He mentions the Pope and the U.N. Mr. Allen considers challenges to U.S. Catholics. Finally, looking points the Pope made in welcoming the new amabassador of the U.S. to the Holy See, Mr. Allen helps us look forward to the April visit of Benedict XVI:
Benedict XVI's February 29 address to Mary Ann Glendon, the new Ambassador of the United States to the Holy See, offers a foretaste of what he's likely to say to Americans. In just under 1,000 words, Benedict touched upon six crucial points:Pope Benedict expresses himself differently than his predecessor, who mastered speaking in gestures.
* Appreciation for the vibrant public role of religion in American society;
* Encouragement for the United States to help forge a global moral consensus based on natural law;
* The need to promote security not just by combating terrorism, but also by fostering economic development and peace;
* Support for the United Nations and a multilateral approach to international policy;
* Commitment to inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue;
* Strong defense of a "culture of life," including the protection of unborn life and the institution of marriage.
All six are likely to surface during Benedict's 11 public speeches in the United States, and will probably also be on the table for his behind-closed-doors session with Bush.
With Benedict, it's rarely enough just to watch. One also has to listen, and perhaps equally importantly, to read. One has to sit with his texts in order to "get it," because this is a public figure who expresses himself not in sound-bites but in carefully crafted paragraphs.Nevertheless, Benedict, like all popes, will address all people and Catholics in particular.
First, he appeals as a voice of conscience to the people of the country and region he's visiting, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, about broad social, ethical and cultural matters. Second, he speaks directly to the local Catholic community in his role as a pastor and head of the universal church.Mr. Allen's column is a succinct guide to the upcoming papal visit to the the U.S. this April.
Wiki-image of Benedict XVI's coat of arms is used according to the GFDL.