What drove media interest in WYD

The religious mediawatch blog GetReligion.org remarks on the "complete disinterest in the content of the event".

"What might Pope Benedict be planning to say to the youth? What themes will he be developing? What is his goal? Why do so many young people want to hear him, and what is the sociological profile of these young people?"

Some media did pick up the story about the Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid granting all the priests attending the event the special power to lift excommunication and grant absolution to those who confess abortion. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how well that story was told.

The Guardian's subhead was: "Pope dangles 'fruits of divine grace' to excommunicated Catholics who admit, during Madrid event, to terminations."

In the Catholic Church, some but not all priests may absolve an abortion with its automatic excommunication. The Guardian actually explains this briefly by quoting papal spokesman Father Federico Lombardi.

GetReligion says: "Check out this paragraph: 'At a time when church attendances in Europe are dipping Lombardi denied the deal on abortion had been dreamed up to attract waverers back to the church. 'With so many young people attending there may be those who have had problems of this kind and it makes sense to reach out to them.'

"The language is so bizarre - 'denied,' 'deal,' dreamed up' - come on! (And yes, some Catholics are crying foul at the general coverage.)"

FULL BLOG: Pod people: abortion, confession, absolution (Get Religion)
Vatican says World Youth Day is chance to confess abortion and rejoin church (The Guardian)
World Youth Day priests granted power to lift abortion excommunications (LifeSiteNews.com)

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