Saturday, September 4, 2010

Pope Benedict's Trip to the UK - Weekly Roundup 8/29-9/04

News Commentary
  • John Allen Jr. (National Catholic Reporter) asks Four questions about the pope's trip to the UK:
    1. Is this the most challenging trip of Benedict's papacy?

    2. Overall, what do you expect?

    3. Will the sex abuse crisis overshadow the trip?

    4. What's Benedict's agenda for the trip?

    In the spirit of feeding the media beast, I'll present my answers to the four most common questions I've received about the trip. By no means does this add up to a comprehensive analysis of the most important points. Instead, it's a window into the questions reporters are asking, which may preview themes likely to loom large in media coverage.

    Read his insightful column.

  • The Pope, the Church and the visit – what Britons really think - The Tablet posts the results of an exclusive poll. The results?
    ... the Catholic Church in Britain has so far failed to generate interest in the papal visit among the population at large. Two-thirds of respondents neither support nor oppose the visit even though they firmly acknowledge their Christian heritage and believe that religion is a force for good. Nor have the campaigning opponents to the visit won them over. And with thousands of places still not allocated for the three major gatherings in Scotland and England, it would appear the Church has also been unable to excite the vast majority of the British people about the opportunities to see the Pope in person. Despite that, one in 10 of all those interviewed said they would be likely to attend a papal public event.
    The statistics, however, were based "on face-to-face interviews with 996 British people over the age of 15." Which you have to admit is a pretty small sampling of "the population at large."

    Meanwhile, an online poll of 2,005 adults for public theology think tank Theos found that 77 percent did not agree that the taxpayer should contribute towards the September 16-19 state visit (AFP, September 3, 2010).

    Archbishop Vincent Nichols, on the other hand, asserted this week that the Masses for the papal visit will be “pretty well packed” (The Catholic Herald September 3, 2010).

  • Paul Donovan (The Guardian) wonders: Is Pope Benedict's media team up to the challenge?:
    The consistent strand that runs through 10 years of changes in official Catholic communications is a lack of people involved who have worked as journalists. The approach of the Catholic Communications Network (CCN) has been, on the whole, professional but reactive. It never seeks to set the agenda.
  • Peter Stanford, former editor of the Catholic Herald, examines the rising tide of criticism of Pope Benedict XVI leading up to his visit -- and the alleged reluctance of Catholics to confront his attackers (The Guardian, August 29, 2010). "To stand up publicly and be counted as a Catholic in Britain right now can be to invite a tirade."

  • "One profoundly important aspect of the Pope’s visit, one nevertheless hardly spoken of yet, is that for its central event, the beatification Mass, texts from the resonant and accurate new English translation of the Mass will be used for the first time." So, muses The Catholic Herald's William Oddie, "Why have our bishops done nothing to prepare us for the new Mass translation?"

  • "Britain can benefit from Benedict", asserts George Weigel (Standpoint Magazine. September 1, 2010):
    The man who comes to Britain as the 264th successor of St Peter is many things. Britons who rely on media imagery to form their impressions of public personalities will find some of those things surprising. Those who expect to meet "God's Rottweiler" (as his theological enemies caricatured Cardinal Ratzinger decades ago) will find instead a shy, soft-spoken man of exquisite manners. Those determined to portray Pope Benedict as the central figure in a global criminal conspiracy of child-rapers and their abettors will, it may be hoped, discover the man who did more than anyone else in the Roman Curia to compel the Church to face what he once called the "filth" marring the priesthood. Those looking for a hidebound clerical enforcer will meet instead a man of deep faith, a gentle pastor who has met, wept with, and apologised to the abused victims of his brother priests and bishops.

    Joseph Ratzinger is also a man of ideas: a world-class European intellectual with an intriguing analysis of contemporary Europe's present circumstances and bold proposals to make about Europe's future. During the Pope's visit to Britain, those who ignore those proposals because of their fixation on scandal are depriving themselves of an opportunity to think seriously about the moral and cultural condition of the West - and indulging that intellectual anorexia at a moment when the West's future seems anything but secure demographically, economically, fiscally, strategically or morally. ... [more].

No comments:

Post a Comment