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Bishop Conry: Benedict XVI’s visit to Britain boosted his popularity

By on Thursday, 10 February 2011

Benedict XVI waves as he leaves Oscott College in Birmingham (Photo: PA)

Benedict XVI waves as he leaves Oscott College in Birmingham (Photo: PA)

Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton has said there is a “50 per cent increase in favourability towards the Pope” following his visit to Britain last year.

Speaking to the Zenit news agency in Rome, he said that nearly six months after the papal visit “people within our parishes are still talking about it and the outpouring of grace that was witnessed”.

The bishop, who is chairman of the bishops’ conference Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis, said the visit renewed the “joy and confidence” of Catholics and also “reawakened spirituality in many people’s lives, whatever their creed or background”.

More than one in three people, he said, expressed the belief that the Pope’s visit was “good for Britain”.

“The papal visit provided us with an unprecedented opportunity to present to everyone the face of contemporary Catholicism in England and Wales, and it was in the main very positively received,” the bishop said.

He also talked about the setting up of the Pontifical Council for New Evangelisation, which underlines “the importance of communicating with [British] culture”.

“We are challenged to engage afresh with a country which has an ancient Christian culture,” Bishop Conry said.
”In recent years this culture has faded significantly. Cardinal Godfried Danneels expressed it, in relation to Europe as a whole, as ‘a deforestation of the Christian memory.’ It’s our task to re-seed this fertile soil.”

The bishop’s comments follow the launch of a papal visit legacy initiative by the Home Mission Desk of the bishops’ conference.

The initiative, called “Some Definite Purpose”, sets out a timeline of events to make the most of Benedict XVI’s visit.

It suggests that Eucharistic processions could be held as near to the feast of Corpus Christi as possible, and that parishes celebrate a “Little Way week” in October, following the footsteps of St Thérèse of Lisieux.

  • LeFloch

    It all sounds very vague to me. 50% of what statistical sample? One in three of what type of person? Practising Catholics? The population as a whole? When was the survey carried out? Has this new ‘popularity’ of the Holy Father translated into anything concrete, such as increased Mass attendance? Do these newly ‘favourable’ people now support Catholic positions on Social questions? As for reawakening ‘spiwituality’………… give me strength!

  • Anonymous

    We are challenged to engage afresh with a country which has an ancient Christian culture,” Bishop Conry said.
”In recent years this culture has faded significantly. Cardinal Godfried Danneels expressed it, in relation to Europe as a whole, as ‘a deforestation of the Christian memory.’ It’s our task to re-seed this fertile soil.

    Could this fading being attributed to the Second Vatican Council and its fruits?

    In It’s our task to re-seed this fertile soil. are we seeing an admission that the Second Vatican Council is indeed the culprit and that the good Cardinal is about to launch a crusade in support of the long-overdue return to Tradition?

    Let us pray that such is the case.

  • Kyriakos

    I don’t think so.This fading has been caused by the ‘hermenuetic of dissent and discontinuity guys’ ie.by the liberals who whom the majority and the ultra-orthodox like SSPX guys

    Let us pray that such is the case.

  • Basil Loft@ss

    “We are challenged to engage afresh with a country which has an ancient Christian culture,” Bishop Conry said.
”In recent years this culture has faded significantly.”

    In stark contrast, this priest’s career has prospered – is there a connection? Incidentally, I saw this man a week after the visit, walking down my local High Street, in his “civies”. Is this the strategy of “fresh engagement” to which he refers?

  • Linen on the Hedgerow

    What a truly perspicacious man + Conry is. Pope Benedict now more popular after his visit than before? Who would have guessed?

  • Anonymous

    The “ultra-orthodox” tag you give to the SSPX is inaccurate. The SSPX upholds Tradition as practised by the Roman Catholic Church since its earliest days. Prior to the introduction into the Church of the scourge of Modernism, there was no fading. Seminaries were full, pews were full, and the Church was still going from strength to strength, with a strong inflow of converts.

    The SSPX did not exist in those days, and it is merely striving to maintain the situation as it was at that time. Its aims have not varied from what the practice was then, and so it can hardly be accused of being responsible for the fading that we have seen in the past 40 or so years.

    Plainly, that must be down to the Liberals and their Modernist ideas.