WYD is underway – videos

The Holy Father traveled by boat from his brief retreat to his first even of WYD.

Here are video clips of news stories in Italian and English:

I didn’t see any coverage on the website of CNN or the Italian Corriere della sera.  Fox News had a head line farther down on the front page, but focusing on the environment and the story got a few seconds in a brief video spot.

In the meantime, here is a truly dopey SBS piece.  Notice the incongruity between the images and the voice over.  I love the comment about reverent worship in song while kids are singing La Marseillaise.

[flv]08_07_16_SBS_dumb_WYD_coverage.flv[/flv]

An SBS spot on Card. Pell’s Mass.  Note the comment that it seemed more like a rock concert than a Mass.  Hmmm.  Fair?

[flv]08_07_16_SBS_WYD_Mass_Pell.flv[/flv]

Some highlights of Card. Pell’s Mass the other day.

[flv]08_07_16_WYD_Mass_Pell.flv[/flv]

 

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24 Responses to WYD is underway – videos

  1. C.L. says:

    Are comments working??

  2. C.L. says:

    Well, yes! I was trying to post these remarks re the lengthy WYD picture post below:

    The Pope’s address was stunningly beautiful. References to Aborigines as witches, demons and pagans are not.

    The ceremony is called a Welcome To Country and has become a standard ritual to mark the beginning of official or significant public events. It acknowledges that Aborigines were the original custodians of the land. Not everyone in Australia is happy about the soft apartheid that seems to be implicit in this new convention. (One such ceremony also marked the opening of the new Parliament in Canberra earlier this year – for the first time ever).

    Nevertheless, it wasn’t part of a Mass but was more in the realm of a civic-cultural reception preparatory to what followed. Some of the comments above strike me as being somewhat over the top.

    Were the Pope’s advisers – principally Cardinal Pell during this visit – were they to banish the tribal elders and performers connected to this harbourside land, it would have given tremendous offence and humiliated many Aboriginal Catholics. The Church’s writ does not extend to sacralising every civic and cultural convention operative in Australia, sad though that may be to relate.

    First comment here. Love your work, Father.

    Adios.

  3. Romulus says:

    Fair?

    I saw Cardinal Pell’s mass on TV. Some of the youth attending were composed and reverent; others were cutting up for the camera, making fools of themselves. One young man during the offertory was clearly chewing gum. My fear is that these mega-masses don’t lend themselves to decorum, esp. in an age in which many have a tenuous grasp of what it means to be Catholic.

    Pursuant to that last point…well, the Marseillaise is about as un-Catholic as a song can be. I know they’re French and they love their country and all, but come on. Anyway, WYD is supposed to be about more than celebration of self.

  4. Romulus: Pier Giorgio Frassati and the Little Flower are examples to be followed. The young people at WYD are not, not yet anyway, Pier Giorgio Frassati and the Little Flower. Also, whereas those young saints lived in an environment in which they could be well catechized, most of these kids today have received terrible, if any formation, in their faith. Also, they are, after all, young. They are young people who have been formed to have a greater relationship with a screen than with most other people. They have sound bite attention spans. They were pumped up and perhaps jet lagged.

    Perhaps we should cut them a little slack.

    I am not surprise, btw, that French youth would sing their national anthem. I would be surprised if they knew what the words meant or where it came from. That would be the state of things for most people, probably.

  5. That last video … was a Mass? Oh, dear. I suppose I should stop hoping that I will see an end to this nonsense in my lifetime.

  6. Chironomo says:

    Ditto on the disbelieving reaction to the clip of the “Mass” featuring Aborigines performing what appeared to be some type of ritual dance that I doubt was Catholic in origin. This is supposed to be teaching our Youth what? Can we resolve to hold World Youth Day in, umm…. say VATICAN CITY next time around… and from thereafter? Perhaps some Masses in a CHURCH and performances by actual Catholic Sacred Musicians would go a long way towards bringing our youth into Catholicism rather than Shamanism.

  7. Deusdonat says:

    Chironomo – no disrespect, but in all fairness it appears the dancers came on well before the mass began. I don’t think the PM Kevin Rudd was giving a reading or homily there. It loked most likely to be a welcome reception of sorts well before the mass began. In which case it was appropriate on a cultural level.

    The mass itself looked bland, but to be expected.

  8. “It loked most likely to be a welcome reception of sorts well before the mass began. In which case it was appropriate on a cultural level.”

    I’d say it was still inappropriate. The ritual definitely appeared to be shammanistic. To say nothing of the men being undressed. Disgraceful, really.

