To see the Pope or not?


Pope Benedict XVI will be making his visit to the US in two weeks. My DW will be out of town. I want to take the kids (5 and 6) to see if we can see him on one of the parade routes. I think it will be the chance of a lifetime. DW does not want me to go, over safety concerns.

What do people here think? Is there anything I can say to ease her concerns? Any advice would be appreciated.


If it were me, I’d go. I’ve gone several places people said not to go because of security concerns. You’re at risk anywhere you go – certainly some places more highly-visible like visiting the Pope there could be heightened risk but there’s also heightened security.

What I always say to those who say it’s too danger is "I’m not going to live my life in fear of what could happen when I have no control. I take my precautions but I can’t live my life within the walls of my home or that’s not living, that’s existing.

Just my two cents:twocents:


If I were you I would love to to! On the other hand, it has to be a joint decision (in my opinion) between both parents.

Deliberately taking your children to someplace that your wife feels is not safe could cause serious problems in your marriage.

Instead of arguing with her on this, or debating her…why not simply ask her to pray about it? A simple “honey I will do what you feel is best, as long as you promise to spend a lot of time in prayer, and say a rosary together to discern what is best.” This may go a long way. It sounds like you have been unable to convince her, maybe the Holy Spirit can!

God bless, hope this helps.


Safety concerns? I might see the Pope when he’s in town, and honestly, safety concerns never crossed my mind until you brought them up. I’m not saying that nothing can happen, but there’s no precedent for acts of violence occurring at papal appearances like this one. I wouldn’t worry about it.

Your chances of getting hurt on the journey to DC (or NY?) are much greater than your chances of getting caught in an attack on the Pope.

That being said, you do need to respect your wife’s feelings.


What a great idea! How does one find out the parade routes in DC?

Has she expressed specifically what she is afraid might happen?


The safety concerns will be less than when you get in your car every morning. This is the chance of a lifetime–go for it! Roanoker


What safety concerns does she have? Do you know anyone that went to see him when he was in Denver or St. Louis? I would guess that some people from your parish attended at least one of his visits. Maybe both of you could talk to them and get their insights from their trip.


We are not going. Heck, we go into the District as little as we can.

What motivation causes one to stand and watch a car drive by with someone in it?


I wish I could go but I live on the West coast. And I’m broke. I don’t know why your DW would say it’s not safe. I mean, JPII went many many times to Mexico, and some people say Mexico’s not safe, but I can tell you otherwise.

Pray together about it, tell her about how this is one chance in a lifetime to meet a Pope… hopefully she’ll change her mind.


I’d go!
We considered going, but plans didn’t work out…
Make a weekend trip of it… go visit museums, see the sights… why not? I don’t see a huge safety concern! :shrug:


JP II was the most travelled Pope in history. Only one assasination attempt that I know of, and didn’t it happen in Rome? Ironic…

I would go if I could… your children are more at risk getting driven to school than attending a parade, even one that big. I mean, I can see how it might be a draw for the Islamofascists. They hate America, they hate the Pope, especially this Pope, it’s in our capital… perfect opportunity. But we have been able to stop their attacks on our home turf since 9/11.

Call us crazy, but we visited DC when the snipers were on the loose. It was our only opportunity to go and see the monuments, and especially my DH does not believe in living in fear. Now, just so you don’t think we are complete psychos, we didn’t know about the snipers until we were already there. I don’t think we would have gone if we had known beforehand. The day we left DC was the one when they shut down all the roads looking for that white van that never materialized. They were caught just a couple weeks after we went home, shooting at the same Northern Virginia bus stops where we had been standing. I got a little chill about that, I admit. But even with that going on, we figured our chances of anything actually happening to us were extremely small.

This may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity… try to convince your wife to let you go. I agree that you two should agree on it, but I also think it’s OK to convince her she’s being unreasonable.

As my DH would say, if it’s your time, there’ s nothing you can do about it. If it’s not, there is nothing you can do about that, either.


I’ve been to NYC a few times (my hometown is an hour away) and I live in the District (and will be volunteering at the Papal Mass!!). DC is not bad at all. Yeah, there is a lot of crime in places and you shouldn’t walk alone at 2 AM, but that’s a common sense issue. I’ve walked back home late nights from friends’ apartments and felt fine. Honestly, I worry about crossing the street more than whether or not someone is going to kill me.


Um, you’re only saying that because you live in one of the wealthiest parts of the city. If you lived elsewhere in the city (like anywhere east of 16 St NW), you would feel differently.

My friends and I have observed more crimes and drug busts (and have even been victimized by crime) more times than we can count.

(As I typed this, I looked out the window so I could keep an eye on the drug dealers who like hanging out across the street from my house…)

That being said, crime will be an absolute non-issue for people who come to see the Pope, due to the large crowds and heavy security.


OK, I admit it and take that part back…


Ok, I’m glad that you live in a safe part of the city. :slight_smile:


How does one find out the parade route?


I don’t believe the routes are officially posted yet, but keep checking There is an article there that says there will be opportunity to see Pope Benedict XVI as he goes from site to site. I plan to keep checking that site as the time draws closer.


B/c he’s not just someone…he’s THE POPE! :smiley:

I saw Papa B at WYD in Cologne…awesome.

I’d totally go and bring your kiddos. We were planning on coming up to see some friends and stand along the parade route but it didn’t work out w/ DH work schedules.

This is a chance of a lifetime! The energy of the crowds…the holiness that emanates from the Holy Father…the love your kids will see in the other people waiting to get a glimpse of him…the joy of cheering for their Papa as he goes by…they’ll never forget it!


I know he’s the Pope. But, he’s just a man. A very holy man, but just a man.

There is no way that I would wait around with or without the kids so that when a car goes by I can jump up and down and shout, “I SAW THE POPE. I SAW THE POPE”. How unseemly.

Yes, I would certainly go to the mass at Nationals Park if I had gotten tickets. THAT is the chance of a lifetime.

As Catholics we sometimes tread very closely to creating “cults of personality” where we lose sight of Jesus in favor of one of his creations.

Sorry if my views offend anyone.


I, for one, will take the opportunity to be in proximity of this very holy man.

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