The world is becoming more stupid by the hour.
We are now informed there were estimated 6 million people at the Francis’ “mass” in the Philippines. This will certainly go in the Guinness Book of Records.
Mission accomplished, then.
Do people really still understand what a Mass is? How can there be a “6 million people Mass”? In what are these six million doing anything different from looking at a Wimbledon tennis match from the screens outside? If I see a televised ceremony of something happening, say, one km away from me, how am I participating? Should the Mass not consist in the devout following of the proceedings; the kneeling in front of the Tabernacle when we get in and out; the kneeling at the rail when we receive; the obvious; blatant; physical fact that we have been there? Of course a Mass does not have to be in a church (an army in the field cannot carry a church with it), but should there not be an obvious, physical link, a being there, and being there devoutly, in a devout Mass setting?
If a new King is elected in England and everyone is on the street when the event is televised from Buckingham Palace, were they there? Those in Trafalgar Square, were they there? What about those in Leicester Square, or in Piccadilly Circus?
What is becoming of us? Is the search of emotions, numbers, records, “success”, euthanising common sense? Was there an army of priests and deacons distributing communions as if they were confetti? How do you distribute the vast number of communion wafers devoutly, and avoiding sacrilege? And those who receive, have they been there? Isn’t the old bed-ridden lady living near St Peter in Rome, and assisting to the televised mass, nearer? Was she there, then?
I am not interested in whether those who were there (better: who were not there) have participated to the mass from the point of view of canon law. I am interested in what this kind of emotional PR mass-exercise does to the very perception of the Mass. The Mass is reduced to a mass happening, an adunata oceanica of Fascist memory, a Nuremberg Reichsparteitag, in which the grandeur is everything, and the reverence is largely lost. Can you imagine the noise, chatting, giggling, smart-phoning, tweeting, laughing, eating, drinking and flirting during a “mass” with 6 million “attending”? What kind of Mass is this?
Oh, but it was a big number! So what? Numbers are, nowadays, not an indication of anything. Every trannie singer with a beard can mobilise huge masses. *People want to feel in the middle of things*, and they never had it so easy to do so. It’s all about *them*. A Celebrity is there. There were three days without work. The famous person arrives, and you want to say “I was there”. It happened to be the Pope. It could have been any other person famous enough to stimulate this desire to say they were there. The masses are a huge herd of dumb oxes, no indication of greatness whatsoever.
Millions of people wear Che Guevara t-shirts. Few even know who he was.
So, six million people in Manila believe in Transubstantiation? Six million people believe contraception evil? Six million people are orthodox, devout Catholics? Don’t make me laugh.
It was an exciting day with a celebrity in town, and something to tell.
This was the Concert in Central Park all over again, with the main star all dressed in white.
Can’t imagine the flood of tweets to show one was there. I am terrified of thinking how communion was distributed, or received. No, let me rephrase it. I am terrified, full stop.
Most of our ancestors would not recognise this mess as Mass. Not because they did not know the technology, but because they did know the Mass.
This is an open-air televised ceremony with the big celebrity; perhaps not in the law, but certainly in the substance.
Wait for mass attendance in the Philippines to be stable or in further decline, as the Catholic press gets all excited about the “life changing experience” of Manolo, who next sunday will prefer to play football, and Conchita, who just couldn’t afford not to be there and send tweets everywhere.
We are getting mad.
@DrJoe, thank you for your insightful analysis. To a large degree you are asking one basic question, i.e.: "How can it be that ...?" I ask you to suggest an answer. A Jewish colleague of mine once noted that Pope Francis is more interested in saving the world than saving souls. The MEGAmegachurch is in accord with Pentecostalism and its whoopy-up emotionalism and the Pope shows sympathy for …More
@DrJoe, thank you for your insightful analysis. To a large degree you are asking one basic question, i.e.: "How can it be that ...?" I ask you to suggest an answer. A Jewish colleague of mine once noted that Pope Francis is more interested in saving the world than saving souls. The MEGAmegachurch is in accord with Pentecostalism and its whoopy-up emotionalism and the Pope shows sympathy for Pentecostalism (even at one point asserting an equivalence between Catholic baptism and Pentecostal water pouring, viz., baptism). If I accept, reflect upon and theorize on my colleague's impression of the "saving" activity of the Pope, such encounters make prima facie sense. Not the Holy Mass, rather an "event" (imitating a megachurch EVENT) is apropiate. Your reference to the Parteitag of the Nazis is excellent and I have already made the comparison in a comment below. I have watched a documentary on the 1938 celebration and the whole mass of people there, normally reserved and thinking Germans, were whooped up into a conglomerate of FEELING uttering the then buzz word of "Heil", which is, of course, related to "Heiligkeit" or holiness. Except someone else was receiving the adoring, and that someone was not God.