  9. Deusdonat says:

    Jeff – it may have definitely “appeared” that way to you, but maybe you are wrong. It may have merely been a dance of welcome. Are you an expert in Australian aboriginal dance? Can you explain the meaning of what they were doing? Or are you merely affraid and biased against anything you see as different from your own culture?

    I am no expert in Australian aboriginal culture. But I can say as someone who has studied Maori culture of New Zealand that for all intents and purposes, it did appear to me like a standard welcoming dance, where the men put on a display of how strong they are in battle to convey 2 messages; 1. don’t mess with us because you will regret it and 2. you will be safe with us in our presence as we have the power to protect you as long as you are here.

    That’s what it definitely appeared to me.

  10. Deusdonat:

    Appearances are important. If something appears to be witchcraft, idolatry, shammanism, etc. it has no place in public Catholic life. (I say “public” because my kids just informed me they have been playing a game called “pagan sacrifice” and had a grand old time of it.)

    As for the meaning you have attributed to the dance, let’s look at it:

    “where the men put on a display of how strong they are in battle to convey 2 messages; 1. don’t mess with us because you will regret it and 2. you will be safe with us in our presence as we have the power to protect you as long as you are here.”

    And this has WHAT exactly to do with Catholicism? Is the pope visiting some aboriginal village at war with another tribe? Does the pope need to be told “don’t mess with us”? Does the pope need their protection?

    The best possible interpretation is that this is just the usual multi-culti showing off, the message being that aboriginies don’t need or want the benefits of Christian civilization (such as clothing, for example). A more likely interpretation – the message received by many – is one of religious syncretism and indifference to pre-Christian aboriginal beliefs.

  11. Chris says:

    My wife and I turned on EWTN and watched the first 15 minutes before having to turn it off because we were actually getting angry just watching. There were times, in the beginning, we didn’t even know it was a Mass — we thought it was some weird opening cerenomy.

    But how can we blame this TV gal for her comment? Would a real Mass have people with faces painted screaming at the cameras? Would a real Mass have people holding up their country’s flags and waving them like at a World Cup gane? Would a real Mass have such horrible musical ensembles and an overall and complete lack of reverence sans the “Benedictine Altar”?

    I think before we criticize the poor TV host we take the blinders off and see the disaster most Masses have become. Her comment was not only fair, it was spot on.

  12. Pleased as Punch says:

    Did you hear what Sr. Marie Agnus Dei (?!), the young nun interviewed in the fifth video, said about the Mass? Speaking of the universality of the faith, she said you could go into a church in Africa, Australia, or the United States, and “it’s the same Mass.”

  13. Deusdonat says:

    Jeff – Appearances are important.

    yes. I agree. It’s very important not to appear to be a ethnocentric biggot.

    If something appears to be witchcraft, idolatry, shammanism, etc. it has no place in public Catholic life.

    Well, I say a Christmas tree looks like paganism, since it comes from Norse/Germanic pagan tradition and takes away focus from the Nativity of Christ. And I’m serious here. So, have you ever used a Christmas tree? If so, it has no place in public Catholic life. That’s my opinion. Do I have the right to enforce that over you?

    And this has WHAT exactly to do with Catholicism? Is the pope visiting some aboriginal village at war with another tribe?

    Um…the Aboriginees were the original inhabitants of Australia. It’s their country as much as anyone’s. Performing a welcoming ceremony is highly appropriate.

    The best possible interpretation is that this is just the usual multi-culti showing off, the message being that aboriginies don’t need or want the benefits of Christian civilization (such as clothing, for example).

    And the best possible interpretation from your comment (especially the petty use of “multi-culti) is that you don’t understand, nor care to, other cultures outside yours. [This strays pretty close to being an ad hominem attack. - Fr. Z] I am extremely proud of my ethnic, culturalal background. Many of the traditional customs we practice pre-date Christianity by several thousand years. And they are not in conflict with Christianity either. So, just because you don’t seem to have any particular ethnic or cultural identity that you are proud of, doesn’t mean you have the right to strip everyone else of theirs simply because it doesn’t appeal to you.

  14. Vincenzo says:

    The Holy Father’s arrival is on EWTN right now (rebroadcast.)

  15. I do hope we get over the “holier then thou” approach to things. I would like to know who here has more authority then the Pope? Anyone putting their hand up? No? Well then, if the Pope is there, ought we not to trust him?

