So the BBC invites us on its Sunday programme website.
They are also suggesting that the events may not be well attended:
With little over a month to go before Pope Benedict's historic visit to the UK, thousands of tickets for key events are being returned to organisers because dioceses are finding less people than expected want to go. We ask the Papal Visit Coordinator what's going onIf I were in England, I would certainly be encouraging a huge turnout. But this is not the message we parish priests were given. Only very few tickets per parish were allocated and individual names had to be submitted. In practice, people had only a week or two to sign up and commit themselves. Everything appears geared to downplaying the event. Every parish was asked to send just one young person to a youth event. (As I said elsewhere, I could have got a group of young people without a problem, but one? That would be more difficult, if not impossible. What young person would want to be alone?) Information was given far too late. Many parish priests are away on their summer holidays in July and August and, with the visit taking place mid-September, will have been unable to organise things. I left my parish on 6th July. It was only after I left that any concrete information was distributed. So I fear the BBC might be right. I look forward to hearing what the Papal Visit Coordinator has to say.
Thanks to Mulier Fortis for bringing this to our attention. I can't really bring myself to get on my popebox and make a speech to the Pope. I'm much more interested in listening to him.
But if you can think of some positive things that might get aired, maybe you can send a comment. I'd want to thank His Holiness for the address he gave to our bishops (of England and Wales) on their ad limina visit and say how much I look forward to further clear teaching on life, family, marriage, for a renewal in our Catholic education and catechesis, and continued renewal and reform of the Sacred Liturgy.
But I'm not sure how I'd say this in a manner that befits the Pope's dignity as the Vicar of Christ and mine as mere faithful member of the Church. I hope he is truly aware of the needs of the Church in Great Britain and will not allow his visit to be used to promote inter-religious dialogue, ecumenism, etc, but rather really encourage the Catholic faithful to be on fire with the love of Christ with desires to spread this fire to every heart in the land.
You can read about Father Lombardi's great expections for the Papal Visit at Vatican Radio.