The Pope's big pray outTuesday, January 15, 2008It's going to be bigger than the Olympics, but can a visit by Pope Benedict XVI to Sydney later this year tempt Australians back to the church?The Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, is praying that World Youth Day can lead a resurgence in the Catholic Church and its flock in Australia.In July Pope Benedict XVI will arrive in Australia to host one of the biggest events on the international calendar, with World Youth Day the subject of Olympic-sized planning and marketing. Over six days more than 500,000 Christians from all over the world will gather to hear him say mass, with a quarter-of-a-million of them sleeping-over at the venue.Pell sees no better opportunity to reinvigorate the faithful and arrest sagging church attendance and dangerously low priest numbers."I wouldn't call it a crisis, but we face a serious erosion of practice and to some extent and erosion of faith also. World Youth Day is an attempt to do something about it..," Pell told The Bulletin 's Jennifer Sexton. "I would hope that the World Youth Day would strengthen the faith of young Christians and that that would be represented, in one way amongst others, by an increased frequency in their attendance at mass and prayerfulness."About 5.1 million Australians identify themselves as Catholic, but only 14% attend church regularly.And while the aim may be to rejuvenate the church, there is an obvious commercial spin-off. Sponsors must agree not to promote or benefit from activities such as promiscuity, contraception, abortion or adultery. Telstra will be selling official pilgrim pack mobiles, Mercedes will be supplying 50 cars and two Popemobiles, Qantas is the official airline, and Commonwealth the official bank. Source:http://bulletin.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=350833&rss=yesThoughts people?This worries me immensly.Michael
Majority of Austrailia's youth think the CatholicChurch is irrelevant and unimportant. The Churchis hopelessly out of touch with what matters mostto the kids; so I doubt it will have any impact orinfluence on them!!
_________________Martin G. Smith
I doubt it will have any impact or influence on them!!