Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Aboard: Shepherd One

This is interesting.... aboard Shepherd One with B16:

Pope Benedict is now on a plane. Some have called it “Shepherd One”, but in fact, it is an ordinary “Alitalia” plane. It does not belong to the Vatican. The tradition has been for Alitalia—Italy’s national carrier—to transport the pope, his entourage, and reporters on his first leg of an international trip and for an airline of the host country to do the return trip. This time, the pope will travel round-trip on Alitalia. Maybe he was afraid of getting his flight canceled if he were on an American carrier?! Probably not.

I am waiting in New York to do color commentary on set for Shepard Smith who will do live coverage of the 4:00pm (US Eastern) touchdown. Word is already out about the five questions reporters have asked the Holy Father on the plane. One of them was about the sexual abuse scandal in the United States. Since the questions had been previously reviewed and accepted by the Vatican’s communication department, the fact the pope answered this question in particular means he wanted to tackle the issue right from the start.

Keep in mind, before he became pope, Pope Benedict was in charge of the Vatican department responsible for reviewing the files of priests who had been accused of abuse. He knows from the inside the terrible nature of abuse. Listen to what he said this morning on the plane, as reported by the Associated Press. Note that when he says “Church” he is referring to all of its members, including the victims.

This going to be interesting to see how the MSM is going to cover B16's visit. No doubt they will spin this into something negative. Maybe try to protray the Pope as out of touch... we'll see.

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