A Peruvian tourist kisses a poster of Pope Benedict in Poland ahead of his trip. The image is a symbol of the embrace of the Polish people of this new pope, a German who is beloved in Poland because he loved John Paul II. Some of the news media are saying that the crowds are enthusiastic but sparse, but what do you expect. When John Paul visited Poland, their native son, the first Polish pope, the one who nearly singlehandedly delivered them from Communist slavery, was visiting. Everyone turned out for that. You can expect the same giddy and overwhelming response to a new pope. Still, it doesn’t mean that the people don’t love him and respect him.
Here’s the Catholic World News coverage of the event starting with:
A backgrounder on the Church’s influence on Polish politics
A backgrounder on the upcoming visit to Auschwitz.
The Vatican web site also has his initial remarks upon arrival in English, and a meeting with the clergy at the cathedral in Warsaw, also in English.
The text of other talks will eventually be found at the main page for the visit.
Here’s a Reuters story on the first day as well.
- popeposterpoland.jpg: CNS/Reuters | Copyright by owner. Used under Fair Use doctrine