A Crossroad for the Catholic Church (washingtonpost.com)
Many thanks to National Review Online's The Corner for bringing this article to light.
George Weigel presents the three most pressing issues to the Catholic Church one Pope John Paul II dies. It's not abortion, nor gay clergy, nor any of the issues that Americans consider to be important Catholic issues. As Mr. Weigel points out, those issues have already been settled by doctrine. Any reference to them would be done strictly as political issues, not religious. Instead, the crisis of faith in Western Europe, the need to face Islam and its radical sects, and reconciling biotechnology with Chruch teachings are going to be the issues; the future Pontiff must attend to them.
The Catholic Church in the United States is not the only group with issues it considers germane to the selection of a new Pope, and American Catholics need to understand this. We can solve our own local problems and at the same time lend support to the international agenda of the Roman Catholic Church. This is not just a policy of being a good member of the flock, it is an ideal that is prefectly suited for Americans.