After the Pope's Visit -- Sightings (Martin Marty)
The Pope has returned home to the Vatican City after taking America by storm. He said and did enough to step on most of our toes and perhaps inspire us with his infectious personality (and deep humility). There have been many responses, both positive and critical, but in this piece Martin Marty asks not how he was received, but the consequences in the aftermath. He reminds us that when it comes to religious leaders it is not the power of their personality that ultimately proves consequential. It is the communities formed and transformed. He notes that John Paul II was embraced in his visit to the US for World Youth Day in 1993, but while warmly received, his visit did little to stem the tide of decline. So, what will be the impact long term? With that question is raised another question -- where is spirituality without community?