What’s up with the chaos surround Pope Benedict’s trip to England?

My friend Fr. Blake of St. Mary Magdalen in Brighton has this observation about chaos surround Benedict XVI’s upcoming trip to England.

Damian Thompson’s Spectator article on the Papal Visit is online.

I tend not to believe in conspiracies but maybe Damian’s suggestion should at least be examined, he is suggesting that the visit is being hi-jacked by a coalition of what Damian terms the "Magic Circle" and Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation, I am not sure about that, in fact I am not sure why The Tablet wasn’t thrown into the mix, now Chris Patten – Tablet board member – has been made Visit-Tsar.

What there does seem to be are an awful lot of people who seem to live in a world that hopes the Pope will be dead soon, and somehow the Church will return to the confusion of the Paul VI era, maybe that is one of the reasons that lays behind not booking either Coventry Airport or Hydepark, I am sure it lies behind the "Can’t we just wait" petition to delay the new English Missal translations.

Rad-trad Frenchmen might see it all as a Masonic conspiracy. That is emotive, but, if that is shorthand for a hodge-podge of people; the secular world, protestant Christians of one sort or another, Catholic laity, priests bishops and cardinals who are pushing Enlightenment views of religious and moral Relativism, it is most probably a pretty fair assumption. The difficulty I have is in believing that there is much more than simple opposition to the Pope that unites them.

The alternative to the Benedictine Project is turning the Church into a sterile desert containing nothing but aging bishops and a vast lay staff, with a few lay people, with a few vague post-Christian beliefs
.

Exactly.

I was discussing this issue last night with a priest friend in NYC and made the observation that where Benedict goes he energizes the Catholic base.

Committed English Catholics have endured a lot over the years… er… decades… nay rather, centuries.  It occurs to me that, given the controversies building in England and the societal challenges they face, there may be not a few bishops and liberal ecclesial apparatchiks who would not welcome an energized Catholic base urging them to stand up and fight in the public square.

What’s up with the chaos surround Pope Benedict’s trip to England?
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28 Responses to What’s up with the chaos surround Pope Benedict’s trip to England?

  1. Padre Steve says:

    Let’s pray that the Holy Father is safe during his visit. Also, let’s pray that the beatification of Cardinal Newman will inspire the Catholic community there. I am sure readers have seen the latest on the Holy Father’s view of Vatican II: http://salesianity.blogspot.com/2010/06/vatican-paper-publishes-article-on.html
    We live in very interesting times. God bless Pope Benedict and God bless the Church!

  2. wanda says:

    Prayed especially for our Holy Father at Eucharistic Adoration last evening. May the Lord and his blessed Mother guard and defend Pope Benedict.

  3. Magpie says:

    We Catholics in Ireland have suffered a lot too. Failing a Papal visit, the Apostolic Visitation and Eucharistic Congress in 2012 will have to suffice! =p

  4. Traductora says:

    The alternative to the Benedictine Project is turning the Church into a sterile desert containing nothing but aging bishops and a vast lay staff, with a few lay people, with a few vague post-Christian beliefs.
    Beautifully put!

    But what´s with the idea that BXVI is going to die soon? I´m sure they wish he would, but he seems pretty healthy and he could certainly go on for a number of years. Yet they´re acting as if they know his time is limited. Why?

  5. Mitchell NY says:

    A note to the Pope, For the many who wish to “wait out” your Pontificate, there are more, just less vocal, that wish your Pontificate will last until you are 100. You have brought many back to the Faith. You have shown us our Catholic heritage that has been hidden from us for decades. You have restored the Tridentine Mass to its’ rightful place in the Church, a living breathing rite(form) which is attracting many, untold numbers of souls. We are glimpsing things through the lens of continuity that we have seen centuries before that remind us we are not a new Church established in 1970 which has often been the way it is presented to us. You are slowly restoring a sense of balance and beauty to the NO form which you celebrate. You are healing divisions with the SSPX and hopefully getting close to a complete return of them to Rome via your initiative and Pontificate. All of us who favor these things do not write on blogs, write letters to Rome or our Bishops, write news articles, but we are there. Unreported millions who support you and look forward to the continued liturgical reforms that will come into line with both Trent and Vat II. We see young people, inspired by Latin in your Papal Liturgies and hearing Chant, using modern technology (media, internet) to form Chant Scholas and join Latin blog groups and websites. What was wrongfully termed obsolete has revitalized a portion of the laity that has laid dormant for a long time with few hopes and have brought a newfound hope in the hearts of the young who love being part of what has always been. I can not tell you how in untold circles of people many pin their hopes for liturgical renewal, in the correct context, on your Pontificate. You have done much for Holy Church with much more to be done. We await the corrections and support your views. Don’t allow the vocal few, drown out the voice and spirit of the many. We are there in the backround, waiting. Pray for the Holy Father daily, he has much to do. And also spread the news, spread his ideas to those who do not know, do your part to revitalize our Catholic identity.

