Applebaum on Benedict & The Raucous Public Square

Anne Applebaum has an important article in this morning's Washington Post. She argues that the Pope's critics did him a favor, guaranteeing wall-to-wall coverage of a papl visit that might otherwise have been a yawn.

I do not think papal visits are ever a yawn, certainly not for Catholics. And, it is stunning how the mainstream press in the U.S. paid relatively little attention to the Pope's visit. But, Applebaum is right when she suggests that the Pope acquitted himself well, his calm, reasoned speeches and sermons contrasting vividly with the caricature put forward by his enemies. Not every apologist for the Catholic faith would do as well as the Pope, but it is abundantly clear that he can hold his own.

There is another point that Applebaum does not make, and which Benedict did not really make, that also bears some thought. The intolerance shown to the Church in some quarters is not just a violation of our rights as believers, it is a violation of the principles of liberalism. Last time I checked, the protection of the rights of conscience was a liberal concern. As we in America debate the role of religion in various areas such as health care, we should not be afraid to call out liberals who dismiss the rights of Catholics. It is not just wrong, it is hypocritical.

Support independent reporting on important issues.

 One family graphic_2016_250x103.jpg

Show comments

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

Commenting is available during business hours, Central time, USA. Commenting is not available in the evenings, over weekends and on holidays. More details are available here. Comments are open on NCR's Facebook page.