I suspect that British security has told the Catholic leadership that it will only be possible to guarantee the safety of the Holy Father and the Catholics who have the nerve to attend the venues on the proposed itinerary, if numbers are contained, and the restrictive, if not draconian methods of limitation are put in place. Some time ago, I hinted that although this may not have been the intention of the Conference, it may perhaps suit their agenda. All they need to do is keep stum and let the wagons roll. I fervently wish to be wrong about this.
Furthermore, I think there has been an argument as far as the costs are concerened and the Catholic leadership has lost it. I leave it to you to decide how hard they fought. But:
Catholic leadership: 'Your guy Brown, invited him. You should pay.'
C.L: OK well, we won't either, because we can't afford it anyway.'
As it is, we are being told that there will be no facilities at the Beatification site: no seating and a walk of a mile from the coach dropping off point (for many people) after a journey through the night to get within that distance. Not only that, but the people will be penned in for hours on either side of the Mass.
So far there has been no mention of giant screens being put up, as they normally are in places where the Holy Father goes that cannot accommodate the large numbers wishing to be present.
Never mind, it will all be all right, so we are told by Chris Patten, and I am informed, by Archbishop Nichols, although I have been unable to find the latter's most recent interview on Vatican Radio.
Hey-hoh! Tomorrow is another day.
I have a very precious video of our Holy Father laughing. Listening to that sweet sound will help me sleep tonight and I will post it here at the next oppportunity.
In the meantime, the Holy Rosary.......
God bless all here.
In Christo pro Papa