Sunday, August 21, 2005

Heroes & Goats: WYD 2005

It's a wrap!

So what if the Americans couldn't eat? Poverty is a virtue -- and Cologne has pulled off the most successful and resonant World Youth Day since Denver opened the modern era of the festivals in 1993. If done right, the celebrations do wonders for the local churches where they've been held, and the fallout of each impacts the lives and work of the churchmen who put them together. If you don't believe that, ask Cardinal Stafford.

Yes, this is a blatant rip from the Philadelphia Weekly, but as the Pope's homecoming tour, the most significant event of his pontificate to date and his first foreign trip comes to a close, this will be the first of (hopefully) many chances to reflect on major events and do some calculus to see who comes out of Cologne better than they went in... and who comes out worse.

  • Benedict XVI --Showing the world that rumors of Catholicism's post-Wojtyla demise are greatly unfounded, the late Pope's "first collaborator" also proved that an event constructed for John Paul does not necessarily mean that it has to be The John Paul Show. With his subtle touches of intimacy, communicable depth and serene graciousness all around, Joseph Ratzinger has put his unique stamp on the papacy and marked out a humbler image of the servant of the servants of God. While respecting the exigencies of the modern papacy, B16 has demonstrated that he will do it his way -- and Cologne has been evidence to the doubtful that his way works. Having used the low expectations at his election to his advantage, at this point he can do no wrong. Hell, he even got Trads to attend a Novus Ordo closing liturgy without causing a riot... They might just convert to Catholicism yet.
  • Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop of Cologne -- The most conservative of the German cardinal-archbishops and the closest of them to Ratzinger -- he spoke of his own weeping as the final ballot of the conclave was being counted -- Meisner now has an elevated status in the wider church thanks to the exposure his archdiocese received. Keep an eye on how he uses it.
  • Bishop Josef Clemens, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity -- This latest battle in the War of the Ratzinger Secretaries has yielded a decisive victory for the one who spent two decades at his Prefect's side. As the Vatican point-man dealing with the deep details of every element of the World Youth Day celebration, Clemens knew what his boss would want to keep from the pre-April plans and what to change to better suit B16's temperament, gait and sense of the resonant -- and such is his place in the papal orbit that no one was in a position to challenge his decisions. In a very telling moment at the airport before the Pope got on the plane, Benedict spent about three seconds with each of the gathered prelates who lined the runway to bid him a safe trip. Clemens got about 10 times that. The Pope could've bantered with him forever -- and everyone waiting by the plane knew it. Combined with the Pope's noting Clemens' "able assistance" to Rylko at the close of the morning mass, it was a Ratzi way of saying that a Pope's man doesn't always need to be in the camera frame to be an effective and eminent counsel and presence. His rise is eagerly awaited.
  • Archbishop Piero Marini, master of pontifical liturgical ceremonies -- If there's one thing Marini has taught us over 17 years as the papal MC, it's that uplifting, genuinely holy liturgy is not directly correlated to how much the celebrant looks like he's just performed an armed robbery on the Tower of London. Clean vestments, precise movements, dignified furnishings (like the stunning monstrance at the Vigil) the best of the old, the new and the universal all meant to lift a congregation's attention heavenward as opposed toward what Joseph Ratzinger once called "the golden calf of ourselves" have been his hallmarks -- and the quality is there for the world to see. For all the questions that linger about his future, if this WYD turns out to be his swan song, the apogee period of papal liturgy as public event would be going out on a glorious note.
  • The WYD Bloggers -- Tim Drake, Brandon Evans from The Criterion of Indianapolis and scores of others (they're all linked at Amy's) brought the experience home to everyone who wasn't able to be in Cologne. From the glitches to the smells, sounds, queue-times and every other element of the week, the blogs made this WYD a real world event. My pencil press confreres have some serious catching up to do.
GOATS (Now it gets fun....)
  • Catholics for a Free Choice -- When John Allen calls anyone's antics a "side show," that's the sign that all their credibility is lost.
  • The Seminarians at the Friday encounter -- Watching the Friday evening prayer service, those new to the Liturgy of the Hours might've assumed that screaming, cheering and chanting the Pope's name were approved antiphons for the Psalms. Apparently, the boys weren't taught that just because the Pope's presiding at prayers doesn't mean that they can treat it like it's the Super Bowl or a wrestling match. The lack of restraint and respect for the liturgical act shown by the next generation of priests accomplished what no ressourcement progressive had yet been able to successfully do: they made Annibale Bugnini look as traditional as Ray Burke. That's saying something... When the Pope said that "The role of formators is decisive," what unfolded before his eyes was a reminder of the degree to which that decisiveness must be monitored and properly maintained.
  • EWTN -- The Bearded Marys blew it, even after they admitted that they didn't have much time for laypeople during their coverage. It got to the point where they ditched the Vatican's audio feed for some guy who kept reminding everyone (during that same Friday evening prayer) that this was EWTN's 25th anniversary year. And this has what to do with the Pope, again? Oh, that's right -- nothing. All thanks again to CTV and Radio Vaticana for showing the amateurs how to cover a Pope.
  • Gerhard Schroder -- With three weeks left in a campaign that has him lagging in the polls, the German chancellor (and his fourth wife) might've been hoping for some quality photo-op time to exploit the papacy for electoral purposes a la Bush. He ended up with a pool-shot and a brief, private "Hi, there" -- a courtesy also extended his front-running challenger.
  • Toronto -- Admittedly, WYD 2002 took place under less-than-ideal circumstances -- the major throes of sex abuse disclosures in the States, low attendance and the failing health of JP. There were even whispers at the time that the celebration was a fading fad. Cologne's success at rejuvenating the franchise makes the last meeting look even less memorable than it was before this week.
  • Sydney -- How the hell is Pell going to top Cologne? The Olympic experience with crowd-control and organization helps, for only the second time (the first was Buenos Aires in 1987), World Youth Day has been given to the Southern Hemisphere -- a flight that's easily a full day of travel or more (and just as exorbitant, pricewise) from the American and Western European youth who form the bulk of WYD registrations. The attraction of Mel Gibson's mini-Oberammergau won't be solely sufficient to make this venture float. Let's see what they've got up their sleeve... Pell is known to be a man of surprises.


