Like the comparatively small turnout for today's beatification of Pope John Paul II.
Only 0.1% of the folks who might be expected to be interested showed up in Rome.
That's a fairly accurate figure, by the way. Here's how I got it - - -
The estimated world population in July of this year will be 6,928,198,253.1 I'll round that to 6,928,000,000.
About 16.99% of us are Roman Catholics1 6,928,000,000 times 0.1699 equals 1,177,067,200 - so, rounding again, around the world there are about 1,100,000,000 Roman Catholics alive today.
About a million folks showed up in Rome for John Paul II's beatification.2 1,000,000 is very roughly 1/1,000 of 1,100,000,000 - or 1/10 of 1 percent. If I did the arithmetic right.
Reading the News, Getting a GripNo news service, as far as I know, has tried to spin the million visitors in Rome as a pathetically small show of support for the Vatican.
On the other hand, rehashing the PEDOPHILE PRIESTS! PEDOPHILE PRIESTS!! scandal has been fairly common. And yes, I know that some priests - and bishops - behaved badly. (see "Pedophile Priests, Ephebophilia, and Facing Facts ")
I also know that Pope John Paul II held the authority of Peter while some priests were acting badly. Ideally, those priests would not have done what they did. And Monday morning quarterbacking shows what might have been done: or what some folks wish could have been done.
My take on the Pope and living in the real world is that the Pope isn't an action movie hero - and that's another topic, for another post.
Then there was the CNN article, yesterday, whose headline claimed that Pope John Paul II had been 'made a saint.' CNN seems to have corrected that howler, about which I am duly impressed.
Bottom line? I read the news - but I also keep in mind that most news media is apparently run by folks who just don't 'get it.'
I'd like to think this isn't the case, but at times it seems as if many journalists and editors got their religious education from watching The Exorcist and The Last Temptation of Christ.
- " 'Blessed,' 'Saint,' and News that Makes Sense"
(April 18, 2011)
- "YouCat, a Production Glitch, and Business-as-Usual in the News"
(April 13, 2011)
- "From 'Former Altar Boy' to 'And a Catholic Priest'"
(March 31, 2011)
- "Going My Way, and Why Anti-Catholicism is a Good Sign"
(November 18, 2010)
- "St. Mary MacKillop and Another News SNAFU"
(October 19, 2010)
- "Beatification crowd of one million fails to dampen spirits"
David Kerr, CNA (Catholic News Agency) (May 1, 2011)
1 "World," CIA World Factbook (last updated April 26, 2011)
2 "Beatification crowd of one million fails to dampen spirits," David Kerr, CNA (Catholic News Agency) (May 1, 2011).