Tuesday, April 15, 2008

See the Holy See

Today, Pope Benedict XVI stepped on American soil for the first time. Despite his timing, it is not a political trip in the truest sense but is purely business, speaking at the United Nations marking the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. See a rundown of his itinerary here.

I'm following this visit with great interest. I grew up Catholic, was a good altar boy (spare the jokes), was Deputy Grand Knight of my campus Knights of Columbus, and saw, within spitting distance, Pope JPII when he visited Denver for World Youth Day. The book "His Holiness" continues to inspire me despite my lapsing from the Catholic faith and embracing what I feel to be a truer (evangelical? fundamentalist?) Christianity. When John Paul the Second passed away, I watched with breathless anticipation the selection of the new Pope, praying that his predecessor would follow his footsteps in leading the Catholic church in a more ecumenical, less traditional direction. While staunchly conservative (not necessarily in the political sense) Catholics cheered the selection of Cardinal Ratzinger I was skeptical of the "Pope's Rottweiler". And to be honest, I haven't followed him much since with the exception of applauding his statements in Regensburg, Germany where he "suggested that Islam had lost its reason and the West had lost its faith."

So I read with joy this article in Newsweek on the Pope's evolving role on the world geo-political stage. I'll be back later with more comments on the article, but encourage you to also follow the Pope's visit through the On Faith blogs linked here and over on the right.

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