    There is nothing wrong with 150,000 young people there to experience Christ. They DO experience Christ. I went to my first WYD in 2005, I had just been coming back to the Church, and it is there that I discovered my vocation to the priesthood.

    With all the liturgical complaints, I am wondering. Is Christ still present in the Eucharist at the Mass? Were the right prayers said? Yes they were. Had any of you listened to what the Pope had to say? I hope so because it was chalk FULL of good, solid, Catholic teaching to really challenge people. Did you see the kids listening to the Pope? Did you see the joy on the face of the Pope? This is authentic. WYD is a great means for evangelizing the young generation.

    Now, for myself, I wasn’t a huge fan of the Gospel procession at the opening Mass, for example. But the Mass was still the Mass. I agree that obedience to the Church’s liturgical rubrics evangelize and the beauty of them bring people to Christ. But the most important aspect is proper celebration of the Eucharistic Prayer. Was that recited properly and with refverance? You betcha!

    It is true that some people go to WYD just to have a good time. Guess what, though, it is unavoidable. The same was at the Eucharistic Congress with 15,000 people. No matter what ever the large gathering, you will always see people not going for the right reasons. It is unavoidable. Heck, it happens in EVERY parish!!! How many people do you think go to Mass for the wrong reasons?! It happens everywhere.

    I wish and pray that we would understand that law is not Dogma. WYD changes people. I have witness the change it effects in so many people. WYD is not a gathering of saints. It is a gather of people who go away desiring to be Saints. How many people here are saintly enough to judge the Pope and the 150,000 pilgrims about the sanctity of the events, and the effects it has on the participants and those who live in Sydney witnessing this?

    -Harrison Ayre

  16. Brian Crane says:

    Jeff,

    You know my tastes run similar to yours, but my immediate reaction upon watching that last video seemed to be a little different than the rest of you. I read all the comments first though, so I don’t know if that affected my reaction or not.

    But it immediately brought to my mind Mel Gibson’s movie Apocalypto (and since he’s Australian…) Almost the entire movie is devoted to depicting the the unfortunate savagery of pagan life. At the very end, when the Christian boats arrive, one has hope for an end to it.

    This welcoming ceremony seemed the same to me. The pagans were dancing and everything was loud then came the cross carried in front of the stage and everything all of sudden became serene.

    I don’t know if that’s what they were going for, but that’s how it seemed to me. In any case I could do without it myself.

  17. Deusdonat, you wrote:

    “yes. I agree. It’s very important not to appear to be a ethnocentric biggot.”

    And then you said:

    “So, just because you don’t seem to have any particular ethnic or cultural identity that you are proud of …”

    So which is it? Am I an “ethnocentric biggot” (sic) or someone without an ethnic or cultural identity I am proud of?

    “Well, I say a Christmas tree looks like paganism, since it comes from Norse/Germanic pagan tradition and takes away focus from the Nativity of Christ. And I’m serious here.”

    You’re not serious at all. In fact you are being totally disingenuous. There is absolutely no possibility that you, Deusdonat, would mistake a Christmas tree in a Catholic home for some kind of pagan religious symbol. By contrast, many if not most people who witness the aboriginal dance will think it has some kind of pagan religious significance.

    “So, have you ever used a Christmas tree? If so, it has no place in public Catholic life. That’s my opinion. Do I have the right to enforce that over you?”

    Your opinion is obviously of no relevance and neither is mine. But the Church has a right to discourage pagan practices that lend themselves too easily to religious syncretism, and at one time She did so very effectively – and legitimately. The fact is that today there are millions of Catholics who – due to poor, heretical, or non-existent catechesis – think that the old pre-Christian religions are cool and that the Church should never have suppressed them. Multi-culti spectacles like this just reinforce such errors.

    “Um…the Aboriginees were the original inhabitants of Australia. It’s their country as much as anyone’s. Performing a welcoming ceremony is highly appropriate.”

    If they were still practicing their animist religion, at war with neighboring tribes, and the Pope were visiting their village, then yes, I would agree that the “welcoming ceremony” was appropriate. But these aboriginies were presumably Catholics. They probably live in the suburbs and work in office cubicles. I’ll bet they even speak English and drove to World Youth Day in an automobile. Far better if they had greeted the Holy Father in choir robes while singing a Byrd motet.

    “And the best possible interpretation from your comment (especially the petty use of ‘multi-culti’) is that you don’t understand, nor care to, other cultures outside yours.”

