Spengler makes the Pope out to be almost an underground figure:
For the pope to refute the fundamental premise of US policy is news of inestimable strategic importance, yet a Google News scan reveals that not a single media outlet has taken notice of what Fessio told interviewer Hugh Hewitt last week. No matter: still and small as Benedict's voice might be, it carries further than earthquake and whirlwind.
While adding some valuable context to our understanding of the Pope's reported remarks - explaining the centrality of the question of revelation to Benedict's theology and anthropology - Spengler makes a fascinating observation on Benedict's article in the most recent edition of First Things (presently by subscription only):
Benedict makes the remarkable (for a pope) statement that the US model is what the early church really had in mind. He proceeds from the famous argument of Pope Gelasius I (492-496) that "because of human weakness (pride!), they have separated the two offices" of king and priest. Neither the state church model of Northern Europe nor the secular model of France, Italy and Spain has sufficed, Benedict observes. But he continues:Situated between the two [failed] models is the model of the United States of America. Formed on the basis of free churches, it adopts a separation between church and state. Above and beyond the single denominations, it is characterized by a Protestant Christian consensus that is not defined in denominational terms but rather in association with its sense of a special religious mission toward the rest of the world. The religious sphere thus acquires a significant weight in public affairs and emerges as a pre-political and supra-political force with the potential to have a decisive impact on political life.It is useless to bemoan the fact that Americans do not understand what they are until a European comes along and explains it to them; that has been true since Alexis de Tocqueville. It is most promising that a European, indeed one who speaks with the authority of the throne of St Peter, has explained the difference between the Christian foundation of the US political system and theocratic Islam - even if the explanation came in the form of a stage whisper. I expect this to have profound consequences.
It would seem that Benedict has come to the same conclusion as at least one of our readers, Pastorius, who noted here that if Europe is to survive as an engine of western culture, it must become more like America. For Benedict, this means Europe must rediscover the prepolitical (revealed and sacred) truths which make politics, i.e. contest of a shared human scene, possible. I wonder also what YARGB readers will make of Spengler's suggestion that America still has much to learn from Europe, or at least from certain Europeans.