Lastly, Allen closes shop in Germany with a last note on Maestro Marini.
This may be a bit of insider baseball, but attentive Vatican-watchers were waiting for the papal liturgies at World Youth Day to see if the somewhat Broadway-esque elements familiar from past editions, associated with Archbishop Piero Marini, the longtime liturgist of John Paul II, would be scrubbed. Given the passion of Benedict XVI for reverent, sober liturgies whose focus is on God rather than the human participants, some expected a more toned-down, "classical" style.

Admittedly, the Saturday night vigil was not a Mass, but it nevertheless featured vespers and a Eucharistic devotional service. It was striking, therefore, that many characteristic Marini touches were still there -- suggesting that at least on this score, and at least for now, Benedict XVI has opted for a philosophy of, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it...."

[I]t's nevertheless one small indication that the sweeping "restoration" some expected from Benedict XVI, especially on liturgical matters, may not be forthcoming in quite the way some had imagined.

Amen. Amen. And amen.

There were some funny little moments these past few days. They're up next....

PHOTO: Wolfgang Radtke/POOL



Blogger PiousPius said...

1. Why do you hate Traditional Mass Catholics so much?

2. "Stunning"? Yes, the monstrance was stunningly ugly, like a golden pancake.

3. Unfortunately, I believe Allen and you are right: no changes in the new liturgy; not now, not ever. It is probably a better bet that Marini will become a cardinal and Prefect of Divine Worship.

21/8/05 16:56  
Blogger John Bianco said...

While John Allen is a bit better than he was a few years ago in being an objective reporter, one must not forget where he comes from and who employs him.

