CWR editor George Neumayr has an article on Real Clear Religion today about Pope Benedict’s scheduled visit to Germany in late September.
Noting the lack of enthusiasm for the trip already demonstrated by the Pontiff’s fellow countrymen, George predicts that while this visit will be less controversial than the one Benedict made in 2006 (during which he gave his headline-making Regensburg Lecture), it will likely be an occasion for the media to reopen a few old wounds and resuscitate some old slanders:
On a trip like this one, heavy with courtesy calls, the likelihood of any inflammatory comments is low, though the secular media can be counted on to interpret whatever he does say in the worst possible light. Expect also the media to rehash what he did or didn’t do as archbishop of Munich at a time of abuse. Not helping matters is that the pope’s old diocese is on the ropes, as it reels from the scandal and sees membership plummet, the highest membership loss in all of Germany. …
Germans will probably tune whatever he says out, but his influence will outlive them. That Angela Merkel and company even bother to roll out the red carpet for him is an admission, if grudging, of his relevance. Like his namesake, St. Benedict, this pope approaches once-Christian Europe as mission territory, scattering a few seeds of wheat amidst the dying weeds of secularism.
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