Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Pope's Upcoming Visit To U.S. Generates Church-State Concerns

With Pope Francis' visit to the United States now less than a month away (see prior posting), church-state questions are beginning to surface as they have with all recent Papal visits to the U.S.  Americans United announced Monday that it had sent a letter (full text) to officials in the cities the Pope will be visiting--Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C.-- as well as to federal officials expressing Establishment Clause concerns.  Citing reported extensive hosting plans by Philadelphia, the letter cautions:
government bodies must not provide any aid to a Pope’s religious activities that goes beyond the provision of services — such as police, safety, and security — that are regularly given for comparable public events of a similar size.