WYD video wrap – part 2

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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17 Responses to WYD video wrap – part 2

  1. Emilio III says:

    Thanks for these, Fr. Z! (Though they did not seem particularly warped… :-)

  2. Jack Regan says:

    AP and numerous other reliable sources are reporting the final figure for WYD Mass as 350,000. If that’s true, it’s terribly low.

    Without getting into the reasons why, I think it’s a shame. It hasn’t been anywhere near that low since World Youth Days started being held away from Rome in the 1980s.

    Maybe Madrid will up the numbers a bit.

  3. RBrown says:

    AP and numerous other reliable sources are reporting the final figure for WYD Mass as 350,000. If that’s true, it’s terribly low.
    Without getting into the reasons why, I think it’s a shame. It hasn’t been anywhere near that low since World Youth Days started being held away from Rome in the 1980s.
    Maybe Madrid will up the numbers a bit.
    Comment by Jack Regan

    I don’t think those numbers mean much, even when they’re high.

  4. Jack Regan says:

    I think they mean a great deal. It’s a huge huge drop, and I think it is one of the biggest stories of the event.

  5. RBrown says:

    I think they mean a great deal. It’s a huge huge drop, and I think it is one of the biggest stories of the event.
    Comment by Jack Regan

    So what do they mean?

  6. Dob says:

    So what do they mean?

    Very expensive flights. Credit squeeze worldwide. Remote location. Liberal Bishops non-promotion in the west …..

    One thing is for sure. There were very many sublime moments in this visit. There were very many hearts filled with hope. There was a powerful witness to Jesus Christ and I wait with expectation to see the results of this wonderful seeding.

  7. Jack Regan says:

    I do not have a pre conceived idea in my head, as can be seen from the discussion on this last week. As a Catholic youth worker though, it’s an area that interests me somewhat. If you do want my take on possible factors, then…

    1. It’s probably partly due to location, though I don’t think this is the whole story. There have been other WYDs that were hard to get to. In terms of cost it’s far easier to get to Australia from Europe than the Philippines, but they got 5 million (!!) in 1995. I don’t think that this particular difference in location can account for a difference of 15 Times. Buenos Aries is also hard to get to from Europe. Ditto Czestochowa (not the first clue how to spell that!) from North America. I also think that we are looking at it very much from a Europe/ North America perspective. It’s a world event after all. BUT… location was definitely a factor. It’s probably one of the few WYDs that has relatively hard to get to from both Europe and North America. Two blocks that probably account for most of the pilgrims. I had to pay £450 (c.US$850) to get to Koln. I would have had to pay around £2500 (c.US$4600) to get to Sydney!
    I think that Dob is right about the economy too. Though most people will have paid before the phrase ‘credit crunch’ entered the public vocabulary. It’s probably a factor though.

    2. The 150th anniversary of the apparitions at Lourdes is another factor. Many young people in Europe have to choose in WYD years between that and Lourdes and this year a great many will have chosen Lourdes. This is especially true of European groups. I know that’s the reason I’m not in Oz.

    3. Much as I am sure this will open me up to a huge tirade, I think that the JP2/ BXVI factor is also a thing. It’s not the only factor by any means, but it is definitely a factor. At WYD ’05 there was a huge respect for the Holy Father, but also a huge gap left by the absence of JP2, and this sentiment was widely expressed. Whether you love him or hate him (love him, for me!) JP2 was made for events like WYD and vice versa. BXVI just isn’t as big a draw. At least not for the 95% of the Church that aren’t traditionalists!

    That’s my view anyhow. It’s almost certainly a number of factors… It will be good to see a HUGE crowd in Madrid in 3 years time.

