Groovy, man! (NOTE: If you see nothing amiss in this video--from a Catholic point of view--then there's really no point to reading on. You're part of a new religion now, and what I have to say is based on the teachings of the old one... and will thus be Greek to you.)
Nuns rockin’ out. Priests rockin’ out. Millions of kids—hormones a racin'—rockin’ out. Even the sisters of St. Faustina bustin' dance moves in full habit. Behold World Youth Day (WYD) — the Neo-Catholic Woodstock, where everything is awesome!
So you planning to pack the kids off to Krakow this summer? You trust them to do the right thing, right?
Therese Ickinger once noted that a teenager who wants to break her curfew will sometimes resort to: “Mom, what’s the matter? Don’t you trust me?” A Catholic mother, Mrs. Ickinger explained, will always respond as follows: “No, I don’t trust you, and you shouldn’t trust yourself.”
After every WYD extravaganza we hear all about the “amazing” fact that never before in history had there been an event in which millions teenagers came together for a Catholic event. True, and why is that? 1) Because it’s not Catholic, and 2) because in the old days Catholic parents wouldn’t have stood for it! Knowing well how the Devil works, they would never have recklessly “trusted” their teenagers to jump into what amounts to the largest “approved” occasion of sin in the history of Christianity.
WYD has since its inception been a hodgepodge of emotionalism, sleep deprivation, youthful exuberance, sexual energy, fuzzy theology, United Nations and sustainable development propaganda, and pulsating rock ‘n’ roll. Evangelizing in such a volatile environment may sound like a good idea to a teenager but it should give pause to adults who’ve been around the block once or twice.
I’d no sooner permit my sons and daughters to “evangelize” at WYD than I’d let them evangelize a Miley Cyrus fest. But of course teenagers will disagree, vehemently in fact. Why, that Michael Matt is a paranoid church lady who. just. doesn't. GET IT! “We can feel the energy of the Lord at WYD. It’s aMAAAAAAZING!”
Yes, well we were all teenagers once, and when a young person insists he wants to go to World Youth Day to “evangelize” and “witness” in the name of Jesus, we should praise him for his fervor and then tell him to stay home, pray his rosary, and avoid near occasions of sin.
I don’t doubt the good intentions of kids who want to go to WYD, but when considering this description of opening night at WYD 2005, for example, as reported on the official WYD web site, does this sound like a Catholic, Christian and wholesome environment to you?
“Let´s get it started”. It is with this song that the group Höhner gave the starting shot for the festival in LTU Arena in Düsseldorf after the opening service Tuesday evening... A mix of hot rhythms and a mood of Rhineland carnival shook the Arena to its foundations, leaving the visitors who had come from all over the world in a frenzy… Cardinal Joachim Meisner extended greetings to the applauding and whistle-blowing crowd in Düsseldorf on behalf of their “fellow species in Cologne”, an allusion to the inaugural event taking place there as well. Since the band hails from Cologne, the musicians struck up the carnival sensation “Viva Colonia” while “Da simmer dabei” blasted from all corners and even the Cardinal seemed to sing along.
Three carnival clubs were welcomed with a rapturous applause… But also the songs of the band “Eierplätzchen” in Spanish, the Ska and Reggae mix of the group Trovaci and the drummer group Tentekko who hit at their instruments as if they were possessed caught on well with the crowd. (Emphasis mine)
And this is WYD of ten years ago: The deafening noise of drums and rock guitars fills the night air while Taize music accompanies “reconciliation” sessions by day; papal Masses “warm up” for world famous pop stars (England’s legendary rocker Cliff Richard closed WYD 2005 after the Pope’s Mass); Protestant rockers RESCATE were prime time and center stage, even after publicly ridiculing the theology of the papacy to the press; the biggest headliner of the event was, of course, the Pope himself, but only after he visited a synagogue and subjected himself to a lecture from a rabbi about his (the Pope’s) “responsibility” for the Church’s “sins of the past”.
And this is our great “hope of the future”? Altar girls, jugglers, rock stars and liturgical dancers.
I wrote about the 2005 WYD fiasco:
And this is tame by comparison with the Pope’s arrival in Cologne, when a throng of thousands shouted at Peter’s successor as though he were a WWE wrestling star. Wearing the beatnik garb of the MTV generation, they screamed and waved their silly banners and grimaced at TV cameras—all while Christ’s Vicar attempted in vain to speak over the din. When the Pope showed signs of becoming annoyed, the NFL-style “fans” were admonished to shut up! But they carried on, trying desperately to draw attention to themselves. It was embarrassing! Imagine the disciples of Christ shouting at Him while He was trying to deliver the Sermon on the Mount. Imagine Christ at WYD! It’s unthinkable!
But this is the new Church of a new world, where young people who have nothing to say— because their Catholic schools have taught next to nothing since Vatican II—are nonetheless encouraged to shout every kind of inane slogan at priests, princes, kings, and even God Himself. Meanwhile, Peter is evaluated, not so much by his defense of doctrine, but by the extent to which he can draw applause from a million clueless teenagers.
And now they’re at it again, only with Pope Francis at the helm. Imagine that!
God help us. Please, friends, let us observe a friendly boycott of WYD. It's just the right thing to do.
Not convinced? Perhaps this classic video put together by my friend John Vennari—and as apropos today as it was in 2008—will help good folks to see the light:
Let's go to World Youth Day? Yeah, RIGHT!