    You couldn’t possibly be more wrong. But I’ll spare you the details of my personal life and let you continue with your ridiculous assumptions. The problem is that you do not seem to understand culture, period. Australia is a western country. We still have a culture in the West, a culture informed by 1500-1800 years of Christianity. Without that culture there would be no Christian aboriginies. Spectacles like this are a meaningless hodge-podge of paganism, a denial of the very idea of culture itself, and a deliberate poke in the eye of Christendom (or what’s left of it). There is, of course, a place for non-”western” expressions of Catholicism when they are recognized as such, but these must be in a cultural context of their own, a context that will not be misunderstood.

    “I am extremely proud of my ethnic, culturalal background.”

    Extremely? It’s OK to be proud of one’s ancestry, but a Catholic must avoid extremes. There are things your ancestors did that you shouldn’t be proud of. Idolatry, for example. There’s a lot in your cultural background that should be consigned to permanent obscurity. Mine too. And besides, like it or not, your culture is predominantly English and Western. That’s the culture that has given you your religion, your language, and your predominant thought-processes. So I hope you’re proud of that too.

    “Many of the traditional customs we practice pre-date Christianity by several thousand years.”

    Us too. Like marriage, for example.

    “And they are not in conflict with Christianity either.”

    I’ll take your word for it.

  18. Hello Brian! I hadn’t considered that and I certainly hope you are right. If so, the context does make a little more sense, though it is still too theatrical in my opinion.

  19. jcd says:

    In my opinion, Fr.Zulhsdorf, you have given the blogosphere the best wyd coverage today, for a blog. Thank you very much.

  20. Deusdonat says:

    JEFFDeusdonat, you wrote: So which is it? Am I an “ethnocentric biggot” (sic) or someone without an ethnic or cultural identity I am proud of?

    You’ll have to tell me. I didn’t say you were either.

    You’re not serious at all. In fact you are being totally disingenuous.

    Iam being 100% genuine. I do not/will not allow a Christmas tree in my house. It is not a part of my culture, nor is it “Catholic” culture. It is as Catholic as the Easter bunny. Meaning, they are pagan imports (specifically from Northern Europe) which were co-opted into Western Society in order to be less offensive than visible symbols of faith (i.e. a nativity scene). Putting an angel on top of a Christmass tree is putting lipstick on a pig in essence. If you are fine with that, then so be it. But once again, I see it as a pagan symbol marketed to detract of the true meaning of the holiday regardless of whether it is being used as such.

    By contrast, many if not most people who witness the aboriginal dance will think it has some kind of pagan religious significance.

    I honestly have no clue as to why you would think that other than just bigotry. They were not holding any idols, pagan statues, doing any type of prostrations etc. They simply “look pagan” to you so you are making that assumption, which to me would be laughibly inaccurate.

    But the Church has a right to discourage pagan practices that lend themselves too easily to religious syncretism, and at one time She did so very effectively – and legitimately.

    Agreed. It wasn’t until 1982 when JPII allowed a Christmas tree inside the Vatican. HE began this practice, which the church had heretofore done an effective and job at curtailing. It is my sincere hope that our blessed Pope Benedict stops this practice during his Papacy.

    The fact is that today there are millions of Catholics who – due to poor, heretical, or non-existent catechesis – think that the old pre-Christian religions are cool and that the Church should never have suppressed them.

    Source please.

    Multi-culti spectacles like this just reinforce such errors.

    You’re conclusion is baseless unless you cite a source to the above.

    But these aboriginies were presumably Catholics… Far better if they had greeted the Holy Father in choir robes while singing a Byrd motet.

    Your opinion. Obviously His Holiness and the church doesn’t agree. And I’ll take them over you anyday.

    It’s OK to be proud of one’s ancestry, but a Catholic must avoid extremes.

    Source please? I am extremely Catholic (note: not saying I’m a “good” Catholic, since I am nothing but a poor sinner at the end of the day. But I believe everything the church says). Upi really need to qualify your opinions as such instead of making unsubstantiated comments.

    There are things your ancestors did that you shouldn’t be proud of.

    No doubt. They are unfortunately responsible for Madonna and Scott Baio.

    And besides, like it or not, your culture is predominantly English

    You are dead wrong. Just because we are communicating in English does not mean it is my culture (or even my first language). You make far too many assumptions to be taken seriously here.

    With that, I think there is no more need for this conversation.

