The great curse is “May you live in interesting times.” Today was one of those times.
This morning started with our first catechetical session with Archbishop Dolan from New York. We went to our closest site and were graced with Dolan. The video (which is forthcoming. upload difficulties) captures some of the three hour experience. (Also, read the CNS article)
After lunch and siesta time, I ventured out to Puerta Del Sol. Yikes! I was attempting to find a friend at a restaurant but there were two (at least) with the same name so I was venturing back and forth… which would have been fine but for the hundreds (my estimate was 1500-2300) of protestors. There were against clericalism, the church’s stance on birth contrail, clericalism, the Pope, and just about anything remotely related to the Church and World Youth Day
The juxtaposition was harsh… Many WYD pilgrims attempted to out shout the protestors, others ignored, others passively accepted it… And I am unsure if any of those are the correct response when it comes to being firm in faith or being a witness… There is even a news story of a a Mexican chemistry student arrested for allegedly plotting to gas anti-Pope protesters at this week’s Catholic youth festival in Madrid. That’s not the response we hope to have being firm in our faith!
Meanwhile, on my youngest daughter’s show The Glee Project, one of the contestants struggle to be a witness for faith was also on display recently. These questions are being explored all over.
On top of all this, USA Today recently had an article which suggests, “At first glance, studies such as Pew’s 2010 report Religion Among the Millennials seem to indicate that young Catholics (age 18-29) exemplify their generation’s tendency toward religious indifference. To wit, they are less likely to attend Mass weekly, less likely to pray daily, and less likely to consider religion "very important" than Catholics 30 and older. Yet the millennial Catholics who do practice and value their faith are doing something odd: They are spearheading a resurgence of traditional Catholic liturgy and disciplines that their parents and grandparents had largely abandoned.”
I don’t have a sense what this all means yet for me and my ministry, but this is what I am thinking and praying about in the middle of Ground Zero of an anti-Catholic protest designed to disrupt a pro-Catholic event. Who says that there ain’t no party like a Catholic party…?