Pope Benedict: Not a Rock Star?

Back in November, the Vatican revealed its plans to bring Pope Benedict to the United States. We were disappointed the Pontiff decided not to visit Boston on his trip, especially since he elected to give mass at Yankee Stadium instead.

But the big week is nearly here. As we speak, Benedict is packing up his robes and hats for his East Coast visit next week. In advance of his arrival, Cardinal Sean O’Malley tells us that the Vicar of Christ is not a rock star.

The Archbishop’s appeal, which was posted on the group’s website, reminds us that this is a spiritual event, not a Sandra Bullock sighting.

The Holy Father is not a celebrity or a rock star. He is a Shepherd and represents Christ, the Good Shepherd, who commanded Peter: “Feed my Sheep.” Pope Benedict is coming to feed us in our hunger for God and for truth.

. . .Oops. We couldn’t resist calling Benedict’s visit his “North American tour” when his itinerary was announced last year. But it’s kind of hard to avoid those parallels, especially when you read the Herald’s story on the lengths people are going to to see His Holiness.

The Archdiocese of Boston received 3,000 of the 57,000 tickets for the Yankee Stadium Mass, but thousands of the faithful are on the waiting list.

Scarce tickets? That reminds us of when U2 comes to town.

One man posting on craigslist.org is willing to pay $100 for a seat at Nationals Park Thursday in Washington.

Chris Waggett, 16: “It’s something I can look back on and tell my grandkids, ‘I actually went to Mass with the pope.’ It’s something not a lot of people get to do.”

That’s how we felt when we paid $100 for nosebleed seats on the Vertigo tour.

We can understand that Cardinal O’Malley wants his parishioners to take this historic visit seriously. But Pope Benedict is coming to America, where the culture reveres celebrity. We’ve already got our lighters out.