Pope Franciscus showing Iranian president and religious leader Hassan Rouhani during his recent statevisit to the Holy Seal some rare pictures from a 15th century Persian miniature book nicely bound in Rome and since long listed in the Librorum Prohibitorum, to defy those ignorant Italian politicians that think that any depiction of nudity and lust has been banned from Iranian society for a thousand years and that they have to protect the innocent eyes of the Iranian religious leader and president from such imagery.
The two men – leaders of both the worldly and the faithful – had good fun reciting by heart the famous 25th strophe of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (1048-1131):
“Why, all the Saints and Sages who discuss’d
Of the Two Worlds so learnedly, are thrust
Like foolish Prophets forth; their Words to Scorn
Are scatter’d, and their Mouths are stopt with Dust.”
Of course all this took place in the privacy of the inner inner rooms of the Vatican while outside under the eyes of the world press, hypocrisy reigns as always…