Presidential History

Pope Even Worse Gift Giver Than Obama

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holy

You'd think that the gift of wrong-format DVDs to Tony Blair, and an iPod to the Queen (she already had one) would have made Obama a shoo-in for the first place ribbon in the competitive sport of terrible formal gift giving.

But the Pope has topped Obama. No, he didn't offer the U.S. president an iPod full of those tiresome Gregorian chants. Instead, Pope Benedict slipped Obama a recent (potentially anti-capitalist) encyclical, Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth), which was discussed at length by Tim Cavanaugh here. He also handed off a Vatican-produced bioethics booklet called Dignitas Personae (The Dignity of a Person).

Because nothing says "respectful partnership" like handing another world leader copies of your instructions to your own followers. Better still if the pamphlets are about cheerful, non-controversial subjects like Catholics' obligations to support world government and stop killing and/or designing their babies.

Reuters reports:

Obama, who was going to the airport from the Vatican, joked to the pope when he gave him the two documents: "I'll have something to read on the plane." 

For the pic, Allahpundit twitters a caption suggestion: "The infallible vessel of God's will on Earth. Also, the Pope." Can you do better, Hit&Run commenters?

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  1. Unlike Obama’s gifts, this might have been an intentional snub.

    I’m surprised the Holy See didn’t give Obama one of those fetuses encased in lucite.

  2. “Where’s Your God Now?”

  3. Nope – I can’t! ALLAHPUNDIT wins by default.

  4. You’re right, Bean. It has been too much of a long week.

  5. “You’d think that the gift of wrong-format DVDs to Tony Blair . . .”

    Obama gave the DVDs to Gordon Brown, not Tony Blair.

  6. No matter how much he pointed, he couldn’t call forth a lightning strike.

  7. Seeing as how proselytizing is actually part of the pope’s job description, I can’t fault him for handing out religious tracts.

  8. “Hmph. Adventure. Heh. Excitement. Heh. A president craves not these things. You are reckless.”

  9. I imagine the gift was in thanks for secretly bumping off Jacko so the Pope could be the number one threat to young boys again.

  10. Has there been any right-wing shreiking about meeting with a papist Mary-worshipper or whatever they call catholics this year?

  11. A gift that helps Obama understand the moral guidelines of millions of Americans — how is that a bad gift?

    Goddammit, I hate the snarkiness of reason. You’re as mushy as any liberal or conservative rag when it comes to your pet peeves.

  12. JeffP, they’re too busy holding their wallets to pay attention to their Bibles.

  13. No Jeff, you’re the only one shr”ei”king as far as I can tell.

  14. Obama to Holy Father,

    “Hey, look, we’re just one short of a trinity.”

  15. “Dude, did you see that chick’s ass?”

  16. Snarkiness? In a Hit & Run Comment Board?
    PSHAW!
    (pulls out glove, slaps jj with it)

    Garth Ennis gave us my two favorite fictional popes.
    http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/0/787/120501-63278-pope-jacko_large.jpg

    http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/0/760/86046-163986-allfather-daronique_super.jpg

  17. “how is that a bad gift?”

    Its a bad gift because it can presumably be had for free on demand online. You would think that heads of state could come up with something nice, uncontroversial and not easily duplicated to give as formal gifts.

  18. Obama to Pope:

    “I see you got the other half of Buffett’s Viagra.”

  19. “We’re both part of the same hypocrisy, Pontiff.”

  20. Obama: “Now when do I meet the Queen, the Gettys, the Rothchilds, and the Colonel?”

  21. How come every tin pot caudillo or pontiff is out there peddling books to Obama? Is he gonna start reciprocating and maybe pimp some copies of Dreams from my Father when he bumps fists with Dinnerjacket?

  22. “No, the Vatican cannot have a bailout.”

  23. “No father, don’t touch me there.”

  24. I miss the old pope. This one looks mean.

  25. 1. He gave the DVDs to Gordon Brown, not Tony Blair.

    2. The Latin “caritas” is translated as “love,” not “charity.”

    That is all.

  26. “Quick, block the doorway so they don’t see the little boy crying!”

  27. It wasn’t Tony Blair. It was Gordon Brown!

  28. Pope, “I can’t belive he had balls enough to ask for money.”

    Obama, ” I can’t belive he wouldn’t take those terms. Nothing down, no collateral, interest only is a Great deal.”

  29. Fred, look up the origins of the word “charity” in your dictionary.

    Better, look up the Latin word for “charity”.

  30. He does kinda look like the Space Pope.

  31. I thought George Clinton was the Space Pope?

  32. Allahpundit wins by a landslide

  33. I’ll give the Big O points for his “I’ll have something to read on the plane.”

    Plus, Allahpundit is still leading the caption contest.

  34. Caption: “Pope Benedict conveys his obvious joy that, for the first time since St. Peter’s time with Jesus, God has paid a personal visit to a Pontiff.”

  35. Fred, look up the origins of the word “charity” in your dictionary.

    That’s a silly argument. Look up the origin of “grotesque” in your dictionary. Does that mean we can only use it to mean “as of a crypt or subterranean chamber?” Linguistic drift happens.