  6. Ellen says:

    I’m offering tomorrow’s Corpus Christi day for the Pope. May he be around for years and years.

  7. vincentuher says:

    I wish there were a way that all of us who love and pray for the Holy Father could register our support in a concrete way, so that his enemies in the Church and outside of it could see his support among the people and tremble.

    Father Z., perhaps you and your colleagues could create a website with a Declaration in support of the Holy Father that would be succinct and to the point and concluding with the wish for the Pope of good health and a very long life. Through the website individuals and religious congregations and orders could affix their names by filling out a web form. Priests could sign for themselves or in the name of the Parish they serve. Both name and city of each signatory would be visible on the web (but no other identifying information), and to insure serious participation (and that this is not just another of the endless petitions online), a US$1 or 1 Euro could be required and paid via Paypal. The funds collected would offset the cost of the website and the surplus would be given to the Holy Father for his discretionary use.

    I hope Fr. Z. and those who read this will consider this idea and implement it. If I were younger and in good health I would try to make it happen, but at this point I can only offer it as an idea and pray someone will see it as a seed worth planting.

  8. ghlad says:

    This is really bizarre. After reading the 6 pages of the article, I’m left with the idea that the secular side of the arrangements are, as one would expect, aimed at publicizing the feel-good and common ground, and that the Church’s side of organizing is a bit incompetent. Also, how can the expenses on the Church’s side have ballooned to almost $30US million without them even having finalized and booked most or all of the venues, especially if the company that runs Coventry Airport isn’t going to be reimbursed for use of that venue? This is really not making sense.

  9. Maltese says:

    The alternative to the Benedictine Project is turning the Church into a sterile desert containing nothing but aging bishops and a vast lay staff, with a few lay people, with a few vague post-Christian beliefs.

    Too true!

    Although I agree with Msgr. Brunero Gherardini that it is very difficult to see Vatican II in a vein of “continuity” with Tradition. And it is only by full embracing tradition that the Church will get back on her feet. In this light, the Pope is right to reconcile with FSSPX, and even allow them to reject portions of the Council.

  10. Magpie says:

    @ vincentuhe:

    I think your website idea is wonderful.

    Long live the Holy Father Benedict XVI!

  11. shane says:

    Whoever first calculated the expected cost of this trip needs to be sacked. Sadly I think the Pope will be met with a lot of protestors…I just hope that the faithful outnumber them. I think it would be best to cancel this trip.

    “Eucharistic Congress [in Dublin] in 2012 will have to suffice!”

    Oh dear, this is another headache. As if we didn’t have enough problems. I really hope the Eucharistic Congress is cancelled. The people controlling it are a disgrace and the logo alone is really tacky. They have used laicised priest and public dissenter Professor Thomas Groome for their prepatory catechesis. It’s certain that there will be more protestors than participants. I think things will turn really ugly. It’ll be nothing compared to the one 80 years ago: http://multitext.ucc.ie/viewgallery/1208

  12. Boanerges says:

    Faithful Catholics have to knife through the BS and get to the Truth. Then, ALWAYS, support the Holy Father against ALL opposition. He is Peter! To oppose Peter is to oppose Christ. To oppose Christ is to enjoin Satan’s attack on Jesus’ Church.

  13. The devil is surely at work here; prayers and penance from here for this intention, the Holy Father’s visit to Great Britain.
    The bowels of hell seem to be unleashed; but God is ever greater. Always.

  14. Legisperitus says:

    I’m with Mitchell, only make it 110.

  15. Phil says:

    @ vincentuher

    There is a way to make our support concrete. In our parishes. Let our pastors know that we want this continuity to continue (and continue to ask for it if it is not there). Witness ceaselessly to those who ask questions about this reforming of the reform or deride it outright. Be loud, and be vocal, but in all Charity.

