National Catholic Register


Awaiting Peter

BY Father Owen Kearns, LC


April 6-12, 2008 Issue | Posted 4/1/08 at 12:38 PM


The upcoming visit of Pope Benedict XVI is becoming more real for us. Our writers and editors just received notice of their accreditation for different events — subject to screening by the secret service.

As a newspaper publisher, I look forward to a rare opportunity in the papal visit to America. Catholics in this country really do have an opportunity to seize the moment that we are in the spotlight to let the world know that what Pope Benedict said is true: “The Church is alive and the Church is young!”

For me as a priest, the Holy Father’s visit has a profound personal dimension. He is the Pope, the Bishop of Rome and the Successor of Saint Peter, the visible source and foundation of the unity of the Church. He is the Vicar of Christ on Earth, the head of the College of bishops and pastor of the universal Church. Far from simply being my ultimate “boss” in a corporate sense, he is what the term of affection implies — a father in the faith.

Pope Benedict XVI speaks with clarity and purity such that it feels like a privilege to be a Catholic with him as the Pope. And of course, it is.

God bless!