About 13 hours ago, it was wheels-up for Pope Francis, following a packed schedule of events in Washington, DC, New York and Philadelphia, that included an historic speech before a joint session of the US Congress, an address to the largest group of world leaders ever assembled in one place at the United Nations, a controversial canonization Mass, visits to a prison and a homeless shelter, and huge adoring crowds witnessing every public step he took. This morning: a conversation about the Pope’s American sojourn with a Catholic scholar, a Jewish academic and blogger, and a Muslim radio host and professor of Communications.
John Gehring is a native Baltimorean who is the Catholic program director at Faith in Public Life, an advocacy group in Washington. He’s also the author of a new book called The Francis Effect: A Radical Pope’s Challenge to the American Catholic Church. He joins me in the studio.
Mark Silk, founding director of the Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity, where he is also Professor of Religion in Public Life also joins us. He writes the blog "Spiritual Politics" as a contributing editor at the Religion News Service and he’s chair of the editorial advisory board of the Connecticut Jewish Ledger.
And joining us on the phone from her home in Silver Spring is Sahar Khamis, an Associate Professor of Communication at the University of MD, who hosts a radio show on U.S. Arab Radio, the first Arab-American radio station broadcasting in North America.