Friday, April 08, 2005

They love the Pope, but not as much as they dislike President Bush

VATICAN CITY - President Bush joined throngs of the faithful on Friday in paying final respects to Pope John Paul II, the pontiff whose stands on abortion and other social issues meshed with his but who criticized both him and his father for waging war with Iraq.

Not only was Bush the first U.S. president to attend a papal funeral; he also was headed a delegation to the three-hour funeral Mass that included the first President Bush and President Clinton.

Bush was close to the front of the section reserved for world leaders, who are being seated in alphabetical order — in French. The United States in French is Etats-Unis. A parallel section will seat Catholic leaders.

Bush sat on the aisle in the second row, next to his wife, Laura. Beside them were French President Jacques Chirac and his wife, Bernadette. The two presidents shook hands.

When Bush's face appeared on giant screen TVs showing the ceremony, many in the crowds outside St. Peter's Square booed and whistled.
Whistling is of course the way Eurpoean's "cultured" way of booing. It's kind of like saying "the F word" instead of the real thing - if you're not going to be polite, why give me polite-lite?

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