What's the deal with non-Catholic leaders holding these respectful meetings with the Pope. I mean, as I see it, there are roughly two possibilities on the table here. Maybe the Pope really is the head of the One True Church outside of which no salvation is possible. If you believe that, then clearly you ought to treat the man with a great deal of respect. But then again, if you believe that, then you really ought to join his church. If you don't believe that -- because you're an atheist, Protestant, Jew, what have you -- then the Pope is kind of just an eccentric old man surrounded by strangely deluded toadies.
Anything for votes, I guess. But really, to sit around and listen to the Pope critiquing your foreign policy is just absurd, and it doesn't get any less absurd just because your foreign policy is terrible.
Maybe Mel Gibson can put in a good word for President Off-flying-status with the Pope. I heard the old guy liked Mel's film where they beat the shit out of Jesus. What was it, "The Mugging of the Christ"?