Monday, July 5, 2010

Are the British Worried?

That's all I can surmise from Rocco's recent post. He relates that one of England's most "prominent gay rights activists," Peter Tatchell, has been commissioned by the BBC to produce a "documentary" showing what a trial of the pope for covering up sex abuse by priests would be like.  This is meant to coincide with the Holy Father's visit to England in September.  Of course, Mr. Tatchell declares that it will not be anti-catholic.  He also declared that he would like to stop the papal mass and float condoms over the cathedral. 

What with the meltdown of the Anglican church, the breakdown in morals in the U.K. and the strengthening of the Catholic faith, one can only imagine that there is unease among the old guard and the avant garde about the impact the pope will make.  Joanna Bogle has been reporting that the bureaucracy in England has been making it very difficult for the faithful to see the pope on this visit.  There seems to be some intentional downplaying of the trip, including assigning sites for papal events that will not accommodate large crowds.  As Mrs. Bogle writes:
We understand that the Church in our country is at a stage that could use a boost to morale, and a papal visit would provide just that. Mass attendance figures here in Britain have risen, not fallen, in recent months -- if anything, the media headlines focusing on scandals seem to have given Catholics a renewed sense of the things that really matter, rather than making them reject the Church because of the sins of a few priests. There is an increasing recognition of tensions between government policies -- on sex education, on care of the dying, on marriage -- and the stance of the Church. Catholics feel a need to draw together. This is an excellent moment for a papal visit, and the mood is increasingly ripe for it to work well.
Of course, we know who is behind all of these attempts to put obstacles in the way of this papal visit.  But, it seems clear that there is a mighty energy in Catholic parishes and groups in England that will be envigorated by the Holy Father's visit.

So, let those who would tear down the faith rant and rage; their works will be for naught.  God willing, they too will be touched by this visit and a great reawakening of the faith may be ignited in this land that tore the Church apart 500 years ago.

St. George ora pro nobis.

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