Benedict’s deeper thoughts about faith in the U.S.

April 17, 2008

Pope Benedict addresses U.S. bishops, 16 April 2008/Kevin LamarquePope Benedict made so many positive comments about the positive role of faith in U.S. public life before and at the beginning of his U.S. visit that it was inevitable he would get around to a deeper analysis at some point. That point came in his meeting with American bishops in Washington on Wednesday. It was the kind of analysis we’ve come to expect from him — clearly expressed, intellectually ambitious and focused on his trademark issue of relativism.

“It is not enough to count on this traditional religiosity and go about business as usual, even as its foundations are being slowly undermined,” he warned the bishops gathered at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The “American brand of secularism,” he said, “can subtly reduce religious belief to a lowest common denominator.”

Here’s our news story on the speech and the full text, which is always useful to read if Benedict’s the author. He sets out his ideas over sentences and paragraphs that need to be read to the end to get the full flavour of what he’s saying.

U.S. Catholic bishops listen to Pope Benedict, 16 April 2008/Kevin LamarqueP.S. The usual question and answer session, which he does off the cuff in German and Italian, was a bit more formal this time. He prepared his answers and read them out, with a German accent that some Americans have a hard time understanding. He has spoken off the cuff here, but most of what he says is pre-written. Before anyone out there in the blogosphere misunderstands, I mean all this just as an observation, not a criticism of his linguistic abilities. He is a fine linguist — I wish I could speak and read as many languages as he does. Wikipedia says: As well as his native German, Benedict XVI fluently speaks Italian, French, English, Spanish, Dutch, and Latin, and has a knowledge of Portuguese. He can read Ancient Greek and biblical Hebrew


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well i told everyone about how i was abused by my grandmothers favorite priest , of course no one believed me, and i started telling people a long time before it broke the news, for the record thank god someone listened to all the other victims, now all those folks who did not believe me back in 1996, have no choice. i forgive all the nasty evil things that were done to me when i was four years old, and that pervert priest who took away my best part of being a baby girl, still has to face god one day, and god bless all the other victims

Posted by Tina | Report as abusive

To the Editor:

You say that the Pope’s dialogue is prewritten. What would you do otherwise to insure harmony to the millions that may be listening? Truly, what would you do whatsoever to attract such a skeptical and aithesistic audience?

You may be a journalist but you are not optimistic when it depends on faith. It is better that you did not make any comments on religion or the Pope until you are positive with your inner fath if you are intelligent.

Posted by Anthony Graziani | Report as abusive

Anthony Graziani, I don’t see how you come to your conclusion — especially since I said I noted this just as a fact, and not as a criticism. Please read the post fully.

Posted by Tom Heneghan | Report as abusive

On Fri April 18, 2008 the Pope the leader of the Roman Catholic Church “warns against undermining U.N.”. Ha Ha Ha the Pope is afraid that he is going to loose his chair on the United Nations because the U.N. will collapse just like the former League of Nations. Once NATO replaces the U.N. the Pope will feel naked and will scream and run like confused chickens because he and his Catholic priests who sexually abuse children will be arrested and tried on the Hague (International Criminal Court) for committing crimes against humanity like Genocide and Child Sexual Abuse for 1700 years. Who knows the Pope may share the same hanging fate as Saddam Hussein and the Roman Catholic Church will fall (stop existing) because anyone who join the Roman Catholic Church will be identify as terrorists. Ha Ha Ha the Pope went to the country of America because he thinks that the American President will protect him from the International Criminal Court when the U.N. collapses (fall). Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha nothing last forever.

Posted by Jack | Report as abusive

I’d be interested in Benedict’s thoughts on the separation of church and state in the U.S. Would he acknowledge it is one of the main reasons the country has flourished? Now Bush is blurring that separation by his opposition to stem cell research and his support for ‘faith-based initiative’, both of which are highly unconstitutional.

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

Time for Pope Benedict XVI to go home

It seems to me, when reading comments made by Pope Benedict XVI, posted on, he believes “equal rights” are only available and expected to be given to people that claim to be religious.

He wants to dictate to the American people how to conduct their lives, yet it notes on, he states, “the role of religions is not to dictate government policy, but to help their members strive to find the truth, including the truth about the dignity of all people even if their religious views are different.”, and, “it is essential that people and governments recognize they are not the creators of human rights and they cannot limit them.”

Then why is it in the past he seemed upset at Catholic churches and spoke out about the reasons, “he has in the past questioned Christian communities that have decided to ordain women to the priesthood and episcopacy or to bless homosexual unions and ordain openly gay men and women.”

Either America is a theocracy or it is not.

Either the Pope believes we are all equal or he doesn’t.

It is interesting to me that, someone who has such a public impact in the media, he is not questioned more about his hypocritical statements.

Actually, it doesn’t, I expect it from any religion that has a past of secrets, which I assume is all religions. But in this case, especially one that has had to close down churches frequented by many people weekly, because the need to pay millions if not billions of dollars to victims of rape by their priests, the very ones that the same church had knowingly protected for many decades.

If the current Pope and who have power in the Catholic Church are so concerned about what their church has done in the past and are so concerned about saving Americans, why is it that they were allocated immunity when it came to investigating the child rape situation by their priests?

Seems to me that the Catholic Church has more in common with Blackwater, one of the many private companies hired by our government who also was allocated immunity when they murder groups of people and are above laws that our troops and everyone else for that matter, have to abide by.

In ending, and to sum up my thoughts and rant, the current Pope needs to go home and mind his own business. He, like most politicians, (which is what he is) are crooked and do not think we are educated enough, or not intelligent enough to lead ourselves morally and civilly or to know what is “best for us”.

This causes a community, (as history has proven time and time again), that a leader who will later on be looked down upon, (but in the moment), is considered a great leader by the masses, like Hitler.

A name the current Pope is very familiar with.

Corey Mondello
Boston, Massachusetts

Posted by Corey Mondello | Report as abusive