One would think in the spirit of ecumenism, an honored invitee would not bring a dagger to the table of dialogue. Think again. The Sikhs (their religion is something Hinduish I think) won’t put away their nifty ceremonial kirban, a fine dagger to be sure, in order to pass security and meet with the pope when he comes to the United States next month. The Moslem guests aren’t bringing any ceremonial weapons, nor are the Jewish or Hindu contingents. And the last pope to carry a sword was the first. Well, on second thought, there was at least one Medici pope who was not adverse to wielding one in battle. The Sikhs don’t understand all the worry, they argue that John Paul II didn’t mind them wearing their daggers when they met with him in 2002. That’s true, and he did survive that meeting, without incident. Maybe the Vatican Security Bureau (Vatican City is a State whose head is the Pope) should give the Sikhs a break and let them at least sit in the back row — just keep a good eye on them. Actually, this dis-invitation was not Pope Benedict’s call at all, because it is our government’s Secret Service that must provide security for all visiting heads-of-state. Nevertheless, I hope Pope Benedict’s personal security guards don’t even even tell him about the unfortunate measure, just let well enough alone. Still, what a waste though, not to have the Sikhs there at such an important ecumenical moment. Wait, not to worry, the Vatican programmers have found a substitute sect that doesn’t carry daggers. They’re from India, too. They are . . . are you ready for this? The Jains, not as numerous as the Sikhs, who claim to have 250,000 members in the U.S. (they also claim to be the the world’s fifth largest religion). Aren’t you glad they were willing to step up and contribute? And I doubt that the Holy Father will even know the difference. I mean, minus the dagger, who can tell a Sikh from a Jain. Usquequo, Domine, usquequo? Read the article here from Catholic News Agency.