Thursday, August 5, 2010

Papal tickets

A few days ago in a Holy Smoke post, Damian Thompson raised the issue of what would happen to the tickets for the Beatification Mass which have already been allocated, but which people, for resaons of frailty and/or age, have begun to turn in. These are loyal Catholics who want to support the H0ly Father and be with him as he celebrates the Mass. These people are beginning to turn in their tickets out of fear they will not be able to manage; they are unclear about how far they will have to walk from the coach dropping off point and what facilities will be in place at the site if they eventually reach if. And that after a journey during the night by arguably the most uncomfortable method of modern travel. So far no individual seems to be complaining about the £25-£30 charge to travel on diocesan/regional coaches, although the imposition of this levy is questionable at the very least. But what is confusing people and putting them off, is the difficulty of getting clear information from anywhere. Damian's concern was that as a result of this there will be many empty places at the eventual Mass. He challenged Chris Patten to sort it out. Personally I don't think it's part of Patten's responsibility to sort it out. The responsibility lies firmly in each Diocesan office. And judging from the Anonymous commenter's report in the combox of an earlier post here, there is at least one diocese that is content to sit back and do nothing. THEY WILL ONLY DO SOMETHING IF INDIVIDUALS PRESS THE ISSUE for themselves.

I am still waiting for news that giant screens will be put up for those who are unable to gain admittance.

Readers will know from my previous posts that I've long hoped for the red hat for Archbishop Nichols. Unfortunately we seem to have two Archbishops of Westminster, the one emeritus and the other actual. Until there is only one, the actual Archbishop cannot be his own man, let alone the Pope's man, whatever he said months ago in his first interview after appointment, about his determination to follow the Holy Father, rather than the British political establishment.. Over recent months he has said and done nothing to convince me of the position he avowed on that occasion. It is perhaps still not too late for the Pope to raise him to the College of Cardinals at the next consistory. But the days grow short as we approach September.

I have always believed that the Pope knows what is going on and cares about it. If a cerain Msgr, as is rumoured, will be made a bishop after this fiasco of the 'organisation' of the Papal visit to UK , even I will think, at the very least, that the Holy Father has been manipulated. Nevertheless I trust him as I trust no other living earthly creature. God help him and God help us all.

In Christo pro Papa

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