Pope Benedict’s Papal Visit


AN ASTOUNDING talk given by the Pope to young people–particularly worth reading–at Fr. Z’s blog, here

The Pope’s Thursday homily at the National’s Stadium

There are a zillion bloggers typing furiously–piling up words on their blogs about this historic visit.

Many will express surprise, some relief at the obvious cordial meeting between the Holy Father and President Bush. The reality is that the Vatican and America have more in common than most understand–a commitment to life, to religious freedom and an “ordered liberty.” (Washington contacts report that the President was deeply affected by the Pope’s love and care for America, the Pope’s praise of America’s commitment to being a nation “Under God.”)

What the Holy Father said to Americans:

“Freedom is not only a gift, but also a summons to personal responsibility…The preservation of freedom calls for the cultivation of virtue, self-discipline, sacrifice for the common good and a sense of responsibility towards the less fortunate. It also demands the courage to engage in civic life and to bring one’s deepest beliefs and values to reasoned public debate.”

Some will vent their spleens on the music chosen for the Mass at National Stadium. Fr. Richard John Neuhaus’ commentary described it as “over-preeening exhibitionism of multiculturalism” as “musical stew” that “tried Pope Benedict’s patience”(are you listening Karen??)

Others will note their frustration and or admiration for the coverage by the major broadcasters–the good the bad and the just dreadful.

And YET–the over all glorious effect is a tremendous confirmation of the power of the Holy Spirit in our midst.

I am thrilled that the Pope’s homily calls us to an intellectual examination of faith and reason–how that shapes a healthy culture.

I’m not sure I have much new to observe–and may simply provide some good links. Read the Pope’s address to the American People here.

Please pray for Pope Benedict XVI and all who hear him–pray for hearts to be touched and moved toward the source of our hope, Jesus Christ.

New Links about the Papal Visit:

What the Pope said to US Bishops

“Today the Catholic community you serve is one of the largest in the world, and one of the most influential. How important it is, then, to let your light so shine before your fellow citizens and before the world, ‘that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven’ (Mt. 5:16).”

In his address, the successor of Peter told each of the bishops how to be a “good shepherd” according to the example of Jesus. But he also told them what to do – and, if necessary, how to correct themselves – ”

* * *

Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput reacted to the Pope’s address to the U.S. bishops by agreeing with the Pontiff’s emphases on the need for Catholics to be present in the public square and to buttress family life. “The part I found of personal interest was…”

The American Catholic Church is big, rich and powerful. Compared to the marginalised Catholic Church in England, American Catholicism is a global force to be reckoned with. Time magazine, in a recent feature on the Pope’s visit to the US, recognises that Benedict XVI understands and is intrigued by America’s “totally modern, yet totally religious” worldview. (Fr. Dwight Longnecker-a blogger priest)

Fr. Schall on Pope Benedict (several important esays)

MJ’s article on the Pope and the United Nations:

What the Pope will Say at the United Nations


2 Responses

  1. Father Neuhaus’ assessment of the music was spot-on. (NLM actually said — with a straight face — that Marty Haugen’s Sanctus was the musical high point. Sadly they’re right.)

    That said, in spite of appalling music and banal USCCB-speak, the Holy Spirit still shines through and illuminates and warms our hearts.

    Laus Deo,


  2. Joe, I agree–the Holy Spirit was clearly at work, people were moved, we have had much joy during this visit.

    What is a source of wonder is the Pope’s health–great energy, ease of going up and down steps…81 years does not show.

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