Thursday, 22 July 2010

Visit of Pope Benedict XVI

In my parish, which is in the Diocese of Leeds, for several weeks there has been a list at the back of the church for people to add their names if they wanted to go the the beatification ceremony. Although many people were waiting for more information, it was looking as if there would be no difficulty making up a coach load.

Last Sunday, the list had been removed, and it was announced that the policy of the diocese was that there would be just one coach from each deanary. In our case it would depart from a neighbouring town. No system had been agreed for allocating tickets between the six parishes of the deanary, and the priest thought that anyone who wanted to join the coach would have to make their own way in the early hours of the morning to to the starting point of the coach, and that there could be no guarantee of a place. His conclusion was that this was not a practical proposition and so he doubted whether anything could be arranged in the parish.

I also attended the Latin Mass in York and the newsletter at the English Martyrs Church stated that arrangements were uncertain, but that there would be a coach starting from another parish in York. It seems that Middlesbrough has a similar policy to Leeds.

I have estimated that if one coach goes to Cofton from every deanary in the country, that will amount to about 15,000 people.

It seems that just about every aspect of the organisation of the papal visit is a monumental blunder. The organisers have performed incredibly badly in just about every respect, and for this the bishops of England and Wales must collectively be responsible.

Time is now very short and a radical rethink is URGENT.