14th October 2007

“The Pope is many things, but one of them is the last emperor. The ghost of the Roman Empire still haunts the church's structures of authority, with the Pope as Caesar and the Conclave as the Senate. What we have witnessed in the last week and will see in the next fortnight is a reminder that the church is a fusion of two contradictory impulses: the visionary preaching of a Jewish holy man and the pragmatic power politics of the Roman Empire.”

Fintan O'Toole