Sometimes, the world is truly delightful in the most unexpected ways. Yes, the beautiful atheist journalist donated her papers and books to the Pope.
"An Italian journalist and self-described atheist who died last month has left most of her books and notes to a pontifical university in Rome because of her admiration for Pope Benedict XVI, a school official said Saturday. Oriana Fallaci had described the pontiff as an ally in her campaign to rally Christians in Europe against what she saw as a Muslim crusade against the West. As she battled breast cancer last year, she had a private audience with Benedict, who was elected only a few months earlier, at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo."
"In one of her final interviews, Fallaci told The Wall Street Journal: "I am an atheist, and if an atheist and a pope think the same things, there must be something true."
Both were rallying Western Christians to respect and protect their civilization, albeit in quite different ways. Both love their culture and heritage. Both are fearless. The Pope carries on with this necessary work, finding so many ways to remind us of our heritage and calling us to think about God.
"Benedict was surprised by the gift of the books, which dated back as far as the 17th century and included volumes about the formation of modern-day Italy, American history, philosophy and theology, said Monsignor Rino Fisichella, rector of the Pontifical Lateranense University in Rome....Fisichella said "the pope has said we must live in the world as if God existed and she (Fallaci) took up the challenge." "
What a powerful concept!: Live and act as if God existed, whether you believe in God or not. Perhaps Papa Ratzi is making room for all the post-modern skeptics/agnostics, who wonder why they should care about the fairy tales of the Bible.
"At the time of her death, she was on trial in northern Italy, accused of defaming Islam in her 2004 book The Force of Reason (excellent review here). In it she argued that Europe had sold its soul to what she called an Islamic invasion."
Makes me grateful again for the freedom of speech we enjoy in the U.S., courtesy of the First Amendment to the Constitution. Similar freedoms are not enjoyed even in other Western countries such as Italy, France and England, never mind in most non-Western countries.
Noteworthy, this call to reason in both her 2004 book and the Pope's recent speech at Regensburg.