Get ready for Pope Francis’ first trip to the United States. Most priests and many people are anxious to hear what he has to say about our country and the world as he addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. Some people of the world think that he is too “liberal” in his thinking as he speaks about climate change and migrants/refugees who are affecting Europe and the United States. It seems that some people are just waiting to criticize what he says. President Obama recognizes him as an important spokesperson for the world, but he certainly does not agrees with the President on every topic, especially his support for abortions. The President and the Pope share many of the same ideas on climate control. The Pope, though, is writing from the point of view – God’s view – of taking care of creation that as it says in the book of Genesis that what God made was “very good.”
As Catholics, we will be looking for his views on family life and relationships. He is coming to our country to attend the World Meeting on Family Life. As of today (Sept. 16) I don’t know what specific issues he will be addressing, but he will certainly support the sacrament of marriage as between a man and a woman. He is willing to address issues on divorce and remarriage for Catholics and homosexuals in the Church community, but I don’t believe he will make major changes in church teaching. He will present the Church as being more understanding and compassionate as he announces the Holy Year of Mercy beginning on December 8. We will have to wait and see how this pilgrimage will go!