Pope Benedict is making his first trip to the United States since the white smoke made him Pope. Alex thinks it is funny that people are making a big deal out of this trip because all the Pope has to do is get onto a plane.
Many people have asked me if I am going to any Pope-filled activities, and I just shrug my shoulders. Whereas I always wanted to have dinner with the late John Paul II, I never felt any connection to his successor.
Despite my grandmother telling me that this Pope is very smart, I think I unfairly judged him. His name was Ratzinger, he got stuck with the Pope-name Benedict, he was part of the Hitler Youth (very unfair since pretty much everyone was forced to join and his family was personally against it), the conservative Catholics were pulling for him, and probably most unjustly of all--he looked scary.
However, after reading article on Slate, "God's Rottweiler" Becomes the Church's "Beloved German Shepherd": How Pope Benedict has disappointed the right, I appreciated him a little more. And no, not because I think the Pope's ideology aligns with mine. The article pointed out that even though the Pope has disappointed the right, he is far from being a liberal as well. Rather, the article talked about how the Pope has demonstrated leadership through decisions and actions I never knew about. I felt pretty ridiculous for holding onto these preconceived notions about the Pope.
On a final note, I thought the story about the Pope standing-up the President was pretty funny as well. (WaPo: Guess Who's Not Coming to Dinner). Since the Pope's schedule is too busy, President Bush will have to have a Bavarian dinner for the Pope without the Pope. I almost feel a little bad for President Bush.
My roommate and I suspect that since the day of the dinner is the Pope's 81 dinner, Pope Benedict will actually be celebrating at Buca Di Beppo's Pope Room.