  8. Martin says:

    Two of my neices and a group of their friends went to World Youth Day in both Toronto and Cologne. They all dearly wanted to go to Sydney but the cost was simply too prohibitive. These young people loved JP2 and sorely miss him but they also love Benedict XVI. I know for a fact that each of them read and meditate on his homilies, speeches and encyclicals and are extremely grateful that God has gifted His Church for this wonderful teacher.
    I don’t think it is fair to compare the numbers from Australia to the Phillipines, Argentina or Poland. Forget about cost or distance. Whatever the number of pilgrims from other countries the fact is that the majority population of those three countries is Catholic unlike Australia and thus had a huge advantage in attracting, for want of a better expression, a captive audience.

  9. Jack Regan says:

    Well, as I said I think it’s a number of factors.

    Interestingly, reports of the numbers are varying from 300,000 to 600,000 depending on who you listen to.

  10. Geoffrey says:

    I agree that numbers were low due to ecomomic conditions (that’s why I couldn’t go!), plus it was so far away. However, I’d like to see how many people followed on television, as I did. Apparently 500 million people watched the Stations of the Cross, and the final Mass was the largest gathering in Australian history, so these are still great things to be thankful for.

    I don’t think less people are going because John Paul the Great is no longer reigning. The youth have really taken to Pope Benedict XVI, and their affection overwhelms him. I love watching the multitudes cheer for His Holiness, as he greets them with his trademark “air piano” wave! :-)

  11. Martin says:

    Jack: I do agree with you that there are a number of factors. It’s easy to speculate on what they are. I was only relating to what I have personal knowledge of.
    It is curious that reports of the actual numbers vary so much. Guess some of it has to do with the agenda of those reporting! In any case, I have no doubt that some of those mustard seeds that Pope Benedict likes to talk about have been planted and will grow onto healthy plants in the years to come. That’s what makes the whole enterprise worth the effort. isn’t it?

  12. Jack Regan says:

    Indeed

  13. RBrown says:

    3. Much as I am sure this will open me up to a huge tirade, I think that the JP2/ BXVI factor is also a thing. It’s not the only factor by any means, but it is definitely a factor. At WYD ‘05 there was a huge respect for the Holy Father, but also a huge gap left by the absence of JP2, and this sentiment was widely expressed. Whether you love him or hate him (love him, for me!) JP2 was made for events like WYD and vice versa. BXVI just isn’t as big a draw. At least not for the 95% of the Church that aren’t traditionalists!
    Comment by Jack Regan

    I completely agree. I’m just not convinced that these events, even with JPII Superstar, produce much in the way of a long lasting effect.

    Re the Traditionalists: My sister-in-law’s mother is a loyal Catholic but certainly not a Trad. I was surprised to hear her say how much she liked BXVI–and did not like JPII.

    IMHO, many Americans turned against JPII when the news began to break about the priest scandals.

  14. RBrown says:

    One question: Why would a European teenager want to go to Australia?

  15. Louise says:

    Jack Regan said:
    In terms of cost it’s far easier to get to Australia from Europe than the Philippines, but they got 5 million (!!) in 1995. I don’t think that this particular difference in location can account for a difference of 15 Times.

    It seems to me that the population and Catholic demographic of the host City/Country has much more to do with numbers than how easy it is to travel to a country.

    Just a few stats.

    The Philippines has a population of 80 million of which 80% are Catholic. Manila, alone therefore would have nearly 9 million Catholics, (so only half of them turned up for the WYD Mass?!).

    Buenos Aires has a population of 12 million of which about 2.5 million are practicing Catholics (though those reported to be Catholic is much higher). There were reportedly 1 million at WYD.

    Australia has a population of 20 million, 5 million in Sydney of which 25% report they are Catholic, but only about 14% of those regularly go to Mass, so 175,000.

    As a percentage of the Catholic population, the turnout in Australia was at least on par with other years.
    It would be interesting to see the stats on how many pilgrims actually travelled to each country.

  16. Jack Regan says:

    That’s a good point.

  17. Jack Regan says:

    In theory then, Mardid should be MASSIVE… Strong Catholic Country. Big City. Very easy travel from Europe and South America. Comparatively lax immigration.