Holy Father, the next topic is...

A new poll by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, commissioned by the Knights of Columbus, reports on American sentiments regards the pope's upcoming visit to the U.S.

The pollsters inquired about which spiritual matters Americans would like to hear Benedict address during his visit. 70% or more want to hear the pope speak on:

- Allowing God to be part of their daily lives
- Finding spiritual fulfillment by sharing their time and talent
- How they can make a positive difference
in the world, their state and communities

I can't help but wonder if the other roughly 30% of those polled were hoping that the pope might address the sex abuse scandal - and looking for that response as an option in the survey.

If you could choose one topic for the pope to address during his visit, what would that be?



  1. I am not being led by your comments, but the one thing I would like for the Pope to address when he is in the United States is the abuse crisis. I think the leadership from Rome on this has been next to nil. The Pope, in my opinion, by not coming to Boston, the epicenter of the abuse crisis, is missing an opportunity to tackle this head on. I have read that he is not planning to meet with any of the survivors. If true, this is really too bad, too sad. The Pope is our spiritual leader. He should show spiritual leadership, which has been sorely lacking since the crisis broke over six years ago. Cardinal Law is the only bishop who has been chastened in any way, and that, not by Rome, but by his own diocese. The bishop of Lincoln, NB refuses to implement the USCCB's own Charter for the Protection of Children. Not one bishop has used "fraternal correction" to make him. I would love for the Pope to zing a little fraternal correction in the direction of Lincoln. I won't count on it. So much for the protection of children. I am getting angry, upset, depressed writing this, so will stop.

  2. That does seem like a nice list that will make the pope feel welcomed and comfortable. Yes, he should be welcomed and respected here but as our leader he should know the truth about how dedicated Catholics feel, no matter how uneasy it may be to address these issues. I would want to know why he believes that what was good enough for us and our parents is good enough for the young adult Catholics of today. We live in a very different world in 2008. Many young adult Catholics who were formed in their faith are now rejecting and leaving the church. They want the church to reform what they see as too strict, outdated and sometimes hypocritical. Now we know that certain teachings can never be changed, but others can be and ought to be changed, for their sake and the sake of the Church. These young people have much to offer and we're losing them. I can't believe that the Holy Father doesn't care, but is he really listening?

  3. Voice of the Faithful is trying to get the pope's attention when he visits with full page ads in several news papers.


  4. Frankly, I am not sure that anyone will take him seriously. The Catholic church in America is in dire straits with parishes closing and few vocations. If you look at the topics "the 70%" wanted to hear about, it seems to me that those were vocation questions...and the fact that they are being asked suggests that folks do not see the connection between the two.
    The media will have a field day with his visit and a few ballparks will be stuffed with people .., but when it is all over, what difference will it all make? He is not going to announce any radical changes. He will do the best he can do.. which is not much.

  5. It’s interesting that all of the topics mentioned are what WE can do. What can HE do, as the leader of our church?

    The Pope has sent a clear message by not coming to Boston. He doesn’t want his photo op visit to be spoiled by talking about the sex abuse crisis. I have lost even more respect for him based on this decision. How can anyone who considers himself a leader of our church NOT address a crime wave that has sexually abused THOUSANDS of our children and spent BILLIONS of our dollars? Whether he likes it or not, SNAP and VOTF will make the sexual abuse crisis visible.

    How can he not address the shortage of priests, which he can have a DIRECT impact on? With the stroke of a pen he could make celibacy optional and allow women to be ordained as deacons or priests. Instead, he jeopardizes the ability of the People of God to receive the sacraments due to a lack of clergy.

  6. Although a practicing Catholic, I have no interest in the Pope's visit to the United States. There will be so much pomp, ceremony and money spent to make the visit happen. Why not spend that money on the victims of clergy sexual abuse...and on the poor? I just can not imagine Jesus visiting the USA with all the hype. He would sneak into town looking like everyone else and go find those who need Him most. And one would think that Boston would be the first place he would visit....but then I really don't think they think about us all that much....it's the image they aspire to. And to visit Boston and comfront the sex abuse scandal would not help this "image". Sorry, but I still do not think the Pope or the hierarchy "get it"

  7. I would like to hear the Pope encourage the faithful of the Church and others to deeply consider Jesus' messages to us and demand that we speak and act to right the injustices of war, poverty, racism and environmental destruction. There is so much good that can be accomplished. The Pope should use his position to entreat us to act.


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