As for a change in the papal MC and what took place at this WYD, one must remember thabn planning for this WYD was taking place long before Pope John Paul II passed away, and the various Vatican departments are in various stages of transition. 4 Months into a pontificate is not a very long term, one must also remeber that 4 months into the pontificate of Paul VI, he was still celebrating Potntifical High Tridentine masses.

By the way pious, why do you think that Abp. Marini would become head of CDW, especially under Pope Benidict XVI? At the very least, wait untill the Bishops synod in October before we even speculate changes that may take place in the liturgy.

21/8/05 17:15  
Blogger David said...

I thought WYD was wonderful.

21/8/05 17:56  
Blogger Christopher Blosser said...

I found EWTN's coverage of the event welcome in that it was all I could get -- I did appreciate the close-ups and the access that was provided them to some of the events. However, I concur on the running commentary, especially with Benedict's visit to the synagogue. Somebody needs to tell those boys how to the moment speak for itself.

21/8/05 18:30  
Blogger CDE said...


I was ready to let your earlier comment about the seminarians at the Liturgy of the Hours go... until you brought it up again.

It might be worthwhile to distinguish between anarchy and an authentic expression of joy inspired by the Holy Spirit.

The liturgy as constructed by Marini is no protection against joy in the good things of God.

22/8/05 09:54  
Blogger Disgusted in DC said...

I'm with Clayton on this one. I didn't see the offending seminarians, but there are worse horrors in the world than boisterous seminarians before the Pope.

22/8/05 12:45  
Blogger mariette said...

I suppose if the Holy Father told everybody to start consecrating truffles instead of waffers you'd say the people who thought that was a bad idea weren't "Catholic" either for questioning the present papal program. Get a brain, get a clue, get a life, you disgusting attention-craving moron. Your life is a complete waste. Get a job.

22/8/05 12:49  
Blogger Jacob said...

On the Schroeder comment, I'm just wondering why it's his fault he didn't get more face time with Benedict?

The Prez as head of state is the one who greets foreign dignitaries. Speaking with Schroeder and Merkel for equal amounts of time is only fair, given that Merkel stands to win the upcoming election and also that Benedict is in fact eligible to vote. I doubt he'd want to tacitly endorse one over the other.

22/8/05 13:06  
Blogger Dad29 said...

Can't agree with you that Abp Marini was a "hero." This Pope has specifically (SPECIFICALLY) decried jazz within the liturgy--and what did he get? Jazz.

Certainly, 4 months' notice of a change in desirable style is short; but not irremediable.

Marini may very well get a promotion--but to Cardinal/Archbishop of, say, Tehran. He can pick up where Mgr. Bugnini left off there...

22/8/05 13:25  
Blogger Disgusted in DC said...

"I suppose if the Holy Father told everybody to start consecrating truffles instead of waffers you'd say the people who thought that was a bad idea weren't "Catholic" either for questioning the present papal program. Get a brain, get a clue, get a life, you disgusting attention-craving moron. Your life is a complete waste. Get a job."

Wow! To think that I once believed that Ignatius J. Reilly was only a fictional character. How could I have ever been so wrong?

22/8/05 14:09  
Blogger Jimmy Mac said...

Is a Mariette a little version of those EWTN "Mary's" that Rocco has mentioned before?

Mariette: do you pray out loud with that same mouth you used to excoriate Rocco?

22/8/05 17:44  
Blogger Dymphna said...

The sooner Marini goes the better. The litugy was terrible.

22/8/05 23:04  
Blogger Dymphna said...

Actually, the liturgy was terrible, litugy was a typo.

22/8/05 23:06  
Blogger Jonathan said...

A little correction. Sydney would be the third time WYD went to the South. Manila was the second time. Or has everybody already forgotten the most massively attended WYD closing Mass? (Highest estimates were 7 million sprawled across the park and spilling into the city.)

23/8/05 00:59  
Blogger Rocco Palmo said...

