The Pope and the Dalai Lama, that is. Ratz recently announced that he will not meet with the Dalai Lama next month, even though a Vatican official secretly told reporters that the pontiff would meet with Tenzin Gyatso, a/k/a the Dalai Lama.
No biggie. After all they met a year ago. But there were some details I missed when I blogged about it then.
Pope Benedict held a “strictly private” and “strictly religious” audience with him in October last year, but omitted the Dalai Lama’s name from the list of people received by the Pontiff that day.
Of course, part of me wonders if perhaps part of the reason for the secrecy about the visit — the ire of China notwithstanding — is that the the pope, according to his own words, the Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader or symbol of a belief system that Ratz basically considers the spiritual equivalent of “onanism.”
Ratzinger’s not merely passingly anti-gay, he’s the author of the Vatican’s statement against gay marriage. He also condemned Buddhism, Hinduism and other Eastern religions as offering “false hope” through “auto-erotic spirituality”.
I don’t see what the big deal is. The Dalai Lama’s already met with religious leaders in this country, depending on how you look at it.
The Dalai Lama has this year met U.S. President George W. Bush at the White House, as well as leaders of Austria, Germany, New Zealand, Australia and Canada.
Besides, it’s not like he’s going to address Congress, or Italy’s equivalent thereof.
The Dalai Lama is scheduled to visit Italy next month and politicians are debating whether he should be allowed to address parliament.