Just heard yet another news item on what's happening at the Vatican on French National radio.
Ever since Benedict announced his resignation, the French press, TV, radios and newspapers have been reporting on what's happening.
For a country which has wanted to ignore religious beliefs in the public domain for so long, this is getting a bit ridiculous. Only 8% of the population consider themselves to be practising Catholics, although nearly 60% would say they are Catholic because they were baptized as babies in the Catholic church.
It's also interesting to see what and how the press are reporting on events. A few weeks ago (only!) they were full on about the the legislation on "Marriage for All" (the right for homosexual couples to get married and the question of adoption in homosexual couples) and very strongly supporting the bill being debated in Parliament. They minimized all opposition and tried to ridiculize those who spoke out against homosexual marriage especially in the huge demonstrations organised by religious groups - the main work and support base was done by Catholics and the Catholic Church tried to make its voice heard in a serious, valid manner.
Now, we have daily snippets of information which don't tell us anything major: apart from the main news about the resignation and the information that it's the first since 1400s; the Cardinals all arrived the other day: they will soon lock them in; the fire has been lit. This mornings news was about the crowds in the Vatican square coming to see, wanting to be part of the action.
It's significant the way they talk about religious facts: the crowds were multinational and the cacophony of different languages spoken compared to those in the TOWER OF BABEL! What's the implication ? That these people are all waiting for the judgement of God and for the Tower (The Vatican) to be knocked down? What's the attitude of the reporter in this? Is he just trying to show off a minimal knowledge of Biblical history? Is he anti-Catholic (hoping they will be judged???) Why didn't he at least give them credit for being believers and use the image of Pentecost??? That would at least have been a proper Christian image and relevant to the beginnings of the Christian church.
Even if the Catholic Church has deviated from the vision God first had of building up His people, there are real believers in their midst. Many in those crowds are there to pray and not just to all the Saints and Mary Mother of God, but to their Creator God who made it possible for all of us to enter His Kingdom through the faithful actions of His Son Jesus Christ.