While checking out EWTN's coverage of Pope Benedict XVI's first visit to the US, I saw that the US President George W Bush had agreed to an interview with EWTN prior to the visit. Out of curiosity, I streamed and watched it. It's worth watching as Bush seemed to pull many firsts for the Pope's visit: the first time a President 'picked up' a foreign dignitary at Andrews airbase, amongst other special treatments.
Watch the interview yourself here, or read the transcript here. He sounded more Catholic than any Catholic (secular) leader did. And the interview ended with this question from Raymond Arroyo, "You said, famously, when you looked into Vladimir Putin's eyes you saw his soul. [...] When you look into Benedict XVI's eyes what do you see?"; Bush answered immediately, "God." Here's an interesting excerpt:
Arroyo: Even your critics say they are amazed by you, and baffled by you, because you remain so positive, so upbeat -- (laughter) -- so on point. How much of that is a function of your faith?
Bush: Well, that's a very good question. You know, I don't think you can disassociate your faith with how you live your life. I mean, I think it's all engrained. And I am optimistic because I happen to believe in certain universal principles, and I do believe that freedom is universal, and if just given a chance, people will live in a -- will self-govern and live in a peaceful, free society.
And my faith has -- you know, my faith has been so sustaining in the midst of -- in the midst of what is a pretty hectic life, full of flattery and criticism. And faith keeps a person grounded. Faith reminds people that there's something a lot more important than you in life. I've been inspired by the prayers from ordinary citizens. And I have come to realize one -- more clearly the story of the calm in the rough season.
Well, not being American, I reserve no comment for her president. Yet, after this interview, Bush did come across as either a really smooth politician, or a genuinely good man who believes that "there's right and wrong in life." Whatever misgiving some might have about his presidency, I think I'll miss him after his office term ends. And once again, he did sound more Catholic than many Catholic politicians!
If you're not going to any of the events the Pope will be at, watch his trip from EWTN and pray for the many fruits of this trip!