Michael Cook, from Australia and editor of Mercatornet, writes:
In this job you tend to read a lot of furious argument about events of colossal importance which are forgotten in two weeks' time. This week it is the Pope's visit to England and Scotland. For once I am grateful that I seldom read the British papers, which have been full of articles fulminating against Benedict XVI, the Catholic Church and religion in general.
The media there seems to be in the grip of an intellectual St Vitus Dance in which dozens of sober, intelligent, Oxbridge types thrash about uncontrollably, hissing through their carious fangs at the Pope's presence on British soil. The popular Channel 4 in the UK even commissioned a vigorous campaigner for lowering the age of consent to 14 to do a documentary yesterday about the Pope and the sex abuse scandal. Go figure.
It's so perplexing that I turned to one of my favourite books, Winnie-the-Pooh, for enlightenment. Flicking through it, I came across a passage which explained it all. Pooh ("I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me") is a wise companion:
"Rabbit's clever," said Pooh thoughtfully.
"Yes," said Piglet, "Rabbit's clever."
"And he has Brain."
"Yes," said Piglet, "Rabbit has Brain."
There was a long silence.
"I suppose," said Pooh, "that that's why he never understands anything."
Too much cleverness can be a crippling burden sometimes. That is, to my mind, one of Joseph Ratzinger's outstanding traits: cleverness AND understanding. Perhaps he is humble, like Pooh.