Pope Benedict To Visit Catholic University Today

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Pope Benedict XVI, who arrived in Washington, DC on Tuesday to begin a six-day tour of the US, will be speaking at Catholic University in northeast Washington, DC today. The pope’s meeting will be with Catholic college Pope John Paul Cultural Centerpresidents and diocesan officials, his first visit to the US as the church’s leader.

The pope’s visit comes at a time when the Roman Catholic Church is seeing many of its American members leaving the church or ignoring Catholic doctrine. Yet, there is a ray of hope in this as the pope receives a favorable rating of 75% with all Americans, though only 25% of the US population is Catholic (see The Pew Forum On Religion and Public Life, April 2008 survey).

The pope’s visit to what is officially known as the Catholic University of America will also serve to underscore the Vatican’s success in keeping a number of Catholic schools of higher education firmly in the papacy’s fold. Though numerous religious colleges and universities have secularized over the years, Catholic University is one of 21 Catholic institutions in North America which are considered to be faithful models of Catholic higher education (see The Newman Guide).

Pope Benedict will hold a mass at Nationals Park at 10 a.m. before addressing Catholic leadership at 5:00 p.m. The pope will conclude his day with a meeting of interfaith leaders at 6:30 p.m. at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center (pictured), a Roman Catholic museum and think tank located adjacent to the campus of Catholic University.

Further Reading

The Catholic University of America

The Pope’s Schedule in U.S.: April 15-20

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