Sunday, July 13, 2008


Normally it takes an act of God to change the Sunday Mass Schedule. In local parishes here, the schedule is cast in granite. At one parish where I frequently attend Mass, I can't remember the last time the schedule was altered. Apparently, though, a papal visit qualifies as that act of God:

According to the CathNews blog:

The Papal Mass, planned for Sunday, 20 July at Randwick Racecourse, is expected to attract up to 500,000 people

"We ask you to consider scheduling additional Masses on the evenings of Saturday, July 19 and Sunday, July 20 for those who prefer to attend Mass in the parish, and otherwise encourage all your parishioners to attend the final Mass with the Holy Father," the letter stated.

If the people prefer to attend Mass at the local parish rather than fight the crowds at the papal Mass, what is the difference if the parish Mass takes place at the same time as the papal Mass or in the evening? A no-show is a no-show, no matter what the schedule.

Some time ago one of the books I read indicated that the reason there were cheering crowds at papal Masses is that the new ecclesial communities made sure that their kids were transported to same and encouraged them to cheer.

In other words, what appears to be spontaneous has been contrived. And this request for Mass change looks to be more of the same.

Of course some high ranking prelate could always declare that Missing the papal Mass was a mortal sin. That might guarantee impressive traffic jams for the TV cameras!

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