Thursday, August 19, 2010

Distinctions vs. Differences

Fr. Lombardi is at pains to demonstrate that "the Vatican" is not demanding that the people of Britain pay for a ticket to go to Mass.
Papal events in Britain are unusual, Fr Lombardi said, because “people cannot move freely on foot to where the three major public events will be taking place: they must use arranged transportation and all the seats must be allocated to an extremely precise number”.

He said the unusual constraints were “dictated by the security needs of civil authorities”.

“Thus,” he said, “the Church authorities themselves had to organise groups of faithful who could travel on arranged transportation, thereby giving them a ‘pass’, a special passport for all the faithful who are to take part and this is delivered along with a small ‘kit’ – that is both pastoral and logistical – and so a small contribution has been asked from every group that is organising itself to attend this event.”

Therefore, Fr Lombardi said, the pass was in fact not a ticket “paid by the individual to go to Mass”.

But in order to attend the Mass, you have to pay money, and for that money, you receive a piece of paper which you present at the entrance to the event.

There's absolutely no reason whatever to call this a "ticket". Nosur!


Sooooo, hands up everyone who thought the papal visit to Britain was going to be a huge success and an organisational triumph!




1 comment:

Sue Sims said...

Yeah. Huge success. Crowds of pilgrims in hysterics when they can't get a ticket. Sorry: a special passport for all the faithful.

Actually, if the authorities had tried to make things difficult and unwelcoming, everything would have looked very similar. For instance, the Beatification Mass begins at 9.30 am, and 'pilgrims' are asked to be in their places by 8.30. Since the coaches have to park about a mile from Cofton Park, that means those arranging the trips from the various parishes/dioceses/pastoral areas have ordered the coaches for incredibly early hours - I'm in Bournemouth, and our coach is probably going to leave at - wait for it - 3.30 am. Why could the Mass not begin at, say 11.30?

Then there's no possibility of special arrangements for people in wheelchairs, who can't get on to ordinary coaches; no way a large family (a few large Catholic families do still exist) can get a discount from the £25 per person it's going to cost, or make their own way there. In my 'pastoral area',only about 70% of the available tickets - sorry, specialpassportsforallthefaitful - have been taken up. (I volunteered to be 'pilgrim leader' for my church, so have the names of everyone going.)

HOWEVER, we will see the Holy Father, and be present at Ven.JHN's beatification, so it's worth it.

I think.