Today, President Obama visited the Pope at the Vatican today. Yet, outside of the religion news services, you could barely find a mention about it on some of the news networks websites. BBC world service was mostly preparing for Mr. Obama's visit to Africa, with various news stories. The same could be said about the release of the Pope's new encyclical on the economy, hardly a mention about it in the mainstream press. Some of the best reporting about it, and the Presidential visit, on the blogosphere, was Michael Paulson's Articles of Faith, and the National Catholic Reporter blog, NCR Today. The question needs to be asked, is the Pope relevant to the world? Does the Church has something to say to the world about workers rights, the global economy, business ethics?
I would say yes, the fact that so many world leaders who come to see the Pope, and be seen with the Pope, speaks to the continuing influence of the Papacy and the Church on the world scene. What really needs to happen though is that the message of the Church's social doctrine needs to get out there. It is the most well kept secret in the Church and the world. It needs to be preached on, written on, taught to our future business and government leaders. Ways need to be found to educate the Catholic laity on the social doctrine, and how to live it, how to practice it. These documents, from Pope Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum to the current encyclical, cannot be left on the bookshelves as dead letters, but must be read, discussed, debated! They must come alive!