I would like to applaud Kathleen Parker's April 15 column describing the bravery of Pope Benedict XVI.
Parker not only spoke in support of the Pope, but boldly stated the facts regarding a substantial percentage of followers of Islam, who we in the West refer to as "extremists."
Since being elected as the Successor of Peter, Pope Benedict has not strayed from the truth, but has unashamedly yet lovingly proclaimed the teachings of Jesus Christ. As Parker stated, he has faced persecution bravely. Unfortunately, Pope Benedict faces persecution from all ends, from both the world and from Christians, even those within the Catholic Church. As the Vicar of Christ, the Holy Father is shepherd not only to the world's Catholic Christians, but to all who profess the name of Jesus, even if they are separated from Christ's Church. His goal has been to draw all people, Catholic and Protestant, Christian and non-Christian, to the Light of the World.
Too many American Catholics, whether they are priests, religious, or laity, can be described as "Cafeteria Catholics," picking and choosing aspects of the Faith that make them feel good and rejecting the ones they find difficult or "old-fashioned." We should follow the example that our Holy Father sets for us as he does as Christ commands: "take up your cross and follow me."
Benjamin W. Busdicker