Transcript of the Holy Father’s presser on the airplane

The transcript of the presser with the Holy Father aboard the airplane en route to Australia has been released, so far in the original language of the questions (Italian and English).

Now you can see who asked which questions.

Lucio Brunelli, of RAI asked about the main message the Holy Father wanted to give at WYD.

Paul John Kelly, of The Australian asked (In English) about secularism and overcoming religious indiffernce.

Auskar Surbakti of SBS, Australian television, asked (in English) about victims of sexual abuse by clergy.

Martine Nouaille, dell’Agence France Presse asked about climate change.

Cindy Wooden of Catholic News Service asked about the Anglicans.

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20 Responses to Transcript of the Holy Father’s presser on the airplane

  1. Jack Regan says:

    One thing that confuses me about this WYD is this:

    Philippines 1995 – 5 million people
    Rome 2000 – 2 million
    Toronto 2002 – 850,000
    Koln 2005 – 1 million

    But…

    Sydney 2008 – expected: 400,000

    WHY THE BIG DROP??

  2. Gregory says:

    It’s much more expensive to fly to Australia than to Europe, at least from the United States. I went to Koln but absolutely could not afford to make it to Sydney.

  3. Jack Regan says:

    Yeah, but it’s a global event, so what’s good difficult for one region should be easy for another. WYD is not dominated by the Western world. After all, look at the Philippines in 1995. Very expensive to fly to, yet it became the largest Christian gathering ever! Ditto Buenos Aries – very hard to get to from Europe, but still got 1 million.

    No, I don’t think location is the thing.

    I wonder what the factor is??

  4. TJB says:

    Father, the Holy Father does not seem very confident in his english. The only times I have actually heard him speak it he has been reading. Is it one of his weaker languages? Have you ever conversed with him in English or was it always Italian?

  5. Jack Regan says:

    Yeah, but it’s a global event, so what’s good difficult for one region should be easy for another. WYD is not dominated by the Western world. After all, look at the Philippines in 1995. Very expensive to fly to, yet it became the largest Christian gathering ever! Ditto Buenos Aries – very hard to get to from Europe, but still got 1 million.

    No, I don’t think location is the thing.

    I wonder what the factor is??

  6. Jack Regan says:

    oops… double posted! That’s what happens when your browser freaks out and goes randomly back and forth.

    Flock… it’s too complicated:)

  7. Pierre Hountet says:

    Jack,
    I think the location makes a difference, since Australia is sparsely populated AND is far from any country with a large population. However, I also think that these types of events are really associated with a John Paul II era mentality which is clearly gone now. I wonder if the Holy Father really enjoys these huge gatherings. In fact, I believe we have all reasons to think it does not.

    Another aspect: Australian catholicism is in complete shambles.

  8. Pierre Hountet says:

    … my apologies… please read “he does not” (instead of “it does not”)…

  9. Maureen says:

    It’s not all about numbers, though. The Pope is evangelizing Australia and New Zealand. If people come, that’s nice. But if you have a pulpit on TV for days and days, that could be even more fruitful for the folks at home who never would have thought of coming, than it is for the folks who come.

  10. Rose says:

    What do you think the factor is, Jack?

  11. Rose says:

    What do you think is the factor, Jack?

  12. Lady Lauren says:

    TJB,

    Being in D.C. when the Holy Father was here, and paying attention to televised events it does appear that Pope Benedict’s English is not his strongest language. I found it rather cute at the ends of events when he would break off into some things that were obviously not in the script–his language was much more halting and the English constructions not quite right, but it made those comments that much more earnest! The thank-you comments at the ends of all of the Masses come to mind. This is not conveyed in the transcripts, though–his grammar was cleaned up, there! You’d have to go back to Youtube to see it. :)

  13. Dove says:

    It may be that he does not get many opportunities to speak extemporaneously in English. A few years ago before he became Pope he was interviewed by Raymond Arroyo for EWTN and his English was excellent. English is a difficult language (except for us).

