When liberals, or those they like, perform some public act in order garner temporary respect from particular group, the press calls it "a profound symbolic gesture." When a conservative does the same thing, it's called a "callous act of hypocritical pandering." We can't win on the symbolic gesture front. Today on EWTN Radio (that's a Catholic national radio network), a caller recommended that Pope Benedict take the lead in singing popular songs at televised Masses. The caller believes that such symbolism will turn leftists to his favor.
Benedict is not an entertainer; he's an intellectual. Launching "Vatican Idol starring Bennie the 16th" would not "convert" anti-Catholic bigots (who are legion) or anti-Christian leftists. Instead, such nonsense would rightly earn condemnation and ridicule.
Luckily, Benedict won't do it. He is a sincere man of spiritual and intellectual power. He is both an executive and mysticist of the first order. He knows his Bible and what it teaches. He will earn respect and converts by his love and faith, not Clintonesque, staged, phony photo-ops.
Let the whack-jobs own the stage; the meek will inherit the Earth.