What Should the Pope Say?

Pope Benedict will visit the USA from April 16-20. He will of course meet numerous leaders and give a series of addresses, including celebrating Masses in stadiums in DC and NYC. Here is an invitation. What do you think the Pope should say to American Catholics (and thus also to the American public)? What should his message be? What strength or weakness should he note and point to?America would like to hear your responses--in 100 words or less. In addition to your e-mail responses, we will be soliciting responses from some friends of America. Depending upon the quality and quantity of the responses, we plan on putting the best responses together into an article that would be published one or two weeks before the Pope’s visit. If you send in a response, we presume we might publish it, unless you indicate otherwise. Deadline for responses that might be published in the magazine is March 17. Thank you in advance! Peter Schineller, S.J.
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
10 years 4 months ago
I would like to hear the pope acknowledge positively that U.S. Catholics are the world church's largest donor, that we financially support the world Catholic church, its hierarchy and ministries (along with the German church, which is the second largest contributor) to a great degree. I would also love to hear him recognize the enthusiastic work of the laity, everyone from parish volunteers to Catholic school teachers, hospital staffs, and diocesan workers, as well as the 35,000 or so trained lay ecclesial ministers on parish staffs. A good word or two from the pope, reflecting what is positive about Catholics in the U.S., would help us to hear his message with eagerness and hope, and accept better any challenges he raises.
10 years 4 months ago
I would find it difficult to accept if the Pope did not speak DIRECTLY about the sex abuse crisis. As a faithful Catholic I need to hear him say, on behalf of the Church, "To those Catholics who have been devastated by the sins of those who claimed to represent Christ, an apology from me as your Shepherd is required by justice and charity, but seems to be wholly inadequate. Nothing I say will remove the grievous harm that was caused to those of you who trusted in your priests and whose innocence was ravaged. I pray, though, that my profound mourning and heart felt sorrow on behalf of Mother Church, by the grace of God will settle upon each of you as a soothing balm for your grieving souls."
10 years 4 months ago
I would like to see a strong condemnation of the secular American Empire, contrasted with a holding up of Christendom as an ideal. I would like to see a stern warning against religious pluralism and what Leo XII called the Americanist heresy. And against taking democracy and capitalism as if they are Gospel. Our arrogance, consumerism, and outright decadence must be condemned in words as strong as Revelations; "Woe to thee, O Babylon! For in just one hour is thy judgment come."
10 years 4 months ago
There is a pressing issue that I would like the Pope to speak about while he in in the U.S., the Catholicity of our Catholic Universities. I believe, as do other rank-and-file Catholics, that it is essential to teach our children the Truth. Too many "Catholic" universities are hiding behind "academic freedom" while they teach flawed doctrine about homosexuality, abortion, contraception and other moral issues. I would like the Holy Father to tell us what we can do about this.
10 years 4 months ago
While we were driving here, I noticed a small shrine by the side of the street. We stopped and asked what is was for. The boy and the girl said their friend had been killed there a few days ago. They were mourning him. We stopped at a small store and bought these candles. I am going to light them and leave then here a ground zero where so many died. We should all do this every so often at a place special to us to remember those lost to violence. And to pledge our resolve not to raise our hand against our sisters and brothers.


The latest from america

So what does it matter what a celibate woman thinks about contraception?
Helena BurnsJuly 20, 2018
Former US President Barack Obama gestures to the crowd, during an event in Kogelo, Kisumu, Kenya, Monday, July 16, 2018. (AP Photo Brian Inganga)
In Johannesburg, Obama gave what some commentators consider his most important speech since he vacated the Oval Office.
Anthony EganJuly 20, 2018
With his "Mass," Leonard Bernstein uses liturgy to give voice to political unease.
Kevin McCabeJuly 20, 2018
Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, arrives for the Jan. 6 installation Mass of Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
Women often “bring up the voice of those who are the most vulnerable in our society,” says Hans Zollner, S.J., who heads the Centre for Child Protection in Rome.