Jonathan -- Contrary to popular conception, Manila is 14 degrees North latitude; I was sure to check this before I reported it.... No one who's ever seen it will ever forget the 5 million crowd -- but even 5 million people didn't push Manila down 1,000 miles intoto the Southern Hemisphere.

Buenos Aires and, now, Sydney. That's it for the global south.

23/8/05 01:09  
Blogger galantarie said...

How could Köln do this to Our Papa?:
A Folk Mass with women ministers/alter girls, rock singing, "virtuoso" displays and embellishments, clapping, whistling and irreverence, inappropriate [and extended] "musical" interludes ...everything Papa is fighting against!!!
99% LITURGICAL ABUSE and they knew it!!!!
Poor Papa........At least they ended the communion with "We Thank Thee All Our God"....
Papa must have assembled all his forces of patience to endure this without speaking out! He remained calm, but unsmiling throughout the Mass....
But he did smile afterwards, and the "Angelus" was wonderful.
After Papa concluded 'though, there went the wailing electric guitar and course vocal technique!!...wonder what Papa was privately remissing over in the PapaMobile !
Not to mention the drums and the heavy beat!

P.S. We must not forget 'though, that the Köln Choir did do good justice to the "Taizé" Chants...which were inspirational and Christ oriented completely....Not just a tribute to their murdered founder, Rogér Schütz....

And if some of Köln's top musicians were asked to play for Papa, why was not the "Musica Aniqua of Köln" under Reinhard Göbels ? !

Besides, it has been WIDELY PUBLICIZED concerning Papa's thoughts on Rock Music for the Latin-rite Mass. As you must know, it made quite a clamour a few years ago...
I believe this was done as a PROTEST to a sny and obtrusive way...But a protest never-the-less on the Köln Cathedral's Music director's part....AND HE IS NOT A "YOUTH".
[And you cannot convince me he did not know of Papa's feelings toward liturgical-music!]
I am not a "Trad"; and I appreciate BOTH Latin Masses, as does Papa.
I have many beautiful recordings of Papa celebrating Novus Ordo Masses. I even recommended a fantastic one recorded by Anywhere-Tv in Bayern. I Loved the Bari, Lataran and STS.Peter-Paul, Masses, etc. That is not my top concern.
Papa wrote so much concerning liturgical abuses; and I haven't seen any of it with Papa's Masses until this morning!
If you go to the musical/liturgical string:
liturgical music
you can get an idea of what I am referring to.

Papa's two main Liturgical books,
1) "Sing a New Song" (Herder/Crossroads)
2) "Spirit of the Liturgy" (Ignatious Press)

are two good main resources of Papa's thinking that have no time barriers.
He has also written globules of "papers" to various periodicals, etc on the subject.

Certain things, just inherently, DO NOT BELONG AT MASS. It is NOT a matter of "aesthetics", of whether one prefers one style of music over another. Music has its proper place in the Liturgy, which has nothing to do with one's likes or dislikes.
Please read the music string; I hope you get the gist of Papa's arguement.
The Sacrifice of the Mass is a very Sacred and Holy Act. Just look at Papa's continance once he gives the Consecration.
You saw how consumed he was, and so very still during the Adoration. Did you see/remember how perfectly still he was in Adoration of the Host/Christ in his truck "journey" with the monstance before him---as he knelt without moving a spec---all the way from Mary Majors to St. John Lateran's a few months ago? This is not a simple matter that we/or he can/or wants to easily dismiss.

