Wednesday, May 7, 2008

People More Influential Than the Vicar of Christ

Here is the list of Time's 100 Most Influential People. Pope Benedict XVI, sovereign of the Vatican, spiritual leader of 1 billion Catholic souls, is not on it.

If this list is even 1/3 true as to who has influence these days, we are hip deep in poop with no Imodium in sight. They have broken down the list into categories, so I'm going to ignore certain horrors (Miley Cyrus, Radiohead, Brangelina, Oprah the AntiChrist, etc.). What I'm not going to ignore is the complete stupidity that went into compiling the "Leaders and Revolutionaries" part. I am assuming, of course, that this is where Pope Benedict would have gone.

John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama. What we have here is a guy who has been a US senator for a long time, a lady who got famous by being married to someone famous (then served as a senator for a few years), and a guy who has been senator for a couple of years and has spent most of that time running for president.

Should the fact that MAYBE one of these people will be president get them on a list that includes some people who actually, you know, do run entire countries? Comparing their collective stroke with someone like Vladimir Putin or, hey, the guy who really is president right now, is completely asinine.

The president of Chile? Oh wait, Hillary Clinton wrote that entry. No wonder.

The one I really can't look past, though, is Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. You've got to be kidding me. I've got a huge amount of respect for this guy. He lives in horrendous conditions imposed upon him by the Turks. He takes stands against the Turkish government despite this. He can't even get his seminary opened back up.

But his "influence" is almost nil. Even the other Orthodox seem to castigate him any time he actually tries to do what they claim his office is supposed to do. Half the time, it seems like the Russians are just waiting for him to die, so they can finally make a real play for the headship of the East, rather than just talking about it.

And why does he get on the list? Because of his stances on the environment. Last time I checked, nobody was running out to sign the Kyoto Accord because the Patriarch of Constantinople dropped some comments about the stewardship of Creation. Most of the greenies out there probably don't know who the hell this guy is.

I wondered who could have come up with something this wacky, when I noticed that his submission was from Dr. Rowan Williams, ostensibly the Archbishop of Canterbury, who has a tendency to say things that don't make sense. Probably not anything to get too worked up about considering who Time is letting write this stuff.

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