A wholly splendid article by Raymond Geuss on Richard Rorty, including a defense of internationalism which culminates in:
The reason [for the fact that the Pope always turned out to be Italian] most commonly cited by these nuns was that, as Bishop of Rome, the Pope had to live in the “Eternal City,” but only an Italian could stand to live in Rome: it was hot, noisy, and overcrowded, and the people there ate spaghetti for dinner everyday rather than proper food, i.e., potatoes, so it would be too great a sacrifice to expect someone who had not grown up in Italy to tolerate life there. I clearly remember being unconvinced by this argument, thinking it set inappropriately low standards of self-sacrifice for the higher clergy; a genuinely saintly character should be able to put up even with pasta for lunch and dinner every day. I have since myself adopted this diet for long periods of time without thinking it gave me any claim on the Papacy (via).
I have very fond memories of Geuss’s lectures at Cambridge, particularly (and I think I’ve told this story to more-or-less everyone I’ve ever met), Read more↴