Thursday, June 03, 2010

For weeks...

...we have been praying (and worrying) about the Pope's visit to Britain. Bad signs when the committe in charge of things at the episcopal level seemed to be telling us to stay at home and watch it on our computers.

Worse news when rumors began to spread about the possible downscaling of the Mass and beatification of John Henry Newman. Today's Daily Telegraph now reports the apparent lack of any great event in London - it seems that Hyde Park has not been booked for a young people's prayer vigil after all...

Dear Bishops: we know you were effectively jumped into this by the previous Prime Minister, who thought a Papal visit would enhance his own prestige and/or electoral chances. But that's history.Stop panicking, and rise to the moment! This is your opportunity to be part of something large and great for the whole community. Give us a chance to be with our Pope, and cheer him to the echo, and be at Mass with him, and pray and sing with him, and you will find that you can draw great good out of what has begun so poorly...stop messing about, stop trying to do the impossible and run a Papal visit on half-measures. Organise a great - I mean great - event and encourage people to turn up in huge numbers. Tell us where we can see the Holy Father when he is in London. Get Hyde Park (or, better, a rather larger venue) organised for a young people's gathering, and urge the young to come, bring candles, a bit of food to share, suitable clothes, and their friends.

I remember that there were those who, before and even during World Youth Day in Sydney, were wishing the event ill:"World Youth Day Lives up to its sordid reputation" ran one nasty such attempt...there are those who hate joy and optimism in the Church, who don't want to echo John Paul's call that we be not afraid, who don't want the world to see that, as Papa Benedict has said "The Church is alive, and the Church is young!"

There is much goodwill, courage and faith in the Church in Britain. This can be mobilised to make this Papal visit work. BUt we need energy and commitment from our Bishops, and we need it now...

10 comments:

Patricius said...

Well said!

pattif said...

And what about an event for the middle-aged and marginalised?

Seán Wright said...

Much as I agree with this - do the bishops read your blog? Or have you emailed or posted this to them? I agree totally.

Theresa said...

Hear hear..

Al said...

The more I read of what is (not) being done over there for Papa Benedetto's visit the more puzzled I am by the Bishops actions.

This is a pastoral visit. & the Bishops seem to be hell-bent on keeping the head pastor from his flock. What are they thinking? Are they afraid of what he stands for or what??

I remember the joy of being able to attend Mass on 4 Oct 1979 here in Iowa with Pope John Paul. Why are they denying this joy & blessing to Catholics across the pond???

Anonymous said...

To the Bishops in Britain, be a light to the world, be salt and be courageous. It isn't just the U.K. that needs your example, the rest of the Catholic world and Christendom as a whole need you to rise up and make the Holy Father's visit a victory march into London.

Rusticus said...

Bravo, Mrs B!

Now, Bishops, let's hear from you.....

Fr John Abberton said...

I agree with Patricius. Well said indeed!

G said...

oh joanna,
I am SO glad to see this post. I've been telling my Cath friends (here in the deep South, USA) for weeks to pray for the Pope's trip to England & they give me this blank look. BUT I've been led in prayer several times to really put some effort behind this because alot is at stake. Not for B16 but for your poor country...Our Lady's Dowry!
I wonder if EWTN would consider running a short spot periodically this summer for this intention??? Something needs to be done & they have such a bullypulpit!

Anne said...

The Bishops need to be trusted stewards of our money, if they can't be bothered to do this then we will boycott...not a penny from us if we can't welcome the Holy Father on our home soil.

If my husband and I can't see the Holy Father, then we'll all get a cheap flight to Rome, and book a ticket for a Wednesday audience! An uplifting experience without the worry and hassle free.

Would anyone like to join us?