Ayed: Does the pope still matter in international relations?

By: /
March 4, 2013

Not as much as he used to.

In the days of Pope John Paul – he mattered because he sometimes took sides on big issues, because he was the first pope to visit a mosque and the first to visit a synagogue, and to the extent that he was actually able, though mere words, to occasionally bring about change.

In recent years, the papacy's role in international affairs has largely been expressing opinions that, despite having the backing of a large following – and despite being on important matters – have little practical effect.