  14. Jack Regan says:

    Pierre: I think the location makes a difference, since Australia is sparsely populated AND is far from any country with a large population. However, I also think that these types of events are really associated with a John Paul II era mentality which is clearly gone now. I wonder if the Holy Father really enjoys these huge gatherings. In fact, I believe we have all reasons to think it does not.

    Another aspect: Australian catholicism is in complete shambles.

    Rose: What do you think is the factor, Jack?

    Well, I’m not sure. I didn’t have any preconceived ideas in asking the question. I don’t think it’s about location. Australia is no harder to get to than the Philippines and having been involved with organising a group from the developing world going to Tornoto 2002, I am well aware that Canadian immigration all but killed that particular event.

    I would guess it’s probably is a JP2 thing. I never attended a JP2 World Youth Day myself, but the overriding sense I got at WYD05 was that BXVI just wasn’t the same. Maybe it’s that.

    If the next WYD is in Madrid, I guess that will be a good gauge.

    Also, Pierre, I really got the idea in Koln that the Pope was not having fun. I was sitting next to a priest on the Marienfeld and I commented ‘I bet the Pope either really loves this, or really hates it.’ The priest responded. ‘No. He really hates it!’ And I think he was right.

  15. Jack Regan says:

    I messed up the formatting above. The post begins with quotes from Pierre and Rose.

  16. treefrog says:

    I believe the main reason for this WYD attracting less people is it’s location: as said previously, Australia is very expensive to travel to. I was at Koln, but was simply unable to afford Sydney, plus I think one WYD was enough for me!

  17. Louise says:

    Also, the Philippines is still a very Catholic country (still over 80% I believe) and has a population of 80,000,000 ( 11,000,000 in Metro Manila) where as Australia’s population is only 20,000,000 (4.2 million in Sydney)and has 25% nominally Catholic with pretty pathetic Mass attendance rates (14% = 700,000). And I suspect many of those who attended WYD in the Philippines would not be able to afford to travel to Australia.

    Louise
    Australia

  18. Rose says:

    I am curious about comparative statistics on vocations among traditionalist groups and vocations among past attendees of WYD. Does anyone know?

  19. Dion says:

    Greetings. As an Australian (not resident in Sydney) I can offer some reasons why attendance will not approach Manila. Firstly, as already stated, Australia is nominally 20-25% Catholic (of a total population of 20 million), very unlike the Philippines. Also, only a proportion attend Mass each Sunday. Of course a larger number attend fortnightly or monthly. Realistically (and sadly), it is similar to most European or North American countries in this regard.

    Secondly, distance is a factor. Each large (500,000 plus) Australian city is at least a thousand kilometres from each other. This impacts heavily on travel times and costs. The large area and small population means high cost domestic air travel, especially with essentially only two airlines in operation over long-haul routes.

    Thirdly, the Australian dollar has been very high of late (nearly at parity with the USD). This has no doubt impacted on the number of pilgrims from Asia and Oceania.

    Fourthly – and this impacts largely upon domestic pilgrims – despite generous State and Federal support, two of the three major Australian media organisations have run consistent anti-Catholic programs for many months, encouraging protests and negative reactions. I will leave you to draw your own conclusions as to the reasons for this blatant bigotry.

    I was in Sydney City on Monday and the atmosphere was beautiful. Many small (c.50-100) groups from many countries, interacting wonderfully with each other and the locals, with no rancour and none of the usual jerks in sight. Todays Mass had 150,000 people, and next Sunday up to 500,000 are anticipated. Whilst WYD is not to everyone’s taste it is important to spread the Word to countries that are not necessarily receptive to the message. How many souls saved is a criterion?

  20. Steve K. says:

    Just to add my two cents here, in addition the great comments from the others explaining the lower attendance for this WYD:

    Look, it is REALLY expensive to travel to Australia, and it is really far away to most places in the world with Catholics. Those countries closest with appreciable Catholic populations are quite poor (or have other travel obstacles), and then of course for them it is not only getting there, but affording lodging, food, etc.

    I am fortunate enough to be going to Australia in a few days, Sydney in fact, but am doing so on Uncle Sam’s dime. Unfortunately, I am arriving the day WYD concludes, but oh well.