Vatican One Heads to DC

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

Here in Washington, we're all getting ready for the pope's visit tomorrow (Vatican One lands this afternoon). Streets will be closed off, buses re-routed, and thousands of people are expected to converge along the route of the popemobile. Pope Benedict XVI plans to visit the ballpark here in D.C., and Yankee Stadium in New York (one National League, one American League, to be fair). He'll hold public Mass on Sunday. And there are stops along the way over the course of six days. So many plans and logistics and details come into play with a visit like this, and Sewell Chan gives an inside peek in an article in The New York Times. Chan joins us on the show today. And we'll talk with Michael McGough, who wrote the piece, "Papal Dress Code" for the Los Angeles Times. Every detail of the pope's clothing contains meaning of some kind, and he'll tell us what to look for once Pope Benedict arrives.

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What about things like sickle cell anemia? There is substantial research indicating this evolved in response to malaria. This is both a positive and negative trait, do we eliminate it? Many of our "weaknesses" have led to our strengths.

Sent by sam | 2:35 PM | 4-15-2008

This sounds so much like "If I can fix my kid then they will be more successful", i.e. make more money, therefore happy. However, we know that having more money doe not necessarily make one a better or happier person. Not to mention the inspiring stories that would be lost of people who over come their adversities. I would propose we would be far better off trying to discover a way for each of us to be happy with who we are than to try and load the dice of life through gene manipulation which in the end is no guarantee.

Sent by Steve Clisset | 2:49 PM | 4-15-2008

I have never quite understood the extreme interest of non-Catholics in the doings of the Pope and the Catholic church in general. What is it about the Catholic church that is so intriguing (besides the Da Vinci Code ;)?

Sent by Ieva | 2:53 PM | 4-15-2008

The Pope requires a significant amount of local and federal personnel protect him during his visit. Isn't this an infringement of the 1st amendment? Is federal money paying for this? I'm not pleased if indeed my tax money pays for this.

Sent by Bryan | 2:53 PM | 4-15-2008

I know it will sound disrespectful, but as a former Roman Catholic I see the pope's, the cardinals' and the bishops' clothing as nothing more than often expensive raiment of the witch doctor who proclaims his superiority in such fashion. As for the hat, it's phallic form speaks for itself (other explanations notwithstanding). Such hats -- or crowns or whatever form they take -- are, again, a self-proclamation of superiority. Of course, somewhat the same can be said about the gowns worn by scholars at commencement events.

Dan Hortsch
Portland, Oregon

Sent by Dan Hortsch | 2:57 PM | 4-15-2008

The pope is a criminal. The only dress code he should be aware of is a prison uniform. How long would you last as the ceo of one of the largest companies on the planet if your employees were involved in a pedophilia scandal of that magnitude which required settlements of billions?

Sent by CT | 7:52 PM | 4-15-2008

It'll be back to hate on Monday, the 21st.

Sent by Newark | 9:00 AM | 4-16-2008

In answer to Bryan:

The Pope requires a significant amount of local and federal personnel protect him during his visit. Isn't this an infringement of the 1st amendment? Is federal money paying for this? I'm not pleased if indeed my tax money pays for this.

The Pope is a head of state and therefore is entitled to protection during his visit. It's not a constitutional matter, friend.

Sent by Juan | 6:09 PM | 4-16-2008

I really don't think we need this much reporting on religion on NPR. The 20-odd fanatic Christian stations that are cramming the radio dial in my area put more than enough of that out already.

Sent by P Miller | 11:44 PM | 4-16-2008