What should the pope say in America?

(CNS/Paul Haring)At least two CNS clients are beginning to explore what Pope Benedict might say and what he might find during his U.S. trip., while a third blogs about those questions.

– The National Catholic Reporter published the first of what it says will be four essays leading up to the papal visit. In the first, professor Richard R. Gaillardetz imagines a different kind of papal visit from JPII’s trips, one that would be largely a fact-finding mission that would show that “the American religious scene is not the same as that in Western Europe.”

– The National Catholic Register blogged this week about the Gaillardetz piece and pointed to an earlier papal-visit preview piece by Catholic journalist Russell Shaw, who wants to give the pope “an honest picture of the real state of American Catholicism behind the ecclesiastical Potemkin Village fa├žade that will be on display.”

– One of America magazine’s blogs is asking readers to weigh in on what the pope’s message to America should be. A sampling of responses, it says, will be published before the trip.

As we often say on the bottom of the first take of a breaking story, more to come …

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