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[42] Thomas More (1478-1535) published Utopia in 1516. In this book More tells how King Henry VIII sent him to Flanders on a diplomatic mission, where More met Raphael Hythloday. This traveller tells More about the island country of Utopia, where an orderly and reasonable society flourishes. With no private properties, and with equality between women and men, and tolerance of all religions, Utopia sounds even today like a real good place (except that secular people were not welcomed there.)

     Ironically (and sadly) Thomas More was executed by Henry VIII, when More refused to accept Henry’s newest religion.

     More was canonised in 1935 by Pope Pius XI and in 1980 he was declared Patron Saint of politicians and statesmen by Pope John Paul II, though I doubt if any politician ever made any use of Saint More. Politicians don’t believe anyone, and for good reason. A liar knows better than to believe other liars.

A portrait of Thomas More
Artist: Hans Holbein Junior (1497-1543)

In an Utopian world, is there a place for politicians?

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