Pope Benedict XVI has not traveled to as many countries as Pope John Paul II did in his first seven years as Pope — 22 countries compared to about 75.
But Pope Benedict has taken on significant belly-of-the-beast excursions, visits that require the Holy Father to assert the Catholic theological and moral vision in an embattled context, whether it be Germany, Turkey or England.
Benedict’s pilgrimage to Cuba, which begins this afternoon, is another journey into hostile terrain. Cuba’s government has been one of the most relentlessly anti-religious in the world.
Yet the communist government is giving paid leave to state workers who want to attend papal events. And Cardinal Jaime Ortega,...READ MORE