Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Admission By Ticket Only...?

I was quite amazed to hear that the powers-that-be are attempting to restrict the numbers of people attending events during the Papal visit.

Auntie Joanna and Bara Brith summarise the feelings of ordinary Catholics quite well, and Damian Thompson has given some of the background information which might explain what's going on.

I can understand the need to have tickets for events in enclosed spaces, such as the Mass at Westminster Cathedral. I do not understand why people are being discouraged from attending open-air events.

I personally hate large crowds, and my knee and ankle problems make my attendance at such events tricky, especially if it is necessary to walk long distances. However, I am busy reflecting on whether it will be possible for me to go and line the route somewhere...

I remember the effect that the visit of Pope John Paul II had on my father...

I was 14, and had only been baptised a couple of years, and wasn't entirely sure what "being Catholic" meant. My father had been lapsed for so long that, on trying to arrange for the baptism of my sister and me, he had returned after Mass absolutely apoplectic at the fact that "it had all turned ****** protestant!" - something I didn't understand at the time. I now realise that he'd completely missed the introduction of the novus ordo, and its contrast with the usus antiquior must have come as quite a shock.

At the time Pope John Paul II visited Westminster Cathedral, my father was helping to re-fit and refurbish the Reubens Hotel, Buckingham Palace Road. He came home that evening, and, with tears in his eyes, he recounted to me how he'd stood at the front windows of the hotel and waved as the Holy Father went past... and how the Holy Father had appeared to catch his eye as he waved back.

I know that this experience had a profound effect on my father, although I never got the chance to ask him about it - he died less than three months later.

He'd never have managed (or even tried) to get a ticket...

7 comments:

pattif said...

Exactly. The fruits that can reasonably be expected from a Papal visit are: 1) increased interest from non-Catholics (how are we to welcome enqirers if entrance is to be restricted to those already known to the organisers - is there to be no place for the curious?) 2)reawakening of interest amongst those not currently pracitising their faith (is this not to be an opportunity to welcome back the lapsed? If not, why not?) 3) strengthening of the faith ordinary Catholics (if events such as Hyde Park are restricted to 'young Catholics', what about the middle-aged-and-marginalised?).

This visit will be an opportunity of grace; it is hard to believe that the Lord will look kindly on our refusal to work to realise its fruits.

gemoftheocean said...

Awful....

Another blogger had been telling me about it and he'd been incensed. Rightly so.

It's like the same govt. duffuses who had the "brilliant" planning ideas of events for the pope like "hand out condoms" etc. tried to make things as restrictive as possible. What's the POINT of going to the UK if he may as well "dial it in" via jumbotron screen. He may as well stay at the Vatican. It would be not unakin to having the royal family not do balcony appearances, or walk abouts etc. What's the point?

I gather TPTB are bitching "well, it's a state visit" yadayada...but why does the whole thing have to be considered that way? Do a short "state visit" and after that the Holy Father should tell TPTB to go bleep themselves, that HE is going to see HIS people on a pastoral visit!

I mean, come on....how can they bitch about "security" it's a red herring. If the US with zillions of guns can manage to protect the pope and let him go in High profile huge stadiums like Yankee stadium and outdoor masses, why can't the duffuses on your end manage similar given that they've gun grabbed everything? Please.

Et Expecto said...

What disturbs me is not so much that a ticket is required, but the number of tickets is to be so limited. It seem that there will only be tickets for about one in five of those who would like to attend.

What perhaps disturbs me even more is that "health and safety" are being blamed. We all know that something phoney is going on when these words are used!

Fr said...

I wonder how many other parish priests thought of mentioning to the faithful the limited possibility of being able to attend any of these Papal events before the special second collection was taken on Sunday....

I also (very uncharitably, I admit) wonder how the generosity of the 'big' donors towards the visit (£3 million, was it?) will be rewarded when it comes to dishing out the invitations.

The official Papal Visit website contains some hints of what's what in interviews with 'St Shinypants' very own former chief mandarin - Prelate of Honour of His Holiness A Summersgill.

Dymphna said...

I think this might be the way things are done. When the Holy Father came to DC we had tickets and the amount was limited. My parish distributed them by lottery.

Mac McLernon said...

Yes, but Dymphna - each parish has been given ONE ticket, and people are being encouraged to stay at home!!!

Autumn said...

Well I'm going to London on the 19th, ticket or no ticket!! Saving up the train fare now (it's a long way!) :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...