Guide to the Pope’s Visit to the United States

  1. What the Pope says will be taken out of context by the media and politicians. For example, ” who am I to judge?” The Pope will be presented as promoting a specific political agenda. Important to read whole speeches and answers to interview questions.
  2. The Pope has never been to the United States before this. Consequently his comments about governments and business have as their context what he has experienced and studied in Latin America and observed in Europe.
  3. When the Pope speaks to the bishops, he represents himself as a brother speaking familiarly, but then proceeds to bluntly challenge them to be better.
  4. The Pope believes in promoting and encouraging goodness in the laity and religious before challenging confronting evil.
  5. The Pope believes that sinners first need to be accompanied before they can be challenged…this can come off as accommodation rather than evangelization.
  6. The Pope has a fundamental distrust of big business, big wealth and corrupt governments.
  7. The Pope is very intelligent and thoughtful about his public persona. So he is both spontaneous in his words, equally careful and deliberate about his public image.
  8. The Pope sees in the faith life of the poor and the Masses an authentic voice of the Holy Spirit to guide cultures.
  9. The Pope sees the created world as a gift entrusted to humanity that is easily plundered by the wealthy to the detriment of the poor. The moral principles he teaches about stewardship of the environment are Church teaching. His thoughts about the nature and causes of climate change are his own opinions.
  10. The Pope trusts personal initiative over institutional planning and systems as a means to solve problems.
  11. (Through the lens and understanding that Jesuits have of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius) The Pope profoundly believes in personal inspiration from the Holy Spirit as a guide to solving problems and developing plans and programs.
  12. The Pope has not changed the Church’s doctrines on marriage, divorce, remarriage, and annulments. He has tried to streamline the process for the sake of people who apply for annulments.