    Here’s Lewis & Short on caritas:

    I. Prop., dearness, costliness, high price, etc. (opp. vilitas)

    II. Trop., regard, esteem, affection, love (cf. amor, I.; in good prose; syn.: benevolentia, favor, studium)

    It literally originally meant something like “dearness, costliness, or high price.” It then figuratively expanded to mean something like love, affection, or esteem. (Similar to the word “dear” in English.)

    Oh look, now I’ll do a reverse lookup at the Perseus Project for words whose definition includes “charity” in English:

    I get agape, used for selfless love or charity, stolen from Greek but used in Latin as Lewis & Short attest, misericordia (tenderness, compassion), and operatio, which means work or operation, and is used by Christians to mean charity in the “good works” sense.

    To get back to the question at hand, “charity” has a number of definitions in English, which includes down there at the bottom “Christian love; agape.” So, yes, “charity” can be a correct translation of the word, since it can mean the same type of love as the figurative sense of the Latin, but using it can be misleading. “Charity” in English has a host of more common definitions that will obviously confuse.

  36. “Be patient, Your Holiness, I’ll kiss your ring when the cameras leave.”

  37. John Thacker, that is way too long to be entered into the caption contest.

  38. I assume the books are also heaven-*bound*.

  39. “Always two there are, a master and an apprentice.”

  40. That is the most uncomfortable smile I’ve ever seen on Obama.

  41. Obama, “sunovabitch re-gifted those books from Chavez and Bush.”

  42. To be fair, the Pope still isnt really in tune with the modern world.

  43. The pope gave Obama the special rare foil cover version of the encyclical. You can’t download that.

  44. He should have given Big O a copy of the Vatican’s records of torture of political prisoners (for help with those infidels still ‘detained’ at Gitmo). After all, his “Holiness” was, before taking his current job, the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, known in previous times as the Inquisition.

    (Cue the inevitable Monty Python skit.)

  45. Has there been any right-wing shreiking about meeting with a papist Mary-worshipper or whatever they call catholics this year?

    No, the lefties have all the shrieking tied up this year.

    “The CIA lied” “The CIA lied”

  46. Popeto Obama, “From my lips to your ear.”

  47. The infallibility doctrine of Catholicism does not say that the Pope is infallible, rather that his teaching on matters of faith and morals is. If tommorrow Benedict says Paul Krugman is right about everything in economics, dresses up as a concentration camp guard and role-plays with 40 prostitutes wearing yellow stars before banging them for 24 hours straight, the infallibility doctrine will not have been contradicted.

  48. I’m amazed he didn’t give him a diddling and a blowjob. He is a priest.

  49. ‘Because nothing says “respectful partnership” like handing another world leader copies of your instructions to your own followers.’

    Caritas in Veritate is addressed, among others, to ‘all people of good will.’

    Dignitas Personae is addressed to all who seek the truth.

    So, why does Ms. Mangu-Ward believe that only the Pope’s ‘followers’ seek the truth and possess good will?

  50. “To be fair, the Pope still isnt really in tune with the modern world.”

    Well to look at the current state of affairs, the modern world isn’t really in tune with itself. That was the point of the encyclical. There is a problem when political and social ideologies get out of hand and all end up causing similar problems.

    Which you would know if you had the decency to read something before critiquing it. Unless you are scared of reading anything that you don’t already agree with…I’ll even give you the link…

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20090629_caritas-in-veritate_en.html

    And I don’t understand why giving Obama a document that discusses economics and the problems of the modern world is particularly rude. The way our economy is going, Obama needs all the help he can get.

  51. Hey, if the pope autographed them, that could be a pretty cool gift. If not, lame. I’m assuming the pope autographed them.

  52. Oops, probably should’ve capitalized Pope. Speaking of which, is the current Pope a fan of Alexander Pope?

  53. Smoke? Come on smoke. You were elected via smoke. Dang and here I had to include the mirrors.

  54. “Back to work” beat me to it:

    “Always two there are, a master and an apprentice.”

    Has Darth Plagueis finally been revealed?

  55. While I’m a Ron Paul supporter, I also do my best not to look at things with rose-colored glasses. That’s how I can read this article and applaud its honesty, even if I don’t like the words from my biased perspective. Oh who am I kidding? I actually have my own idea why he lost like he did.

    Aside from the reasons listed (since they’re good reasons), one reason I didn’t see what something that happened at the ABC debates. While I read comments from co-supporters deploring the verbal attack on Paul during the war discussion, they failed to realize that Paul dug himself in a bit in his retorts to the attack. He didn’t defend his stance well and I think that was a key factor in the end result.

  56. While I’m a Ron Paul supporter, I also do my best not to look at things with rose-colored glasses. That’s how I can read this article and applaud its honesty, even if I don’t like the words from my biased perspective. Oh who am I kidding? I actually have my own idea why he lost like he did.

    Aside from the reasons listed (since they’re good reasons), one reason I didn’t see what something that happened at the ABC debates. While I read comments from co-supporters deploring the verbal attack on Paul during the war discussion, they failed to realize that Paul dug himself in a bit in his retorts to the attack. He didn’t defend his stance well and I think that was a key factor in the end result.

  57. One can be Catholic AND Libertarian.

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