- Russell Pollitt
Next month Pope Francis will soon visit the most divided Catholic Church in the world. He is scheduled to be in the US from September 22-27. He is going to the US to attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia ahead of the Synod of the world’s Catholic Bishops in Rome in October. En route the Pontiff will stop in New York, to deliver a talk at the United Nations (UN), and Washington, DC, to address Congress. Both conservatives and progressives will be watching the pope carefully and, no doubt, analysing everything he says and does to see how and if they can use it to advance their particular cause. This unpredictable pope walks a fine line: can he negotiate the tensions, will he shock both sides of the divide or will it just be another papal expedition? BY RUSSELL POLLITT.