Thursday, September 21, 2006

Too clever by half

Timothy Noah of Slate e-zine thinks he's caught the Vatican modifying Pope Benedict's speech after the fact (see the fourth of Noah's footnotes to the address) in an attempt to "mollify critics".

Um, no.

As Stuart Buck expertly explains, the english translation of Pope Benedict's speech (which is the text Noah annotates) does not reflect the speech as it was delivered. Noah thinks that the english translation he cites is the speech as it was given, but in fact it appears that it was the prepared text, which Benedict deviated from. As anyone who's devoted some closer attention to this pontificate knows, Pope Benedict regularly deviates from the written text and offers extemporaneous remarks, sometimes ditching it completely. Such was the case here, as the German recording demonstrates (see Buck's post): in the speech as delivered, Pope Benedict used stronger language than the speech as it was written.

So Mr. Noah: nice try. Try again. In the meantime, perhaps you might withdraw your claims, somewhat sheepishly, I imagine.

HT: Amy Welborn.

And this is another instance in which I thank God for the Internet.

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