Wanna read an article typical of much of the Italian press?
Check this out.
Ignazio Ingrao of the Italian Panorama (n. 18/2008) has a strange item (my translation):
George W. Bush – The President of the United States, like Tony Blair, also about to covert to Catholicism. A huge success for Papa Ratzinger.
After Tony Blair, there could be the turning of George W. Bush. According to Washington voices, the President, a Methodist Christian, could be on the verge of converting to Catholicism like the Anglican Blair. The prayer that the Pope and the Bush family recited together in the Oval Office of the White House could really be the sign of a conversion that has taken place, that the President of the United States would be waiting to communicate at the end of his term. Jeb also, George’s younger brother, became Catholic years ago, thanks to his Mexican wife Columba.
Opportunism or conviction? Certainly President Bush in 2004 was relected with the votes of Catholics, who preferred him to John Kerry, faithful to the Holy Catholic Church. In any event, the President’s emotion when he greeting the Pope, when he had just arrived, beterayed sincere feelings.
Bush is surrounded by Catholics: the chief speechwriter, William McGurn, the bioethics consultant Edmund Pellegrino, the one charged with presidential initiatives concerning religion H. James Towey, two justices of the Supreme Court Samuel Alito and John Roberts, even the new Ambassador to the Holy See Mary Ann Glendon.
At home in the Oval Office is even the Canadian priest convert Richard John Neuhaus, director of the Catholic monthly First Things. To these is added a New York priest who is helping Bush in his spiritual search.
Benedict XVI could in this way go down in history as the Pope of famous conversions. Bush’s case would be the most impressive outcome of the trip of the German Shepherd in the United States. But not the only one. The visit signaled the end of violent antipapal Protestantism, fueled by clashes of John Paul II first with Bill clinton, on ethical issues, then with Bush on the war in Iraq. Benedict XVI didn’t give on these two fronts, in line with his predecessor, but managed to win the esteem of Americans. The "vintage" Pope as the Washington Post defined him, playing on his habits, managed to reverse the judgment of the press and public opinion. A well-known anchor of CNN, Wolf Blitzer, Jewish, after greeting the Pontiff, said that he had never experience such an emotion.
America was lying in wait to confront him with the scandal of priest pedophiles and Benedict XVI didn’t retreat: four times in six days he confronted the issue, expressing shame and meeting victims. He may have even given a task to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to examine the possibility of updating the norms of the Code of Canon Law about the matter, as victims are asking.
Two other gestures will remain in the hearts of Americans: the prayer at Ground Zero and the visit to the synagogue. The Pope held up the USA as a model to be followed: a freedom that allows all faiths to be expressed and to offer contributions to democracy. Ratzinger, in sum, doesn’t fear competition. As a book of three economists explains, The market of Christianity, the free markett of faiths rewards the one advances clear and recognizable propositions. As Benedict XVI did.
A lot of this article is pure fantasy.