the Pope's next 'gig,' and other atrocities

By Diogenes (articles ) | Sep 13, 2010

Everyone agrees that it’s embarrassing. The only question is whether it’s “excruciatingly embarrassing” or “cringe-making.”

The subject is the pamphlets that have been prepared by organizers of the Pope’s visit to the UK. One panel provides a helpful glossary of terms, for the benefit of civic officials who might not be familiar with Catholic terms.

The pamphlet explains, for instance, that a “Pilgrim Pass” is a ticket to one of the papal ceremonies. That’s fair enough.

Let’s hope that none of the officials providing security for the papal visit are so dumb that they don’t recognize the words “spiritual” and “uplifting.” But if such dolts exist, the organizers are ready to help them out with words they might understand: “enjoyable, fun, exciting.” You know, as in the Enjoyable Fun Exciting Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Maybe the people who wrote these pamphlets are disclosing something about themselves when they say that “liturgists” are “performers, artists.” 

But when they say that “Blessed Sacrament, Holy Communion,” can be understood as “Bread and Wine,” they are falling into an error that no believing Catholic should ever make—not merely dumbing down the terminology of Catholic worship, but encouraging a heretical belief.

Notice, by the way, that among the glossary terms on this list, the only one that requires any explanation at all is the “Pilgrim Pass.” That’s because a “Pilgrim Pass” is not a term ordinarily used in Catholic worship, but a term invented by the same marketing geniuses that produced this pamphlet. 

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  • Posted by: - Sep. 13, 2010 10:12 PM ET USA

    The pamphlets are mostly to discourage the simplest way of understanding what's happening: ask a nearby Catholic. The real problem is: Does the average Catholic knows the words the pamphlets include? I respectfully submit an idea: Why don't you at Catholic Culture make a weekly test by including five of the terms and request that we, including me of course, provide the correct answer for the word by answering through the Sound Off section? The response may be, at least, illuminating.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Sep. 13, 2010 6:42 PM ET USA

    Two things, without having read the pamphlet: (1) Is "spiritual" or "uplifting" what's "enjoyable, fun exciting"? And (2) Don't you suspect that most of today's liturgists would regard themselves as "performers, artists"? OK. After writing that I went to the link and must agree 100% with the writer that it makes the Church's " public relations department look weird and disconnected from real life." I also agree that the Pope is being very badly let down.