The Catholic Herald deals with the effects of the Papal visit, or better said with the hopes of Archbishop Nichols about the same.
My personal opinion is that the effects of the papal visit are being vastly exaggerated and that this exaggeration is conveniently used to cover the fact that like their American counterparts, the bishops of E & W can’t do their job.
These events only have a momentary effect due to some days of intense media coverage, but are largely forgotten once the media coverage has shifted somewhere else. There will certainly be a positive effect on some individuals, but the work and the future of the Church in England cannot be based on short-lived media events. On the contrary, the future depends on serious and courageous work made on the ground every day. Looking at the English clergy it is clear that this is exactly what is not happening.
The past, “historic” visit of JP II – a success by any standard with vast media coverage, massive popular participation and many people touched at a personal level – has been followed by a sharp decline in mass attendance in the following decades. There can be no better evidence that no amount of media coverage can take the place of making one’s homework.
Archbishop Nichols has just seen the last Catholic adoption agency forced to abandon its Catholic character or close altogether. In front of the current situation of Catholic adoption agencies, a courageous Archbishop would have been firing from all cannons for months now, not neglecting one single occasion to make his voice strongly, aggressively heard, rallying his sheep to vocal and organised protest, becoming a serious electoral threat for all those publicly advocating anti-Catholic values and not hesitating to distribute all the excommunications needed to give force to his battle.
Archbishop Nichols prefers to give interviews about the Papal visit instead.
The real problem in this country is not the organisational blunders of the Papal visit, but that we have a toothless clergy feeling perfectly comfortable with their own irrelevance.
Archbishop Nichols is not delivering the goods, nor is any one of his E & W colleagues.
No degree of success of the Papal Visit will ever be able to counteract this.