Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Georgetown University - Anticipating Papal Visit

Papal Visit Stirs Up Questions About Church Facing Challenges, by Anna Cheimets. Georgetown Independent December 5, 2007:

When Pope Benedict XVI visits the United States next April, don't expect a high school band to play the theme song to "Rocky" like one did in 1979 for Pope John Paul II. The Pope's visit will be inspirational to many American Catholics, but this trip is less focused on generating enthusiasm from the flock than it is about sending a message about the current state of world affairs. [...]

Georgetown chaplain Father Pat Rogers S.J. said, "I think that the Holy Father's visit is going to a great thing for Catholics in the United States and at Georgetown." He added, "We are very lucky and blessed to have him coming to Washington DC."

According to [Fr. Thomas J.] Reese, the most important aspect of Pope Benedict's visit is his speech at the UN. The UN serves as "a real bully pulpit to talk to the whole world," Reese explained. "It's an opportunity for Benedict to lay out his opinion on international justice, war and peace and his concern for refugees." [...]

"I think he needs to address the role of the United States in the world. We are the last superpower. He can address that we need to be a force for peace and justice and economic development in the world," said Reese.

Reese added that without traveling to New York City and Washington, "the American people would feel left out. Since this is his first visit as Pope it makes sense to visit Washington DC." . . . [Read more]