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...