En flott første dag i Skottland

Fr. Finigan skriver begeistret om den første dagen av pave Benedikts besøk:

At the end of a long day, it is a great pleasure to look back over the glorious success of the first stage of the visit of the Holy Father to Britain. I was premature in thinking that the negative coverage would cease last night. It continued well on into the morning but the tide has now turned. 125,000 Scots turned out to cheer and wave flags as the Holy Father drove along Princes Street in Edinburgh. (In the interests of balance, I should note that there were about 60 protesters.) There were another 70,000 at the Mass at Bellahouston Park, near Glasgow. They had to get there early so must be counted in addition to those lining the streets of Edinburgh. ….

A Vatican insider to whom I spoke last week was nervous about the visit (and particularly about the lack of enthusiasm of some Catholics who should know better.) He said to me that the first day would be crucial. I agree with him – and thankfully the first day has been a roaring success.

I did make some negative comments about some aspects of the liturgy at Bellahouston Park. These need to be kept in perspective. Whilst it is right to push for a better celebration of the Sacred Liturgy, we should not lose sight of the tremendous success of today: and you are in for a rare liturgical treat at the Papal Mass at Westminster on Saturday morning. The arrangements for that are superb and will stand as a model for the celebration of the usus recentior. ….

Han skriver også om at den tyske paven (som hadde blitt tvangsinnmeldt i Hitler Jugens i ungdommen, og sendt ut som soldat mot slutten av krigen) som takker Storbritannia for å ha stått imot nazismen:

Earlier today, we witnessed the extraordinary spectacle of a German who had been dragooned into the Hitler Youth and then conscripted into the army, visit Britain as Pope, and praise our country for standing up to Nazism.

He also spoke of how atheist extremists give us sobering lessons and how the exclusion of God from public life adversely affects how we view the human person. Yes, the Pope is indeed a Catholic. Here is the relevant text:

«Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live. I also recall the regime’s attitude to Christian pastors and religious who spoke the truth in love, opposed the Nazis and paid for that opposition with their lives. As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the 20th century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus to a ‘reductive vision of the person and his destiny’ (Caritas in Veritate, 29).»

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