Pope Benedict XVI arrived in the United States on April 15. Since then he has been reaching out – to the Catholic faithful, to Catholic youth, to the victims of clergy sex abuse, to our Jewish brothers and sisters, and to the world. On the whole, I have to say I have been very pleased with the way the Pope’s visit has been going.
From his first encyclical as pope, Deus Caritas Est, I have seen a different side of Pope Benedict (except for the really unfortunate photo on the BBC web page) than we saw of him as Cardinal Ratzinger. While there have been missteps, compounded by the spin machine of contemporary media, and a little too much celebration on the part of Catholic traditionalists, I have found myself pleasantly surprised by Pope Benedict. At eighty-one years of age he may or may not ever achieve the degree of notoriety of his predecessor, but I think he has already made his mark – on the whole more positive than not.