Pope Francis will test his diplomacy on US tour

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Cuban President Raul Castro, right, smiles as he meets Pope Francis during a private audience at the Vatican May 10, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Gregorio Borgia/pool

Cuban President Raul Castro, right, smiles as he meets Pope Francis during a private audience at the Vatican May 10, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Gregorio Borgia/pool

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VATICAN (RNS) His Cuba and U.S. visits could heighten the pope’s clout as a moral authority on the world stage.

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  • Betty Clermont

    Ever since popes crowned the Holy Roman emperors, with few exceptions they have sought geopolitical influence and power. “Francis will be going [to the US] with a particularly dense international agenda: the Holy See, after all, is playing a frontline role in many of the planet’s most burning issues.” (vaticaninsider.lastampa.it) “The first time a pontiff will be addressing Congress rivals a presidential inauguration and State of the Union wrapped into one.” (cruxnow.com) “Some Jesuits say quietly that Bergoglio, despite being a Jesuit, is closer ideologically to Opus Dei … Bergoglio’s ‘personal, undisputed, austerity has always lived with a determined and sustained pursuit of power, first in his congregation, then in Argentina and now the universal Church. Bergoglio is a strategist and a politician.”(jornada.unam.mx)

  • Eric Charles Smith

    Of course the pope is a politician! That is unavoidable as he heads a religion, and all religions tell people how they ought to live — an abjectly political exercise.