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Debate: Is Catholic indifference the greatest threat to the Pope’s visit?

The media, certainly, are not indifferent to the Pope’s trip. But are the faithful?

By on Friday, 27 August 2010

Will the crowds stay away for the papal visit? (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Will the crowds stay away for the papal visit? (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Francis Campbell, the British Ambassador to the Holy See, spoke to the US Catholic News Service this week about the Pope’s trip. Talking about hostility in the media, he mentioned that he preferred antagonism to indifference, “because it means you’re relevant”.

The media, certainly, are not indifferent to the Pope’s trip. But are Catholics? Rumours suggest that the Mass at Cofton Park and the vigil in Hyde Park are actually undersubscribed, and that the Church is struggling to fill the space.

Some say a lack of interest was spread by the papal visit organisers when they announced that not everyone could see the Pope and that most people would have to watch him on television. Others argue that Pope Benedict XVI is not as popular among English Catholics as John Paul II was.

Still others add that Cardinal Newman does not have a broad appeal among Catholics; he is known as a brilliant writer, but few people have read his books.

On the other hand, when Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Britain, his goodness and gentleness will be evident for all to see. Many Catholics love Pope Benedict, and their voice certainly has not been heard in the run-up to his visit.

So, is Catholic indifference the greatest threat to the Pope’s visit?

  • Anneg

    What has the Pope's visit got to do with non-catholics? The Queen has made TWO state visits to the Vatican. Was she asked to pay for it? No!

  • Mwells66

    The media backlash has spread to the workplace, I am tired of my “informed” collegues forcing the opinion down the throats of anyone who will listen. The same collegues who have never had an opinion the Catholic religion before are now experts on the handling of the abuse cases and the Vatican in general. Now that Stephen Fry has reared his head again he has to be paraphrased on every discussion. Do people of other faiths or athiests not realise that the funding from the tax payer for this visit is not just from the non-catholic part of the country. Catholics work and pay tax so Catholics are funding this visit. I would also like to know why the Vatican is fair game for anyone who wants to have a pop when other religions are taboo.

  • Polar Bear

    Like south Amercica the people are actually reading the bible and seeing the docterins of the church are false.In fact by denouncing purgatary are the church themselves not seeing the docterins are fals

  • Polar.

    I think you will find the church of Rome and the pope have very little '' moral authority '' , hence the reason no one is acruually interested. When you consider the church has come out and said that purgatary was one big lie that we used to extort millions of paounds from the poor no wonder people who can NOW read the bible from themselves are no longer interested…Just look at Latin Amercia the biggest evacuation fom the the church of Rome…People can read now , people can see the lying tradition of man now.

  • Mojo

    Well said.  If anything we are all children of the same God and should do our best to mimic his image.