Thursday, 22 July 2010

Please pray for the Priests and Faithful of England and Wales.

Up and down the two countries, Priests are having the painful task of allocating insufficient tickets for access to Papal Masses during the September visit. Many seem to be doing it by pulling names out of a hat at a gathering of their parishioners. In the circumstances, what else can they do? It seems that there are no guidelines as to how this ticlish matter is to be resolved in each parish in a uniform way. The priest has to make his own decision and find his own way. Batches of tickets have been sent to each diocese to distribute among their parishes. In one parish I know of 123 tickets are available; 133 people have signed up to say they want to go. So as not to prolong the agony, it seems that the priest pulled out ten names first, that is, those who would not receive a ticket. (I'm sure my informant will let me know if I've formed a wrong impression here.) The priest has assured the ten that he thinks in the end, they will be able to go, but the uncertainty and the waiting is far from pleasnat to contemplate.

It is constantly stated that there is no point in just turning up. You have to have a ticket, pre-pay at least £25.00 for the privilege, and travel in a Parish or Diocesan group, even if your Parish is in walking distance of the Papal venue.. It is now clear and has been admitted by the organisers, that Security is the priority that has produced this situation. I can understand that, but at the same time, the whole situation is galling (and I mean that in its proper sense). How terrible for a priest to have to enact such an artificial and restrictive separation of members of his flock. How sad and painful for him and them. How deeply troubling for us all.

Yes, security must be the main concern, but I find it absolutely impossible to agree with the official line being put out by 'the authorities', that this visit is going to make UK Catholics feel an increased confiedence that they are a free and accepted part of their society, if they have to be corraled, herded and protected in this way, all the time wondering about the very safety of their chief shepherd.

I beg you to pray for us.

In Christo pro Papa

No comments:

Post a Comment