It's hard to find a picture of pope ben where he doesn't look like a creepy, boy-raping corpse, so enjoy this one; I think he looks quite dashing, actually.
The occasion, of course is the release of the encyclical by Benedict XVI in which he attacks atheism and calls for a renewed hope in god or something. This sounds like good news to me. The pope and his pals spent months writing this thing that says they believe in god and that atheism is bad. No shit!? The pope is not an atheist? He's not even agnostic? Next we're going to hear that Kirk Cameron is not an evolutionary biologist. The good news is that the "new atheists" are making enough noise that the Vatican feels the need to release an encyclical (I guess it's a big fancy term paper with quotes from saints and everything) to address the apparent interest in atheism in the developed world.
It seems like Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens, et. al are doing a good job. It looks like people are thinking about the issues rationally and refusing to accept some of the insane bronze age mythology that has dominated our thinking for far too long. It appears that the Church is scared. Sweet.