Assessing the new pope: that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger is now Pope Benedict XVI (search). He's a very conservative cleric, a close friend of John Paul II, is the former archbishop of Munich, where he was known as the "Panzer Cardinal" because he's one tough guy.

The new pope has not been a big fan of the USA in the past. He opined that the U.N. was the only authority that could legitimately remove Saddam Hussein (search). He saw the priest pedophilia scandal as being driven by the American press. And he generally feels that the USA embraces a culture of death.

Now why should you care if you're not Catholic? Well, unfortunately, we Americans are all targets. And we're not getting much help throughout the world. Islamic terrorists want to kill us, as you know. And few countries care. Great Britain, Australia, Poland, Italy, and a few others have been good friends, but generally speaking, the world is apathetic.

Some countries like France and Spain actively work against us. The Holy See has tremendous influence in the world. And if it would actively condemn Al Qaeda (search) and other terror groups, that could only help the USA.

Remember, in much of the world, we're the bad guys, not the Muslim killers. Pope Benedict is 78-years-old, which means he was a teenager during the Third Reich (search). He knows about the evils of fascism first hand. If he were to take an active interest in defeating global terrorism, the world would be a much safer place.

Sadly, I don't see this happening. I believe the new pope will pretty much continue the policies of John Paul that the Catholic Church will stand pat.

"Talking Points" expects the American media to go after the new pope because he is conservative. And that will confirm his opinion that we're all a bunch of godless secularists over here.

Remember, it is the American Civil Liberties Union (search) which is now behind all abortion on demand, euthanasia, and coming soon perhaps infanticide for impaired babies.

What do you think the Vatican thinks when it reads about the American Civil Liberties Union opposing parental consent for minors getting abortions? How about all those ACLU attacks on Christmas? --That must go over real well in Rome.

America, of course, is much more than the ACLU, but our image is being defined by the media, much of which is in sync with that radical group.

I hope and pray that the new pope will look beyond that and embrace the USA, which without a doubt, remains the world's best hope for freedom.

And that's "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time now for "Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"...

Because we do the "Radio Factor" at noon and the TV "Factor" at night, I don't have time to do many personal appearances anymore. --I can't even do book signings.

But the Thomas More Law Center, --the anti-ACLU-- has asked me to do a couple of lectures next November on a ship sailing the Caribbean. Now, I'm thinking about it if the interest is there. So if you are interested in checking the possibility out, please go to billoreilly.com for information.

If those lectures happen on the ship, there is one rule, however. No throwing me overboard. That would be ridiculous.

I am taking a risk here if I get on a ship!

I—You can watch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com