Jeg leser regelmessig den amerikanske reporteren John Allens nyhetsmeldinger fra Vatikanet, og det har jeg også gjort i forbindelse med pave Benedikts besøk i Polen nå nylig. Allen gjør mer enn å bare referere hva som skjer, han forsøker også å trekke frem underliggende faktorer. Så i forbindelse med Polen-besøket spør Allen: Hva vil Benedikt oppnå med dette besøket, i tillegg til det opplagte, som er å takke og ære pave Johannes Paul II?

I sin faste spalte før besøket begynte nevnte Allen noen grunner til at paven ville besøke Polen:
The Poland trip is not just a wistful trip down memory lane, a kind of final tipping of the hat to Benedict's boss and good friend for more than 20 years. There is serious business for the pope in Poland, matters that cut to the core of his chief concerns. Although media coverage will likely accent the sentimental, it would be a mistake to read these three days exclusively as a sort of rolling post-mortem tribute. On the basis of conversations with Vatican officials over the last several days, here's how the big-ticket concerns stack up from their point of view.

Så går Allen videre og snakker om disse mer underliggende formålene:
One Vatican official stressed that Benedict wants to do more than pay tribute. He wants to lay down a gauntlet. His aim will be to urge the Poles to move from celebrating the John Paul legacy primarily in a sentimental and ceremonial way, to embracing the deep values associated with the Polish pope. In other words, Benedict will try to argue that keeping the memory of John Paul alive is not simply a matter of putting up statues or renaming streets. It's about building the kind of society to which his teaching pointed, which includes quite specific positions on a host of issues such as abortion, marriage, biotechnology, social justice and war and peace. ...

"There will be constant reference to John Paul" in Benedict's speeches, a Vatican source said. "The message will be that Poland should remain faithful to the gospel of Christ, which has always been its tradition, especially recently in John Paul II." This source pointed to John Paul's speeches from his 1991 trips to Poland, his first after the collapse of Soviet Communism, as an especially important touchstone. He called for preserving the cultural and religious heritage that constituted the essence of Poland's national character, and thus should be central to a fully sovereign Poland again finding its historic roots. That Poland has a "European vocation" was implicit in what John Paul said in Wloclawek: "The world needs a redeemed Europe."

På vei til Polen, nevnes det forskjellig ting paven skal gjøre mens han er der, skriver Allen:
Pope Benedict XVI launched what might be dubbed his "Take Back Europe" 2006 summer tour today, opening a four-day swing through a traditional Catholic stronghold that he hopes will build momentum for reawakening the Christian roots of the Old Continent. The motto of the visit to Poland is a pointed reminder of the message: "Stand firm in your faith!"

Polakkene har på mange området meninger som ikke samsvarer med Den katolsk kirke, men det går i rett retning. Allen skriver derfor videre:
On the one hand, there is clearly a bedrock of Catholic identity upon which to build, and at least on the abortion issue, there's evidence the church is gaining ground. On the other hand, across a range of other issues, one finds the same tendency towards independent-mindedness for which Catholics in Western Europe and North America have long been infamous. In that sense, if Polish Catholics do eventually re-evangelize Europe, as the last two popes have dreamt, (some people) caution that the gospel they spread may not coincide exactly with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

I fredagens utendørsmesse i Warzawa tok paven opp det som Allen mener er Polen-turens underliggende hovedtema og sa:
Faith is a gift, Benedict told the crowd in Victory Square, "but it is also a task." "We must not yield to the temptation of relativism or of a subjectivist and selective interpretation of Sacred Scripture," he said. In the struggle against relativism, Benedict appealed repeatedly to the Catholic heritage of Poland, especially the memory of Pope John Paul II. "How can we not thank God for all that was accomplished in your native land and in the whole world during the pontificate of John Paul II?" he said. "Cultivate this rich heritage of faith transmitted to you by earlier generations, the heritage of the thought and the service of that great Pole who was John Paul II," Benedict urged in Warsaw.

Senere på dagen nevnte paven også de nye bevegelsene innefor Kirken, som han håper kan være med og styrke og fornye den:
Benedict XVI also used his visit to Jasna Góra to praise the "new movements," a vast array of Catholic groups born in the 20th century, ... Although some bishops and priests have at times been critical of the movements for building a "parallel church" alongside traditional diocesan and parochial structures, both John Paul and Benedict have supported the new groups, especially in light of their success with young people and in generating vocations to the priesthood and religious life. The pope called the movements "a sign of the Holy Spirit's active presence."