....to non-Catholics, for the silly rock star-like visit of the Pope of Rome to America. In all its tawdry glitter, its obvious Hollywood-style PR, its sick-making gushing by talking (air)heads on TV and elsewhere, it is a supreme embarrassment to simple Catholics, and to the dignity of the Office of the papacy.
When Pope John Paul II came to the US in 1979 there was a bit of celebration and hoopla, not all of which was bad, that accompanied him, and overall he kept as much of his dignity as was possible.
But in the case of our current Pope that is not so. He revels in the spotlight. He enjoys (way too much, I'm afraid) the adulation, gushing and celebrity. As of this writing everything we know about his visit reeks of phony tinsel and pumped-up enthusiasm, the worst aspects of Madison Avenue personified in one man.
I must also apologize, in advance, for what will surely be more thoughtless remarks which may come from the lips of Francis, if past events are any indication. I cringe when I imagine what he might say.
I as a Catholic am profoundly sorry to see this and I ask my non-Catholic friends and readers to realize that this is not normal, not proper and not holy. It is nothing other than a circus of excess, a jamboree, and it fills me with a deep sorrow over the sullied reputation of the Catholic Church. Glancing over the lineup of events and personages who will be involved in this pseudo rock concert leaves me with a sense of dread for the future. That it fits perfectly with the ethos of your typical Sunday Mass in most American parishes is an observation one cannot avoid making.
This extravaganza is not the Catholic Church; it is instead the cheapest of theatrical excesses. The real Church can be found in a quiet chapel or church somewhere, with God present in the Tabernacle, and quiet prayers being said by those who know why they are there.