Pope trip: when the news isn’t really new
It seems that we’ve been writing for the past three years that Pope Benedict is different from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. The fact there is a kinder, gentler person there than the worn-out “God’s Rottweiler” tag suggests doesn’t seem to be news anymore. But it apparently still is. When I sat down to write a summary of the pope’s trip to the United States, what struck me most was how many people were surprised by how favourably impressed they were. There were comments that he’d “changed his image” or “softened the edges” on this trip. In fact, he changed his image three years ago. What happened on the trip was that these people changed their view of him.
Here’s my analysis of the trip — he came, they saw, he conquered.
One comment I thought was particularly good was from Alicia Colon in the New York Sun: “It doesn’t matter if it’s a Roncalli, a Wojtyla, or a Ratzinger who wears the white robes and mitre; it’s the words that will always resonate in our hearts. It’s not the singer, it’s the song.”
How do you think his trip went? Was it the trip you expected? Was he the man you expected?