Preparing for the Pope

The arrival of Pope Benedict XVI to the United States has been receiving a ton of media coverage in the city. It makes sense: we have a pretty decent Catholic population, and the pope is spending three days here, including a trip to Ground Zero and celebrating a mass in Yankee Stadium (the un-cursed, original-recipe one, of course). The pope might be the closest thing in religion to a rock star.

Whenever the pope visits, we get several of the same stories: the children who are "so excited" to meet and greet the pontiff (a Yorkville 8-year-old tells the Post, "If he shakes my hand, I'll never wash it again), how the White House is welcoming him (he's visiting tomorrow, on his 81st birthday), and a look at one or two local folks who have something to do with the Vatican (The News interviews some soldiers from the Fighting 69th who will meet with Benedict XVI, calling them the "hometown papal honor guard.") It seems that if you have any sort of relationship to the pope, chances are you'll end up in the paper.

Interestingly enough, only the News includes mention of the potential for lay teachers on strike to picket Benedict when he visits on Friday. Teachers at 10 Catholic schools in the area were to walk off the job today. The strike threats have gotten some coverage, and it will be interesting to see if there is any sort of follow-up over the course of the week.

But the best part of pope coverage--which we haven't seen yet since he hasn't landed--is the inevitable photos of the super-sweet Popemobile. Dude has his own kind of car!


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