Pope Benedict XVI will arrive at Andrews Air Force Base to be greeted by President Bush and a host of church dignitaries. His visit has already begun with some statements to the press on the plane.
From what he said to reporters and other writings, this pope is not afraid to address hard issues. According to the New York Times story, the Vatican chose the questions the pontiff answered on the plane and it was issues of pedophilia and immigration. He did not mince words when talking about the scandal: "Who is guilty of pedophilia cannot be a priest,” he said.
I'm also currently listening to his book Jesus of Nazareth, and I saw the same trend. In his exegesis of The Lord's Prayer, Benedict acknowledges that the beginning of the prayer "Our Father" is hard for those who have not had a good example of father. As well, he asks the question "what about God as mother?" It's clear this is a man so confident and rooted in his theology that he sees the answers to these difficult questions.
As he meets with members of other religions and denominations and address the youth at a seminary, difficult questions will be a consistent theme through his visit. In his blog yesterday, Gary Stern of the Gannett suburban papers had some great questions. What questions would you have for the pope?