Kids can have their Rock elsewhere [just like EWTN's "Life on the Rock"] if they want it....BUT NOT FOR THE LATIN MASS! Certain classical music is also definitely inappropriate.
Extended and over embellishment is also no good for Mass; as it turns the focus to the music or the performer rather than to CHRIST...who really IS the Center-piece of our Mass...NOTHING ELSE SHOULD DETER FROM CHRIST CENTEREDNESS.
There is more than 2000 years of excellent music in the Western Tradition we can turn-to for inspiration, but, is mostly ignored. God made that music a gift to mankind, of that I am POSITIVE.
Of the composed pieces, their "human" composers admited-to total inspiration from God...NOT themselves at all. And as you heard, the Taizé Chants are perfect for the Liturgy also.
Purity and direct, honest intent on the part of the accompanied liturgical-music is very important;..and should BLEND (rather than jump out at you and make you swing or rock-about). That is not the meaning of the Mass: WE DO NOT ATTEND MASS TO BE ENTERTAINED. If that is why some people attend Church, then they are attending for truly the wrong purpose and intent. It is a shallow reason to go to Church for sure; and if a Rock concert happens to fall upon the same date and time as even a "day of obligation" Mass...You can rest assured that those [who do attend Mass for those and other "social" reasons] will eventually end up being elsewhere than Mass....

Then there is also the fact that "Vatican2" never mandated the vernacular in most of the "Novus Ordo". That is why Papa purposely placed into the new "Compendium" to his "Cathechism of the Catholic Church" the major parts for us to memorize in LATIN....

Also, the whole reasoning behind young alter-boys, was to encourage them to the love of the Priesthood, girls will NEVER become priests.

Now, also, it has become the accepted norm to take the host into one's cupped-hand in approved form, whether those hands are clean or not! Remember, if the host is placed directly onto the recipients tongue, it is also less likely to be abused....Remember also how careful the priest is not to let the host drop to the floor; so all the more if it is in unclean HANDS...which might never end up in the recipients mouth!
Why else does one carry the consecrated host in a Burse for the sick and elderly...and not in a pocket! At one time, anyone other than a Priest handling the host was a definite NO-NO! I personally am glad I was never asked to be a Eucharistic Minister! Handling Christ is scarry!

I can understand a mute-translater explaining the Mass to young deaf-people unfamiliar with the Latin Mass; but I can never understand the concept of "Liturgical-dance"! That I feel is also an abuse.
I AM NOT A "TRAD" by any means; but I am a Roman-CATHOLIC...and all that fully entails [and is intended to conjour]. Papa has been the best teacher in all the world for me on these and other Liturgical points....
I really felt bad for Papa: that he had to endure that "slap in the face". It was rude and arrogant on behalf [basicly] of the Köln "choir" director.
They are not ignorant or stupid. Köln knows what Papa has stated as wrong.
This is especially poignant now that Papa had to endure the Closing "Mass" of WYD. I wrote an e-mail to the Vatican. I know how Papa must feel, it WAS wrong.

I await to hear some strong liturgical statements made public after the excitement of WYD does quiet down.

The "modernists" will not get away thinking they've pulled the wool over the eyes of Papa. That although Ratzinger is Pope, he is powerless in "Their March to triumph" in taking over the Church. (The only "church" they have taken over has a small "c" !.)

We are going to hear something...just wait; and when we do, Papa will burn a hole into those "modernists" right back to hell from whence their ideas came:...for the true "Church" is under the divine providence and protection of Mary and Christ Himself!
I felt so sorry for Papa and Jesus, with all the Rock and antics and obvious liturgical abuses; but the actual Vigil WAS so moving....

But after the closing Mass and the departure from the Bonn airport, my mood turned again to elation, as we read:
"2,000 gather in pope's home town to greet him on flight back to Rome"

