Agnostic Nobel laureate who is no friend of the Catholic Church is impressed by WYD 2011, in Madrid

According to Vargas Llosa, who was born in Peru but is now a Spanish citizen, World Youth Day was “a gigantic festival of teens, students and young professionals who came from every corner of the world to sing, dance, pray and proclaim their adherence to the Catholic Church and their ‘addiction’ to the Pope.”

“The small protests by secularists, anarchists, atheists and Catholics who dissent from the Pope caused some minor incidents, albeit some grotesque, such as the group of lunatics who were seen throwing condoms at a group of girls who … prayed the rosary with their eyes closed,” he recalled.

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A small percentage of priests engage in sexually deviant behavior? Blanket coverage. An international army of young people marches through the hot sun and then sits patiently through a rainstorm to see the Pope? Ho-hum.

A million and a half young Catholics from all over the world come to celebrate their faith and to declare their solidarity with the Pope—and the networks obsess over a handful of protestors!

I know that controversy sells papers and pleases sponsors, but anyone who was on the ground for World Youth Day couldn’t help but conclude there was something more at work in the gross discrepancy between reality and reportage.

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World Youth Day called successful, but “dangerously chaotic”

A constant feature of last week’s World Youth Day was that events were oversubscribed and completely chaotic. I don’t want to be critical of World Youth Day as I wholeheartedly support this Pope and the principle behind the event. But our capacity for joy was continuously stifled by the shambolic organisation.

Introducing the word “queue” into the World Youth Day vernacular and then directing the volunteers to enforce this principle would, for instance, have avoided the carnage at the portaloos on the morning of the papal Mass. Furthermore, if enough loos had been provided the chaos that emerged would have been less likely and pilgrims would have been more inclined to drink water in the baking heat, as opposed to sitting crossed-legged, opting for dehydration and paralysis rather than rugby-tackling their way through the hopping crowds.

What was most appalling was the fiasco surrounding the papal Mass at Cuatro Vientos airfield on Sunday morning. I was one among an estimated 200,000 Catholics who were turned away. Although many young people carried pilgrim passes and were allocated an area in advance, they found there was no way of making the event they had so looked forward to, despite arriving at the crack of dawn that morning or camping outside overnight.

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Editor’s note: Kind of makes you wonder what Judgment Day will be like, with an assemblage of 20 billion or more.

Inspiring video from World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid

Visit the Rome Reports You Tube Site

Submitted by Doria2

Related reader comment:

The Popemobile stopped at least 40 times for babies to be kissed and blessed, at a totally packed air base in Madrid, Spain. Over one million young people came to hear the  84 year-old  Pope in a rain and wind  storm  [that  was  mitigated  by prayer]. And  pray  they  did … all  night long. If these young people are like those at the other world youth days, they will be  on fire with the faith and like seed corn, will grow the faith. I hope to see some news media in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2013, for the next World Youth  Day.


Ed S

WYD 2011 Pool Party Benefit at Cypress Cove Family Aquatic Park, Woodridge, Saturday, July 31.

“There are no lines or crowds,
since the park is closed to the public for this really fun event.”

Cypress Cove flyer 2010

Woodridge, IL: Cyprus Cove World Youth Day Swim Party Benefit



Holy Trinity is again hosting a fundraising event at Cypress Cove Water Park for the pilgrims hoping to attend World Youth Day 2011.  This year’s event will be held on Saturday August 8th from 7 – 9. 

TICKETS: $12.00 in advance. $15.00 at the door. $40.00 per family.

Click here to read the (PDF) flyer