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August 18, 2005


David Kubiak

Interesting that John Allen gives Fr. Ratzinger credit for composing Cardinal Frings' insolent harangue against the Holy Office at the Council. As Cardinal Prefect he always spoke in deferential terms about Cardinal Ottaviani.


What is WITH those Irish priests doing commentary on the Pope's synagogue visit? Are they allergic to translating what people are saying, or at least reading off the press releases of the speeches? Do they feel our heads will explode if we get to hear any of the beautiful cantoring?

(I can't believe they drowned out the beginning of Genesis chanted in Aramaic! I wanted to hear that!)

Oh, wait. They did provide one translation. They read Psalm 23 so as to drown out the incredibly beautiful cantoring of that. Why even bother televising the synagogue visit if you're just going to talk over everything and not translate the speeches? *grump* Where's C-SPAN when I need it?

Meanwhile, you can tell by the look on the Pope's face that he's listening hard -- especially to the Aramaic and Hebrew chanting, as he's no doubt studied those languages.

Also, what's with so many of the priests and male visitors not wearing anything on their heads? Couldn't everyone have been issued World Youth Day beanies? Don't they have any tissues in their pockets to fold into emergency kippahs/yarmulkes? Why do the Boy Scouts not have their hats on? It just looks so rude....


I've given up on EWTN's Irish priests and gone over to the Vatican TV feed. It keeps dropping out, but at least I have more of a chance to understand the speech. Even with my feeble German. I guess I can try Vatican radio, too -- maybe mute the TV like it's a baseball game with radio coverage.


I went over to the Low bandwidth feed of Vatican TV, and it stopped dropping out.

Now the Pope's talking, and now the Irish priests are actually reading out the text of his speech. Which stinks, because the stuff the Jewish guys were saying seemed to be both interesting and moving from what I could understand of it.

Don't quit your day jobs, annoying Irish priests, unless your day jobs involve broadcasting.

Maureen, who loves Irish accents and never thought she'd hate the sound of one....


Amy, I agree with your disagreement. From Tim Drake's blog:

"Outside the synagogue, a WYD volunteer greeted him with a WYD backpack. A security person took the bag away from the pope, but the pope then turned and asked for it back, posing with it for a photo."

Does that sound like a pope who doesn't know how to "hug them back"? I get this sense that they don't like that he isn't as photogenic as JPII, which is one of the worst sins of contemporary society.

John P Sheridan

A perusal of the web seems to confirm that at least the German media has gone with the story that Tim Drake saw percolating among the journalists on the press boat; namely, that not many Germans are attending WYD.

My question is this. When Tim raised the issue that he was talking to pilgrims from Muenster; the journalists dismissed him by saying "but they're from the south." Can anyone explain this? Why does the south not "count" in Germany?

Sandra Miesel

John Allen seems not to notice that "putting the smackdown on heresy" was a joke slogan, not an original remark by the interviewee.
Regionalism is still intense among Germans. (My husband mutters that Benedict is properly a Bavarian, not a "German.")Perhaps pilgrims only count if they're from the reporter's own area.

David Pearson

As an appreciator of John Allen's recent journalism, and a co-worker of Tim Drake, I'm struck by the difference in approaches between the two reporter's notebooks,




Drake presents himself as a pilgrim who is, incidentally, a journalist there to cover an event. Allen presents himself in the exact inverse of that equation -- a journalist who just happens to be Catholic at a Catholic event.

Innerestin' to compare and contrast. I think it's good to have access to the thoughts and observations of both.


David, I agree with your assessment and how it's beneficial to have access to both.

Also, tell John Burger I said Hi...coincidence: I just-this-minute walked in from a performance at the exact same hall where he had his wedding reception. Except they had A/C.

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