Miami Herald international eition, March 7, 2012
By Tom Squitieri
When John Paul II was pope, the man who eventually succeeded him was well known for his skill in quiet, back room Vatican maneuverings in order to ensure the agenda of the Pontiff and the Catholic Church moved forward.
Now as pope, Benedict XVI finds himself in a quandary. As he draws closer to his first visit to Cuba, Pope Benedict’s mastery at small strokes behind closed doors as the path to success could well leave him falling short in the eyes of the public, who expect grand gestures and actions from a pope visiting a Communist, but deeply Catholic, country.
Benedict’s visitt will give him the chance to build on the church’s long and patient goal of being a bridge between the island’s lingering Communist government and the luster of democracy that is suggested by improving church-state relations on the island.
Is that good enough – or should there be a clearly defined take-away goal that the pope should seek during his March 26 to 28 stay? Can he be – should he try to be — a game changer?
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