Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Young Catholics at Freiburg Vote on Benedict's Message: Reflections on Media Coverage of Papal Visit to Germany

Steve Schewe offers a fascinating tidbit of information in the thread following Michael O'Loughlin's recent posting at America's "In All Things" blog about media coverage of papal events such as Benedict's recent trip to Germany.  Steve notes that this Spiegel article reports on the reaction of "tens of thousands" of young people who came to Freiburg for the papal Mass in that beautiful devoutly Catholic south-German city.

The morning of the Mass, the young folks were given red and green clap sticks to express their opinions about statements made by two moderators in a quasi-game show format.  Red sticks for no, green for yes.  And here's what happened:

"I model my life after standards set in Rome," the moderator said. No, the youth answered, holding up their red sticks, with hardly a green stick in sight.

"Confession doesn't play much of a role in my life," came the next statement, answered in the affirmative with a sea of green.

Then: "Women carry too little responsibility in the Church." Yes, unfortunately. Green bags shot up.

"Is the practice of homosexuality a sin?" Of course not. The youths raised their red sticks. 

Steve notes that there's been nary peep about this informal poll in the supposedly anti-Catholic American mainstream media outlets.  And that's curious, isn't it, when these same media outlets usually tell us in breathless language about how wildly successful these papal spectacles are, the huge, adoring crowds they draw, and, in particular, how enthusiastic younger Catholics are about the new "evangelical Catholicism" on offer from Rome these days?

Why no reports about the pre-Mass Freiburg events in the same media who give John Allen such large room to keep talking at length about evangelical Catholicism and revved-up Catholic youth in love with Benedict and his message, I wonder?  Is it possible that the lavish spectacles of these papal visits and the circus-like World Youth Day events are more smoke and mirrors than anything else--or sound and fury, signifying nothing?

Oh, and the pope did use the Freiburg events once again to attack same-sex marriage.

No comments: