Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Have no fear! Pope shows the way for Religious Leaders in Britain and elsewhere...

HT to Adam for this link to a Daily Mail article in Britain:
But who can doubt that the Pope’s central theme deserves a hearing in a society increasingly devoted to instant self-gratification?

Britain is a country riven by family breakdown and moving ever closer towards ‘mercy killing’ for the sick and elderly. It’s a nation in which the destruction of unborn human lives is routine — and anti-abortion protesters have been thrown behind bars for holding a banner depicting an aborted foetus.

In the name of ‘multiculturalism’, Christian nurses have been ordered not to pray for their patients, a BA worker has been disciplined for wearing a small crucifix and public authorities have shied away from celebrating Christmas.

Doesn’t the Pope make a timely point when he warns against the march of ‘aggressive secularism’?

Other church leaders should draw courage from the success of his visit.

There’s a hunger in this country for a spiritual dimension in public life — and they should stop being afraid to feed it.
As they say in the classics, there's something in that for all of us!

Not that every one in Britain was happy with this vocal demonstration of "Affirmative Catholicism" (as John Allen likes to call Benedict's own particular idiom). In this report, Allen describes what he calls "the largest public protest Benedict XVI has ever faced on one of his foreign trips, and one of the largest protests against a pope in modern history".

Maybe that in itself is a guage of his effectiveness. Whoever heard of such protests aimed against any other prelate in today's Church (or Churches)?

Perhaps with an eye to the protesters, Benedict himself said
“In our own time, the price to be paid for fidelity to the Gospel is no longer being hanged, drawn and quartered,” the pope said, “but it often involves being dismissed out of hand, ridiculed or parodied."
Allen goes on to say that
Benedict argued that Newman’s life and example confirms that “the Church cannot withdraw from the task of proclaiming Christ and his Gospel as saving truth, the source of our ultimate happiness as individuals and as the foundation of a just and humane society."


At Tuesday, September 21, 2010 6:30:00 am , Anonymous adam said...

Post visit observations from London:
Monday 20 sept.
The pope has left Britain and now there is commentary on the effect of the visit here. The BBC is screening a one hr doc tonight on the effect of the visit (very quick indeed to respond).

But this morning on a BBC radio talk back radio show, an avowed atheist called in and was asked his views on the pope. The man,cooly and calmy said he was an atheist, but decided to hear what the pope had to say in person on the tv. He said he wanted to get a view of the man without media interference. And, yes, he had changed his mind about the pope and believed now that he (the pope) had some very relevant things to say about life etc. He had CHANGED HIS MIND.

I think this shows the power of the personal visit. So many people have perceptions formed by a very critical media (TV and papers) that are formed by very atheist-leaning voices. The people do not normally read about the pope, let alone see him in Rome or what he does. The vatican paper does not have the widest circulation on the planet and radio vaticana is not on everyone's iPod.

But the scenes in Scotland and England when the pope was in the streets was amazing. Whispers in the Loggia blog today has a great shot of the pmobile (the catholis Mr Whippy) along the great Mall in London showing: the huge flag drapped poles with the Holy See flag alongside that of the UK. But it is the 10 deep crowds of people looking at the pope and runnning alongside as they sought to view him, waving and smiling. How much a smile can change peoples' perceptions.

For years BXVI has been called the Rottwwiller. But by whom and why? He has been pope for 5 years now and this charge is falacious and totally misleading. But many in the media still hurl it around. The people are not fooled and the young, ever searching for love and meaning, were there in their 1000s to see and hear the pope.

John XXIII was in his 80s, Benedict is in his 80s - both men have made their impact on a celeb world in their own ways, as gentle, old men but wise and holy. Mandela was in his 80s and has had great impact. The Dalai lama is in his 70s and commands huge crowds. M Teresa was in her 80s when she had probably her greatest impact and still touching the poor and unloved.

One atheist can change his mind on the pope because he listened to him and heard. Probably just what many men and women did by the sea of Galillee and across palestine when Jesus walked among them 2000 years ago. No cars, no trains, no security to fend off the wild crowds. Just the Lord walking and walking and being with his disciples who decided to follow him. A call to each individual made then and now - that is the power of the great Teaching Pope, Benedict XVI

ps and the mayor of London did not charge the popemobile the £8 congestion charge!!

At Tuesday, September 21, 2010 2:55:00 pm , Anonymous adam said...

not just unfortunate - horrific. When you think that Christianity was brought to Britain by Augustine 900 years before the reformation. All the great cathedrals, West Abbey and York and Canterbury were Catholic creations for centuries before Henry VIII took them over and ruthlessly laid plunder to the monasteries. He must have turned 500 times in his grave at St George's chapel, Windsor when the pope was in Britain these last 4 days. Certainly Elizabeth I would have spiralled in her tomb only metres from the venerated tomb of Edward the Confessor before which BXVI prayed on his knees. If she only knew was destruction was brought upon the faith Augustine and Gregory brought and for which More and Fisher gave their lives.

At Tuesday, September 21, 2010 3:35:00 pm , Anonymous Christine said...

would called back to Rome.

er, make that "were" called back to Rome.

At Tuesday, September 21, 2010 3:35:00 pm , Anonymous Christine said...

not just unfortunate – horrific.

I would agree, Adam. Because of the many conflicts in Germany et al. during the Reformation I think the vibrancy of English Catholicisim is one of the world's best kept secrets. No wonder Henry's "reforms" were not welcomed.

I was fascinated to hear a comment during the papal coverage that Catholicism may be even older in Britian than was previously thought, having been brought by Roman Christians even before the legions would called back to Rome.

He must have turned 500 times in his grave at St George’s chapel, Windsor when the pope was in Britain these last 4 days.

That thought occurred to me as well :)

At Thursday, September 23, 2010 9:24:00 am , Anonymous Louise said...


At Thursday, September 23, 2010 9:29:00 am , Anonymous Louise said...

Lord, I love this pope!


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