Pope Benedict’s trip to the United States is obviously a focus of attention right now.
I’d like to CHT the reader who e-mailed a link to THIS STORY by Peggy Noonan.
In it, she reflects on the personal styles of JP2 and B16, and offers a number of insights, among them this:
A Vatican reporter last week said John Paul was the perfect pope for the television age, "a man of images." Think of the pictures of him storm-tossed, tempest-tossed, standing somewhere and leaning into a heavy wind, his robes whipping behind him, holding on to his crosier, the staff bearing the image of a crucified Christ, with both hands, for dear life, as if consciously giving Christians a picture of what it is to be alive.
Benedict, the reporter noted, is the perfect pope for the Internet age. He is a man of the word. You download the text of what he said, print it, ponder it.
Actually, I don’t print it. I have my text-to-speech engine read it to me and then ponder it, but I get the idea.
Now if the Holy See would only get the perfect web site for the Internet age.
Unfortunately, not everyone is as appreciative of B16 as Mrs. Noonan.
Stephen Prothero, the Chair of the Department of Religion for Jesuit-run Boston College, for example, ISN’T:
Young American Catholics treated John Paul II like a rock star. Yes, he was socially and theologically conservative, but at least they could relate to the guy with the "Popemobile" and the smile and the energy to travel to some 130 countries during his 26 years at the Holy See. But can they relate to Benedict XVI? And can he relate to them? What can a pope who is an academic theologian first and foremost offer young Americans, save for dogmas they don’t believe in and rituals they do not understand? Is he coming to scold us? Or to hug us?
We are about to find out.
Actually, someone should scold Stephen Prothero, but it should be someone other than B16.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, there’s LOTS OF COVERAGE OF THE PAPAL VISIT FROM EWTN.