The visit of Pope Francis will include three US. Cities beginning in Washington D.C.
The Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore can’t wait for Pope Francis’ highly anticipated trip to the United States. “I think we are all excited, in fact the whole country is excited about the Holy Father”
Archbishop Lori says Pope Francis is a very pastoral pope…and although some consider some of his comments to be controversial, the Archbishop encourages all to listen to his message as whole and not just portions of it.
“Sometimes it’s only the soundbites that gets reported and that’s always what happens, but this Holy Father has really concentrated on a couple of basic things that we really need to pay attention to”
The Archibishop believes those basic things include more Christians opening their hearts to Christ, focusing on having Christ accompany them in their lives and the establishment of more institutions dedicated to spreading the gospel.
“The pope is looking to take away unnecessary obstacles but it’s also important to stress that he has not changed the church’s doctrine either as some might say”
The pope will be addressing congress, a historical first, then on to the United Nations and a meeting with the bishops of the United States. He’ll also bless St Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan but Archbishop Lori says the most crucial part of the pope’s visit won’t a specific location, but his message.
“That’s really the original reason why he’s coming to our country”
In fact Archbishop Lori says that has been a contributing factor in the recent violence in Baltimore. After the recent turmoil in the city Archbishop Lori says “Its obviously heartbreaking to see this tremendous violence that’s going on. Much of it is drug related, much of it is gang related but the root cause I think is the breakdown of family life”
A breakdown that has left many children falling through the cracks.
“As young people grow up and they really don”t have a stable home and they don’t have people who are adults who are watching over them. Getting them to perform academically…caring about them and then, of course, they are left to the mercy of the street and the street is not merciful”
But the Archbishop is hopeful that the pope’s visit will motivate not just people in Baltimore, but all over the country.
“So the church is the lover of life and especially when life is in trouble”