In a lengthy but fascinating discussion of the upcoming papal trip, sponsored by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, John Allen and George Weigel offer an insider's view of what we can expect when Pope Benedict XVI arrives next week.
It is well worth the time it takes to read the whole transcript at the Pew Forum, but here is one of Allen's comments that resonated most with me:
"So I think Benedict’s diagnosis is that people are far too familiar with what the Catholic Church is against rather than what it’s for. People know far more about what the Catholic Church says no to rather than what it says yes to, and so I think his effort is to try to present a positive vision of what the Catholic Church represents. And we’ve seen that in his two encyclicals on love and hope. I suspect we will see it in various mutations when he’s here in the States. That’s all by way of saying that the people who were expecting him to come in and go negative in one form or another, I suspect, are going to be disappointed. I’ve covered all of Benedict’s foreign trips; I have yet to see him go negative in one of these settings. I suspect people will be surprised by and large by the overall positive tone of his presentation."
A thank you to Charlotte Was Both for the heads up on this discussion.