Wednesday, March 07, 2007

One nation under God

St. Clement’s letter is also significant in that it concludes with a prayer for political leaders, Pope Benedict continued. This prayer is the first Christian invocation for public authorities, and “has guided the attitude of Christian towards politics and the state” since that day, the Pope noted.

The prayer is noteworthy, too, because it was written shortly after the death of the Roman Emperor Domitian, who organized the persecution of Christians. The Pope of that day, “though aware that the persecutions would continue, did not cease to pray for those same authorities that had unjustly condemned them,” Pope Benedict said.

Going along with our theme of judging not - you can't even judge those who persecute you, not really. Sure, they're objectively wrong to persecute the truth. But authority can be wrong and still worthy of prayer.

Of course, some authorities are nothing more than a band of pirates with guns to back their desires. But that's a story for a different post.

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