...does the official team appointed by our Bishops to organise the papal events this September think that anyone will benefit by making attendance at these very restricted and telling us we must all stay at home and watch on telly? Latest news is that all events are to be comparatively small in size and ticket-only, and that this is being done for "health and safety" reasons. How ridiculous!
Pope Benedict XVI is visiting Britain. We want to see him and cheer him - we want this to be a community event, to share it all together. It's all wrong - terribly wrong - to tell Catholics to stay privately at home and watch the Pope on TV! It's the exact antithesis of everything that Catholoics believe about community, and being part of a Church, and doing things together.
The Pope isn't a celebrity - he's our Holy Father, and he's coming to our coutry, and we want to be with him at Mass!
We want to be able to get together, and travel in good numbers to the great events, and show our fellow countrymen how much we love and value our Faith, and what its message means for us all...WE DON'T WANT TO SIT AT HOME AND WATCH AS IF THIS WAS A SOAP OPERA!!
As for healthnsafety - good heavens, does this mean that we can never again gather in crowds to cheer the Queen, to celebrate in the Mall on a Royal occasion, to watch fireworks in November, to see in the New Year in Trafalgar Square, or to do any of the great traditional things that we've been doing, in vast numbers, throughout all our lifetimes?
Dear Bishops, you've been had - tell the public authorities that there must be at least one event at which ordinary Catholics can gather to greet and cheer their Holy Father, that the nation employs policemen precisely to ensure that such events run smoothly, that it is not remotely difficult to plan and arrange, and that if the Portugese can arrange such things, the British can.