Sunday, 13 July 2008

The Pope arrives!

Il Papa has arrived!

Pictures of his arrival in Darwin comes from the SBS and ABC.

Welcome to the land that Pope Benedict XVI dubbed in 2005 the most secularized in the world. Zenit reports that:

"The Pontiff mentioned Australia at the top of a list of secularized countries during an impromptu question-and-answer session with priests of the Italian Diocese of Aosta in 2005.

He said a secularized society is one that is "tired of its own culture, a world that has arrived at a moment in which the need for God is no longer felt, and much less so of Christ, and in which, consequently, it seems that man might construct himself."

"In this climate of a rationalism shut-in on itself, which considers the model of the sciences as the only model of knowledge, everything else is subjective," Benedict XVI continued. "Naturally, Christian life also becomes a subjective option and, therefore, arbitrary. It is no longer the way of life."

"This happens especially in Australia," he added, "also in Europe, somewhat less so in the United States."

The missal for World Youth Day explicitly address this issue:

"The preface of the missal prepared for youth event also comments on the challenge of secularization in the country.

"While the Christian faith has an honored place and history in the life of modern Australia," it says, "increasing secularization of society gives an even more urgent thrust to the need for young people to be witnesses to the truth of the Gospel, empowered by the Holy Spirit."

The missal was prepared by the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, with the cooperation of the Liturgical Directorate of the World Youth Day 2008 Office in Sydney.

As the World Youth Day prayer for Sydney implores," the text continues, "we pray that this time may herald a new Pentecost for the young people of the world, resulting in ‘conversion of life, a deeper faith, and love for all.'...

"Young people are called to give a vibrant testimony of Christ with their lives," the preface adds. "As the prayer for Sydney expresses, they are called to build 'a new civilization of life, love and truth.'"

We shouldn't underestimate the effect of the pilgrims currently billeted out in various States. An unfortunate group of English pilgrimsare billeted in what Cooees from the Cloister has dubbed the Diocese of the Big Drain (Newcastle/Maitland) - where even arranging daily mass is a major effort in the face of indifference from the local priest:

"It's required a bit of an effort to ensure that we have been able to have Holy Mass each day. We're staying in Maitland and Newcastle Diocese and one of our host priests commented that in his diocese daily Mass wouldn't be an expectation. I'm sure it will be after World Youth Day!"[Well, we can certainly hope and pray anyway!]

Please pray for the Pope and success of the event. Prayers are sorely needed....

1 comment:

The SEO Challenge said...

You are so lucky to be visited by the pope. Back when Pope John Paul visited my country, everybody was really happy and excited about it.