David Quinn: Papal States are guarantee of popes' legal and political independence
Published 17/02/2012 | 05:00
Many people no longer seem to have a clue why the Catholic Church should also have a state that is called the Holy See. Some of us seem to imagine it is purely for reasons of vanity.
But only someone lacking the faintest knowledge of church history could think such a thing because all down the centuries rulers have sought to bend popes to their will.
Imagine how much Henry VIII would have loved to force Pope Clement VII to sign his annulment papers. Imagine how much the Soviet Union would have loved to bring John Paul II to heel when he gave his backing to the Solidarity movement in Poland.