This article in the Washington Post covers the Pope’s open-air Mass in Havana and, probably unintentionally, raises lots of the usual issues about MegaMasses™: can they be celebrated with fitting decorum, in what sense are those gathered really a worshiping assembly, etc. I was somewhat amused by the writer’s slightly scandalized tone as he recounted:
At the edges of the crowd, some young people lounged on the ground, yawning, smoking or talking during the service. After the homily, midway through the Mass, people began to head for the exits in a steady stream.
Sounds like a typical Mass in Italy to me. Once, in Rome, I was at a Mass where the lector left the church after she did the first reading.
What I found most interesting was the following tidbit:
After the Mass, the pope met with Fidel Castro at the Vatican Embassy, where the ailing former leader quizzed Benedict about the changes in the Catholic liturgy since the long-ago days when Fidel was an altar boy, educated by Jesuits.
It is fascinating how even for the most lapsed of lapsed Catholics it is still the liturgy that piques their interest. Maybe someone should send Fidel a link to Pray Tell (or maybe Fr. Z and the NLM) so he can get up to speed on what’s happening in the world of liturgy these days.