Despite not being a Catholic myself, I am happy to see the Pope visiting our country, as I know how much joy this brings to the Catholic community. Yes, the Pope is officially considered a 'head of state' as the Vatican enjoys the status of a sovereign power (granted to it through a treaty in 1929). The reality, however, is that the Vatican has less than 1,000 citizens and occupies a space of just 110 acres. Even if it is technically considered a sovereign country by international law, based on its size and population it hardly justifies the money U.S. taxpayers are shelling out for this visit. Protestant leaders get no such treatment, or can you remind me of the last time Billy Graham was given a parade in a major city in the U.S.?
What took the cake for me was reading this morning that the U.S. Secret Service paid $15 million dollars to rent bicycle racks to be used as barricades for security. I guess I need to go into the bike rack rental business... My view is that these kinds of expenses should be paid for with private donations. This Pope is all against capitalism and financial superpowers, but seems just fine letting U.S. taxpayers foot the bill. If it was $15 million for just the bike rack rentals, I don't even want to know what the total tab is here.
Helping you make the most of God's money!