Thursday, April 10, 2008

Papal Ambassador to the U.S. on Pope's Visit

Mr. John L. Allen Jr. spoke with Archbishop Sambi, the papal nuncio to the United States. Archbishop Sambi's responses to Mr. Allen's questions illuminate the upcoming visit of Pope Benedict.

Their exchange revealed
In terms of news flashes, one intriguing bit from the Sambi interview is that he left the door slightly open for a private encounter between the pope and victims of sexual abuse while he's in America, saying only that it's "within the field of possibility." He also asserted that speculation about Benedict reading the riot act to Catholic educators during an April 18 session at the Catholic University of America amounts to "instrumentalization" of the pope by American Catholics with theological or political axes to grind.

"The problem is that there are too many people here who would like to be the pope," Sambi sighed, "and who attribute to themselves a strong sense of their own infallibility."

Sambi's trademark sense of humor flashed at other points, such as when I asked if he has personally briefed the boss in preparation for the visit. Smiling, Sambi replied: "I'm not paid to sit here and do nothing!"
Read more of their conversation.

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