If you get most of your mainstream-media news from NPR -- and I wholeheartedly admit that I do, it's what I usually have on in the car -- you may be thinking that Pope Benedict XVI came to the United States mainly to discuss the sexual abuse of minors by priests.
It's not that this isn't an important thing to discuss. It's just that I've listened to several NPR distillations of his addresses by now, and so far that's just the only topic that's merited extensive commentary. (I noticed, by the way, that he has been careful to limit the discussion to that abuse committed by apparent pedophiles; we can, I think, assume he is not talking in this trip about men who exploited young people who'd reached puberty. This distinction narrows the scope of his public discussion on the subject considerably--by about 85% of the victim count--and it's a distinction I've not heard made yet in the MSM.)
Anyway, if you are interested in commentaries on his addresses that give a flavor of the pontiff's main themes as presented by, you know, the pontiff, rather than the media-digested versions, you might go to Father Z's blog What Does The Prayer Really Say? He has been putting up the texts of Benedict's speeches and adding highlights and comments.
- Fuller account of what the Pope said on the airplane (from a NYT story, with comments)
- Transcript of the press conference (from John Allen)
- Discourse from the White House
- The homily from Mass at Washington Nationals Stadium (and here's more commentary from Fr. Z on the liturgical choices and now commentary by Fr. Z. on the commentary from NLM. Knowing what Benedict has written about liturgy, I have to say I was cringing for a lot of that Mass.)
I'm hoping he puts up more... UPDATE: