Friday, October 13, 2006

Renouncing the pope

As you may imagine, it's somewhat difficult to keep up with major world events here in San Manuel. This seems to be part of the world where driveways are not dotted every morning with little blue bags containing the day’s New York Times. So it has been my custom that whenever I make it online at one Internet café or another to go to nytimes.com and open up about two dozen articles from the main page and Sunday Magazine (and whatever else happens to catch my fancy) and then download them to my USB thumb drive. (I cannot over-emphasize the utility of this device, given to me—for free!—by a colleague on an Art History project, who, when I asked her about returning it after the initial loan, told me to just hang on to it, as she had a half dozen of the things.) But I digress.

The idea is that I download the articles and then read them on my laptop at home, paying 18 Lempiras per hour only for the Internet connection, not for the privilege of using the Internet café’s computer to read saved text, which I can do at home gratis. So I was reading my saved Internet material here in the highlands of Lempira and had to chuckle to the point of posting at the following passage from an article on a rapprochement of Northern Ireland's Protestant and Catholic leaders by Sarah Lyall entitled "Sectarian Rivals Optimistic After Belfast Talks," published Oct. 10:

It would be difficult to overstate the depth of [hard-line Protestant minister and Unionist political leader Rev. Ian] Paisley’s historic dislike of the Roman Catholic religion. In 1988, as a member of the European Parliament, he interrupted a speech by Pope John Paul II by shouting, “I renounce you as the Antichrist!” To drive home his point, he held up a red poster that read, “Pope John Paul II — Antichrist.”

Wow! That is easily the most amusing a historical anecdote as I've read for at least a month!

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