  21. Limbo says:

    SADLY, Aboriginal smoke cleansing ceremonies (to chase away evil spirits) are all too common at Catholics ‘events’ here in Australia. Examples, opening of new schools, teacher’s conferences etc. This past week the Novus Ordo parishes ‘celebrated’ Aboriginal Sunday and Mass goers were subjected to aboriginal symbolism and ‘music’ in the churches. One horrific scene I encountered was a huge banner of a rainbow serpent (some sacred aboriginal image) hanging down from the ceiling of the church alongside the diocese Fatima statue ! Not an aborigine in sight !

    Yes, even our very best Bishops and Cardinal are very weak on this point as the past few days have proven.

    I guess they see it as a strong message to the rest of the world that we Aussie Catholics are ‘inclusive’ to our pagan brothers.
    The saddest point is however, they would rather put effort into this than properly educating the Catholic youth of Australia in the One True Faith !

    WYD has very little to do with it.
    One positive point however that must be acknowledged, the Holy Father witnessed just how dire things are here !

  22. CPKS says:

    The aboriginal people of Australia have had a pretty hard time of it. In particular, they have had two hundred years of westerners telling them what is and what is not culturally appropriate – even to the extent of young children being forcibly separated from their families, transported across the continent and reprogrammed western style. This was still happening within living memory.

    While fully agreeing that non-Christian religious symbols and rituals are out of place in the context of Christian worship, I am also mindful of the fact that many holy and enlightened missionaries proceeded by Christianizing the totems of false religions, not demonizing them.

    Western Catholics ought, I think, to be secure enough in their faith – both their religious faith and in the wisdom of their tradition – not to be afraid that a rainbow serpent banner in a Catholic church presaged some kind of unholy syncretistic agenda. A little understanding of the particular historical context should at least suggest that tight-lipped rejection of everything aboriginal, coupled with an uncompromising imposition of western cultural norms, is not (and never has been) an effective way to communicate basic Christian principles.

    Finally, a welcome ceremony might theoretically take all sorts of forms – anything from human sacrifice to a forty-part motet by mixed voice choir. Of course it might seem strange to people from another culture, and apt to be misunderstood. But we must distinguish between the contravention of universal moral norms and mere cultural strangeness. A speaker of language X should not be prohibited from welcoming international visitors to his country in his native language simply because his greeting sounds like something rude in language Y. This will seem obvious enough to anyone with enough imagination to conceive a world in which more than one language is spoken in more than one culture.

    Provided only that the form does not contravene the moral law, it seems to me that a welcome ceremony conducted (even as a prelude to Holy Mass) at the outset of a major international gathering in Australia, by aboriginal Australians, according to the culture of aboriginal Australians, is appropriate culturally and in every other way.

  23. Deusdonat says:

    CPKS – I guess you and I are alone on this here. I would also add that there are many things about aboriginal traditions, culture and society in general that I do not like. And I can say the same thing about German, American, Swedish culture/traditons/society etc. Not everything that is “traditonal” or “exercises in culture” are good, obviously. But the point I was trying to make (and I think you stated far better than I did) was that expressions of something as common as a welcome should not be shunned or dismissed simply because they don’t look or soun d familiar or tasteful to someone from a different culture. Nor should they be immediately termed “un-christian” or “pagan”.

    I really don’t know much about the rainbow snake imagery you were talking about. My take on it is that there is a hard and fast rule here: if it is construed in any way as a deity, then it should not be there. But once again, I can’t speak to it.

  24. Geometricus says:

    Deusdonat – you are far from alone. I for one can see many good things about what you say, although the tone of your writing perhaps makes it appear you are making assumptions about Jeff which you may not actually be making.

    Jeff Culbreath – Yes, I agree that many Catholics (if not “millions”) think that pre-Christian religions are “cool” and that the Church should never have supressed them. I really don’t think it would be anything more than trivial to find anecdotal evidence of this. I see it all the time as an indigenous American. Once I had a friend approach me after the birth of his first child and ask if there were some Native ceremony he could perform over his new-born child. (He had been brought up Catholic but had pretty much left the practice of his faith.) He was pretty surprised when I told him to get the kid baptized.

    Deusdonat – I have also found that people seem to automatically assume that any cultural display from aboriginal or indigenous cultures is automatically pagan in meaning, or at least suspect from a Catholic point of view. As much as I know it would irritate a lot of my conservative friends to hear me say this, this attitude, I beleive, is the result of ignorance and prejudice. But this can be easily overcome by listening rather than immediately jumping to conclusions and trying to control the situation.

    People don’t like to be told that they don’t understand something, I guess that’s why humility is so important on all sides.