Bush poaches some of Benedict’s best lines
If imitation is the highest form of flattery, President George W. Bush praised Pope Benedict to the heavens on Wednesday by poaching some of the pontiff’s best-known lines when he welcomed him to the White House.
He also gave the scholarly pope a lesson or two about public speaking, winning loud cheers from the 9,000-strong audience in the Rose Garden, while Benedict elicited only sparse, polite applause for a speech without noticeably sharp edges.
“The speechwriter who picked out those phrases must be very familiar with the pope’s works,” said Rev. Gerald Fogarty, a Roman Catholic Church historian at the University of Virginia. “It was all there, starting with the ‘dictatorship of relativism’ quote from Cardinal Ratzinger’s speech before his election,” he said.
Does Bush sound more like the preacher than Benedict to you? Read the full story and the texts for Benedict and Bush. Or check out our video of the ceremony, which has the key section from Bush’s speech:
P.S. – Bush may have gotten the applause, but he praised Benedict at the end of the pontiff’s speech with the following comment: “Thank you, your holiness. Awesome speech.” Check out the video here.