Amy Welborn (New York Times "A Papal Discussion") asks: "What’s the value of the personal presence of the Pope? How can it be more than just one more celebrity hogging the headlines and taking up our time? What’s renewing about it?:
In today’s Rose Garden speech, the Pope said, “As I begin my visit, I trust that my presence will be a source of renewal and hope for the Church in the United States…”
Now, wait. To hope such a thing — who does this Benedict think he is? Pope? And why do these thousands pouring into D.C. and heading to New York City care about being in the presence of the Pope and what can be renewing about the whole experience?