America is all abuzz about the Pope visiting our country. He will be here in DC the next two days, then off to NYC and other destinations. Throughout history, the various leaders of the Catholic church have hewn to somewhat differing doctrines. Some were more Old Testament with strict punishments, and others were more New Testament pushing for forgiveness and Good Works. Regardless of their preferred philosophy, their word has always been considered directly from God Himself.
In recent years, more enlightened Catholics have decided that some of the church's tenets (particularly regarding birth control) are stuck in a past that ignores the realities of our modern world. The infallibility of the papacy is no longer sacrosanct. Nonetheless, the pope is still revered by millions, and generally given a modicum of respect by even non-Catholics. The latest pope, however, seems to have pushed some buttons that have unleashed a level of hostility rarely seen.