Mount, might it not be worth considering the political, theological and spiritual mediation services of the Vatican?