Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Happy Pope Day

The Pope has arrived!

For millions of American Catholics, it's a great day, and I rejoice with them.

Sure, there are plenty of issues, and lots of Catholics are deeply concerned: women as priests, married priests; sexual abuse and the millions paid out in settlement; birth control and dozens of smaller questions and issues revolving around liturgy, doctrine, other religions and other Christian traditions.

Though I have many serious questions for Pope Benedict and the direction in which he's moving the church, I have been to his birthplace in Bavaria, toured the home in which he was born, and walked by a bakery featuring Pope Bread and Pope Beer.

Yet here's a man who can single-handedly influence nearly a billion people around the world and many billions more by moral and intellectual persuasion.

Pray that he'll be able to guide his church to peace and justice, to build bridges everywhere, and help his church recreate itself, even as it moves away from its Medieval images of power and control.

We're all in this together, and it's a good thing to pray, and pray fervently, for one another.

Hats off to our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters ... God's peace to them and the blessings of Christ.