  16. Gail F says:

    “The alternative to the Benedictine Project is turning the Church into a sterile desert containing nothing but aging bishops and a vast lay staff, with a few lay people, with a few vague post-Christian beliefs.”

    Isn’t that the truth!

  17. anna 6 says:

    Shane, Shane, Shane…
    Benedict will not (and should not) cancel his trip to the UK!! He will make all of the protesters look foolish (like the ones at Sapienza) when his beautiful and inspiring words along with his exquisite humility disarm the cynics.
    It’s going to be fine…ok buddy?!

  18. robtbrown says:

    Msgr Andrew Summersgill might want a mitre, but there is probably no better guarantee that it won’t happen than by fouling up a papal visit.

  19. TonyLayne says:

    The people who think waiting for B16 to die will be sufficient are political neophytes. Most of the cardinals that put him in Peter’s chair are still active. He has had time to create more cardinals that share his values, and I suspect he’s got more than enough time to plant some more. Even if he died tomorrow (quid Deus avertat!), I would bet heavily that the College would elect someone whose doctrinal and ecclesial orientation would be very close to his. Sorry, the “magic circle” and all their fellow travelers simply won’t have another chance like they did during the reign of Paul VI.

  20. Henry Edwards says:

    Sorry, the “magic circle” and all their fellow travelers simply won’t have another chance like they did during the reign of Paul VI.

    I believe all the current “magic circle” ordinaries in Britain were originally appointed bishops by Pope John Paul II.

  21. JonM says:

    I’m not surprised by this. After all, a certain prelate a few months ago made an offering to a Hindu deity. From what I’ve read, E&W clerical leadership is more concerned with the continuing with phantom of climate change (which is really a policy of making Goldman Sachs lots of money and ensuring a Pol Pot style economy in the US) than winning souls.

    I have to say, it is intensely scandalous to have Tony Blair a Catholic let alone an apparently prominent one in charge of a (supposedly) Catholic charity.

    The guy still supports homosexual activity as ‘a right’ and similarly openly rejects teachings on birth control. He never did publicly repudiate his support for abortion nor did he find the time to explain the Memo fiasco that greenlit UK participation in the war.

    (NB In America we have our own version of Blair in the person of Newt Gingrich. Allowed to convert with ease, and immediately supports a pro-homosexual, proabortion candidate in New York.)

    FWIW, I think there is a good chance the Cardinals will choose a Paul/John Paul II type, so the likelihood of returning to systemic confusion are very possible. Indeed, the more immediate concern is the the Church has been so beaten and accommodating to secularism that practice of the faith is at a dismal low.

  22. robtbrown says:

    FWIW, I think there is a good chance the Cardinals will choose a Paul/John Paul II type, so the likelihood of returning to systemic confusion are very possible. Indeed, the more immediate concern is the the Church has been so beaten and accommodating to secularism that practice of the faith is at a dismal low.
    Comment by JonM

    Disagree. The circumstances are very different now than when PVI was elected. Although there were some problems, the Church was still humming along rather well. And JPII was elected primarily because of the threat of Communism.

    The problems facing the Church now are mostly internal.

  23. robtbrown says:

    I might also add that although BXVI is 83 yrs old, he is very much alive.

  24. robtbrown says:

    (NB In America we have our own version of Blair in the person of Newt Gingrich. Allowed to convert with ease, and immediately supports a pro-homosexual, proabortion candidate in New York.)
    Comment by JonM

    Where did you get the idea that Gingrich was “allowed to convert with ease”?

  25. TJerome says:

    I guess Vatican II (as implemented anyway) ended up being the Church’s version of “hope and change.”

  26. Rob Cartusciello says:

    The “Spirit of Vatican II” was the Church’s version of “hope & change”.

  27. Jayna says:

    I do wonder what the British press coverage will be like once he’s actually there. I seem to recall from the Holy Father’s visit here (the US) that there was a lot of spin going on trying to convince everyone that the pope really is a nice guy. It’s sad that people automatically believe otherwise and have to have it explained to them. To be sure, however, he changed a lot of minds while he was here – Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

    Anyway, it’s amazing to see how spectacularly mishandled a four day trip can be.

  28. irishgirl says:

    MitchellNY-what you said! I’m with you 1000%!

    nazareth priest-on target as always! ‘The devil is at work here’….I wrote the same thing in a letter that’s going out to my priest-friend in England.

    anna 6-I’m with you, too! The Holy Father should NOT cancel the trip!