AFP: They exchanged gifts with the pope giving Abbas a medal with a figure of the angel of peace “which destroys the evil spirit of war”. “I thought of you because you are an angel of peace,” he told Abbas.
AP: Pope Francis praised Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as an “angel of peace” during a meeting Saturday at the Vatican that underscored the Holy See’s warm relations with the Palestinians.
Which had many spewing coffee out of their mouths with the exclamation, Holy S…ee!
He did utter the words “angel of peace,” and he suggested that Abbas could or might be one. In the context of the pope’s complete statement about the meeting, the implication was that Abbas could be an angel of peace if he resumed direct negotiations with Israel.
Why did Francis say the words “angel of peace” at all? Because he was making a gift to Abbas of a medallion engraved with an image of the Angel of Peace. The Vatican Insider feature of Italy’s La Stampa has this summary in its English version:
“As is tradition with heads of State or of government, Francis presented presented a gift to the Palestinian leader, commenting: “May the angel of peace destroy the evil spirit of war. I thought of you: may you be an angel of peace.”
That’s the subjunctive tense, not the indicative. It’s very point is to express what is not.
Note the Holy Father did not place a bet on the outcome. He thought Bodhisattva was more likely to win the Preakness, and that nag is still running.
“May you be an angel of peace” is a wish, a prayer. It is as far from a statement of fact as “get your head out of your a**, so-called journalists”, though a whole lot more likely.
PS: Just a suggestion to His Infallibility, but he might want to keep his aspirations within reach—such as “May you name a youth summer camp after someone who does not have the blood of Jewish children on his or her hands.” Or “May you broadcast a kids show that does not feature Jew-hating poetry recitations or genocidal sing-alongs.” Baby steps.