Beaming at the Vatican


Convivium, 15 June 2017, with Edward Burroughs

Editor in Chief Father Raymond J. de Souza reports on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's recent visit to the Vatican, delivering an insightful reflection on judgement, truth, and values. 

Three weeks ago, Justin Trudeau knelt in the Sistine Chapel before The Last Judgement, Michelangelo’s depiction of the Risen Christ returning in awesome glory to render final judgement upon the saints and the damned. It is both sobering and salutary for any Christian to contemplate his judgement before God, and all the more so for those with great responsibility. That’s why the cardinals, when voting for a new pope in the conclave, do so before The Last Judgement, “before Christ, who is my judge”.

Judgement belongs to God ultimately, but also must be rendered in this world, especially by those who hold authority. Do their judgements reflect the truth of Christ’s judgement? Or are their judgements according to other criteria?

While in Rome, the prime minister met with Pope Francis as both a politician and a professed Catholic, although not, I expect, as a penitent. It seemed that Trudeau’s main priority was to invite Francis to apologize in Canada for the involvement of the Catholic Church in Canada’s system of aboriginal residential schools.

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