Pope Benedict XVI will soon arrive for his apostolic journey to the United States. The Register plans to make the most of the visit. Like any other papal visit, this one will follow a predictable arc of misrepresentation in the media, followed by surprise that the Pope is not identical to the current stereotype of him, followed by praise from unlikely places and, unfortunately, probably some attempts by dissenting Catholics to reinforce the stereotype.
The best way to avoid the myths and misrepresentations is to read up on Pope Benedict and follow the news closely for yourself. Here’s our schedule for the coming issues.
April 13-19. This issue of the Register is dated to coincide with the week of the Pope’s arrival, but will be available online starting April 9.
In it we will provide information about the Holy Father, his background, and the aims of his visit. We will also supply maps, schedules and pertinent information for those who plan to see the Pope — or for those who wish to deepen their experience of the Pope’s visit.
April 20-26. Each week, our editorial offices send the new issue of the Register to the printer on the Monday prior to its Sunday issue date. That means we will send this issue on April 14 — the day before Pope Benedict arrives. Nonetheless, the issue will continue our papal focus, giving readers a context to the week’s events by providing a history of papal visits to the United States.
April 27-May 3. This issue will give our coverage of the papal events themselves. Register reporters will be present at all the major events of the Holy Father’s trip, from his arrival at Andrews Air Force Base to his departure from JFK Airport in New York.
Pope2008.com is the Register’s papal blog, featuring Senior Writer Tim Drake. It will feature a live video feed of the papal events courtesy of EWTN.
You can follow each of the Pope’s events, which are described as follows on the U.s. bishops’ website:
Tuesday, April 15
Arrival at Andrews Air Force Base. Greeting by President and Mrs. Bush. Also present will be local dignitaries of the Church and the apostolic nuncio.
Wednesday, April 16
10:30 a.m. President Bush and the First Lady meet the Holy Father on the south lawn of the White House. This is only the second time in history that a pope has visited the White House. At the end of the welcoming ceremony, a private meeting is scheduled for the Holy Father and the President, while dignitaries of the two states also meet.
5:30 p.m. Private prayer service and meeting with the 350 bishops of the United States at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Before the prayer service, which will be held in the crypt of the Shrine, there will be outdoor photo opportunities of the public welcoming the Holy Father to this national church.
Thursday, April 17
10 a.m. The Pope will offer Mass at the new Nationals Park in Washington. This will be the first non-baseball event in the park, and Catholics from around the country are making plans to attend.
5 p.m. The heads of the more than 200 Catholic colleges and universities in the United States and superintendents from the 195 Catholic dioceses have been invited to an address by Pope Benedict XVI on the importance of Catholic education. The address will be on the campus of The Catholic University of America, the only college in the United States operated by the bishops.
Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Jews and representatives of other religions will meet the Holy Father at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center, next door to Catholic University.
Friday, April 18
10:45 a.m. Pope Benedict XVI will address the United Nations, after an early morning flight to New York.
6 p.m. Prayer service with leaders from other Christian denominations at St. Joseph’s Church, founded by German Catholics, in Manhattan.
Saturday, April 19,
9:15 a.m. Mass for priests, deacons and members of religious orders at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the heart of New York City.
4:30 p.m. The Holy Father will meet with young Catholics, including 50 youngsters with a range of disabilities, at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers. Thousands of young people, including hundreds of seminarians, are expected to participate in a rally/prayer service and to hear the pope speak.
Sunday, April 20
9:30 a.m. The Holy Father will visit Ground Zero, the site of the 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center.
2:30 p.m. Mass at Yankee Stadium will bring this historic visit to a close. The 200th anniversary of the Baltimore Archdiocese’s designation as an archdiocese, as well as the birth of four dioceses — Boston, New York, Louisville, Ky., and Philadelphia — will be highlighted during the Mass.
8 p.m. Shepherd One lifts off from John F. Kennedy airport in the Brooklyn Diocese, heading east to the Eternal City.