Pope Benedict is in Latin America, exhorting Catholics there, as in Europe, to return to an earlier sense of faith and morality. His visit has also encouraged a good deal of theological speculation about the decline -- or is it viability? -- of liberation theology, a movement he tried hard to discredit and destroy when he was Cardinal Ratzinger. This speculation has led to some good articles, such as this one from The Economist, about the future shape of faith and religion in Latin America, where American-grown Pentecostalism is on the rise and has spurred a counter-growth in the Catholic charismatic movement. Today, in an important speech at the start of 19 days of meetings with Latin American cardinals and bishops on the future of Catholicism in their region, the pope again denounced Capitalism and Marxism, saying that religion must stay out of politics, while still working for justice.
Perhaps the topic of the pope might help to open up some discussion on this blog. In Quebec, because of the strong French Catholic culture, many Anglicans have more than a passing interest in what the pope says and does: a number of Quebec Anglicans have come from the Roman Catholic church themselves, and many of those who have not are coming from an Anglo-Catholic background or are interested in Catholic Church politics generally. For others - both former Catholics and not - the pope is, or has become, irrelevant.
So, readers, how do you feel? Have you been following the recent coverage of Pope Benedict's trip, and the major articles about his theology that have appeared recently? How do you feel about the pope in general? As an Anglican, do you see the internal struggles and official positions of the Roman Catholic Church as relevant to your life, and to our church, or not? And why? (It would be interesting to hear from Anglicans both inside and outside Quebec on this topic - so please don't be shy, let's hear some comments below!