Pope Benedict and Catholic America

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President Bush is giving the full head-of-state treatment to Pope Benedict XVI, a powerful critic of the war in Iraq, not to mention capital punishment and the boycott of Cuba. But today on the White House lawn, both leaders spoke warmly of their relationship and the importance of religion in America's public life. Before a crowd of thousands, the Pope quoted the Declaration of Independence and said he had "great respect for this vast pluralistic society." He emphasized the importance both of religious faith and reason in public debate.  He also called for global solidarity and "the patient efforts of international diplomacy to resolve conflicts." We hear what the Pope's visit means to almost 25% of the US population, about half of them Latinos. Why are so many Catholics becoming Pentecostal Protestants? What's the role of the continuing scandal over pedophile priests? 




Warren Olney


Dan Konecky, Sonya Geis