More video from Australia

Some video from Australia.

Pope Benedict celebrates Mass privately, has a walk, hears some music.


In this piece we see the arrival of the WYD Cross.

There are also interviews with pilgrims from Burma.


Muslims and Jews take in some WYD pilgrims.


An AP piece, obsessing about the priest/abuse controversy.


A spot from SAT2000 in Italian



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Joe says:

    it looks like even ‘privately’ (were those concelebrants sitting in the background?) the Holy Father celebrates Mass at the ‘new’ Altar facing the congregation.

  2. Joe: I am sure the Holy Father doesn’t micro-manage his arrangements when he is on his trips.

  3. Joe says:

    Dear Father John,
    I appreciate that. But I am in a situation where the things talked about, dreamed about, and participated in by many members of this blog are far from reality. I get excited when I hear that the Holy Father is doing something this way or that way. But when he came to the United States, or now when he goes to Australia, for Liturgies public and private, he seems to go along with national ‘custom’, and those with whom I discuss these matters, those who would abhor this blog, say “the Pope is not worried about what we are doing, he’s just fussy at home”.

  4. Fr. BJ says:


    If you look at the larger photo on NLM, it is not possible to have an ad orientem celebration at this altar. The Holy Father takes his time. It is not prudent to change everything quickly. You would do well to be more patient and pray for the Holy Father rather than make resentful comments which only betray a certain amount of ignorance about the situation.

    In reading your comments I cannot help but think of the beautiful reflection Pope Benedict offered on St. Peter in his weekly catecheses. Surely the Holy Father bears these things in mind as he himself leads the Church slowly but surely in a better direction. Perhaps they will benefit you as well:

    Original Source

    Peter wanted as Messiah a “divine man” who would fulfil the expectations of the people by imposing his power upon them all: we would also like the Lord to impose his power and transform the world instantly. Jesus presented himself as a “human God”, the Servant of God, who turned the crowd’s expectations upside-down by taking a path of humility and suffering.

    This is the great alternative that we must learn over and over again: to give priority to our own expectations, rejecting Jesus, or to accept Jesus in the truth of his mission and set aside all too human expectations.

    Peter, impulsive as he was, did not hesitate to take Jesus aside and rebuke him. Jesus’ answer demolished all his false expectations, calling him to conversion and to follow him: “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not on the side of God, but of men” (Mk 8: 33). It is not for you to show me the way; I take my own way and you should follow me.

    Peter thus learned what following Jesus truly means. It was his second call, similar to Abraham’s in Genesis 22, after that in Genesis 12: “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the Gospel’s will save it” (Mk 8: 34-35). This is the demanding rule of the following of Christ: one must be able, if necessary, to give up the whole world to save the true values, to save the soul, to save the presence of God in the world (cf. Mk 8: 36-37). And though with difficulty, Peter accepted the invitation and continued his life in the Master’s footsteps.

    And it seems to me that these conversions of St Peter on different occasions, and his whole figure, are a great consolation and a great lesson for us. We too have a desire for God, we too want to be generous, but we too expect God to be strong in the world and to transform the world on the spot, according to our ideas and the needs that we perceive.

    God chooses a different way. God chooses the way of the transformation of hearts in suffering and in humility. And we, like Peter, must convert, over and over again. We must follow Jesus and not go before him: it is he who shows us the way.

    So it is that Peter tells us: You think you have the recipe and that it is up to you to transform Christianity, but it is the Lord who knows the way. It is the Lord who says to me, who says to you: follow me! And we must have the courage and humility to follow Jesus, because he is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

  5. Jay says:

    Ahhh! Yes, a liturgical “abuse” I can live with- flowers ON the altar!


    305. Moderation should be observed in the decoration of the altar.

    During Advent the floral decoration of the altar should be marked by a moderation suited to the character of this season, without expressing prematurely the full joy of the Nativity of the Lord. During Lent it is forbidden for the altar to be decorated with flowers. Laetare Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent), Solemnities, and Feasts are exceptions.

    Floral decorations should always be done with moderation and placed around the altar rather than on its mensa.

  6. Gavin says:

    Joe: if you examine the photos of this Mass on NLM, you will see that there simply is not room for ad orientem at this altar.

  7. Mary says:

    I wonder how it is for the pope, when even his “private” masses are recorded and posted on the web.

    and I’m amused; my anti-spam word was “motu proprio” :)

  8. Joan Moore says:

    The oratory in which Pope Benedict celebrated Mass is in the Opus Dei Study Center. It looks very similar to the study centers I’ve been in.

    As Gavin said, there is not enough room for ad orientem at the altar. Remember, the oratory is small.

    Also, the altar is designed in such a way that the candles, flowers and crucifix are not on the altar mensa. They are on a strip that was designed for that purpose.

    Knowing Opus Dei as I do, they are most careful to ensure that no liturgical abuses take place.

  9. IS says:

    Jews etc accommodating ‘pilgrims’… then why did we need to modify the stations of the cross for the event!!

    I’ve already met pilgrims that have never seen dancing girls before WYD… lucky them. I introduced one pilgrim who was scandalised by the dancing girls on the sanctuary to the Gloria in Monteverdi’s vespers… at least he won’t go home empty.

  10. Matt Q says:

    IS wrote:

    “Jews etc accommodating ‘pilgrims…’ then why did we need to modify the stations of the cross for the event!!”


    I can’t believe any member of the hierarchy would just so arbitrarily change the presentation of elements of the Faith, and for cosmetic reasons too, and then the Church complains Her credibility is in decline. Gee, too obtuse to see it? It just shows the world the Catholic Church can’t get its act together, not in Her practices–Liturgy and otherwise–and dissemination of Her teachings.

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