MUNICH, Germany (CNS) -- Some 2,000 people gathered in the market square of Pope Benedict XVI's home town, Marktl am Inn, to greet the pope as he flew back to Rome from World Youth Day activities in Cologne.
The Lufthansa Airbus A-321, named "Regensburg," flew low enough for all those on the ground to see the aircraft clearly.
"We could see them coming at around 8:15 pm," said Josef Riedhofer, who works for the Marktl community and was in the market square. "It had rained until then, but when the papal plane approached, it suddenly stopped, and we did not need our umbrellas."
He said the plane turned on its cabin and landing lights.
"We all lit up our candles and flashlights and shone them for the pope. The birth house was lit up clearly for the pope to see," said Riedhofer.
He said Mayor Hubert Gschwendtner was in contact with the cockpit, where the pope sat beside the pilot.
"We are so happy that you could come here," the mayor told the pope. "Marktl greets the Holy Father, and we are with you, always. We wish everyone on board a good flight home."
To the great surprise of the people gathered in the square, Pope Benedict then took hold of the radio and sent greetings to his birth-town.
"We were not prepared for this," Riedhofer told Catholic News Service in a telephone interview. "It was a wonderful surprise. After he had said hello to us, he asked us to join in praying the Hail Mary with him. So we all stood there, the pope was flying overhead, and we all prayed together."
The plane then flew over Altotting, where the pope used to visit a Marian shrine, then "turned back and flew a loop over Marktl once more before heading on to Rome," Riedhofer said.
Lufthansa pilot Martin Ott, 49, of Pfaffenhofen, said the crew had planned to fly over Regensburg and Pentling, two other Bavarian towns where the pope used to live, "but it was raining very hard and so clouds were too low."
"It is very unusual, and really could be seen as a sign from God, that precisely over Marktl and Altotting there was an area where the weather was good enough to go that low, and there were no clouds. Everywhere else there were cloudy skies, and so this is very strange," said Ott, who studied one semester of theology with Pope Benedict, formerly Father Joseph Ratzinger, in 1976-77 at the University of Regensburg.
"We saw everything clearly from the plane. When thousands of people stand on the ground, holding candles, it looks like a giant lit-up carpet moving about. It was a very beautiful sight," he told CNS in a telephone interview Aug. 22.
"The pope was very happy and very moved by this experience, and I got a sense of how important his home really is to him," he added. "When he spoke to the people on the ground, it was in a very intimate manner. We all prayed together with him in the cockpit. Sitting beside a pope and praying the Hail Mary alongside him, with thousands of people praying with us on the ground, is an experience I will never forget. It moved me deeply, and it is a precious gift I will carry inside me to my dying day."

I LOVED that report "SaraVirginia"...another MIRACLE indeed.
And once again, my eyes are moist....

ViVa el Papa !

LANGE lebt unser Papst!

But still, I sent Papa an e-mail; because I thought it definitely not right that the Köln "choir" master presented "entertainment" instead of spirituality...going against all of Papa's wishes and Jesus' design for the Mass....

23/8/05 22:54  
Blogger galantarie said...

On Saturday the 20th, on the "Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI Fan Club Forum", I had posted the following, in unpresadented joy over the procedings of the "WYD Vigil":

After Morning Mass I was able to go home, check these boards, do whatever else/practice, etc.
Then Afternoon turn on EWTN, watch the complete Vigil, run to Confession, participate in Vigil Mass at Presentation Parish, and now come home to reflect on it all!

I totally agree with you all, it was lovely...particularly in the adoration at the end. (Probabably because of, as you said, the perfect example of Our Papa...HOW VERY STILL and FOCUSED on the Eucharist/Christ.) Outside of the Taizé chants, it appeared you could hear a pin-drop...TOTAL reverence on behalf of a million people....Quite a contrast to the earlier atmosphere of almost Carnival.
We are so very blessed to be able to witness these events, living in our day and age as Our Lord intended for us.
Think of the "rest" of humanity...carousing, partying, the pool-halls, brothels...and in war elsewhere! While in Köln a spirit of peace and love of God and mankind. The beauty, the humility and the TOTAL LOVE and commitment vs. the degradation, boredom, slothfulness, greed and ignorance of the "world"...
Indeed how blessed we really are; and I thank the Lord everyhour for our gift of Joseph Ratzinger [and what he has brought us through his awesome romantic "friendship" with Christ and his inspirational understanding of Christ's word].

I actually was in tears, as I pictured Jesus embracing Our Papa, with the words..."I love you my son; you serve me very well. Thank you!"



23/8/05 23:23  

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