It's been a couple of day's since i've contiplated going to mass at the Vatican. Two views that held me back from making my decision was, first-the news on the radio reported the Pope was going to be in the Middle East and second- i'm not Catholic, although it's been assumed by many that I was Catholic because of my race.
My arguments: I have journeyd to Roma for the purpose of education and to experience a culture that was not my own. Also, I was brought up in a bible reading, faith based christian church, which through history has been separated through religious opposition, yet... share the same biblical foundation-Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The fact that the Pope was not going to preside over this particular mass, brought up the question "why go?" (culture); and yet I'm a believer...of God as Father, Jesus Son and Savior and of the Holy Spirit (faith).
It was'nt until late yesterday evening (June 5) that I decided to go. While on a walk I began to meditate through the streets of Rome, I realized that I should'nt be concerned about who presides over mass, but why mass is being celebrated. To gather as the people of God under one roof (in this case theVatican) to worship God and to rejoice over the saving grace of Jesus. I was intrested in seeing the Pope but... what I was most intrested in- was the man that represents a slice of Religious History. A few hundred years ago I would have been one of the heritics that would have been burned at the stake, by this same same appointed seat. I arrived early sunday morning to beat the crowds...
No lines, no crowds just two hand-full of tourists waiting for the first mass to begin, in portuguese. Along with studying Italian I also studied Portuguese so I entered with the faithful from Brazil. Back at home I'm used to going to church on sundays for two and some hours, so I decided to remain seated and listened to the second mass in Italian. When this mass was over the masses of people were already snapping pictures and observing the third lituragy.
It seemed to me that the Romans have forgotten of what it's like to have such a magnificint structure in which to worship in. I have heard from scholars that the Roman Catholic Church in Italia is losing it's parishoners, but not to other denominations but rather to their own free wills. I realize that the Vatican is rich in history, however in my opinion the faithfull gather to see a man rather than the purpose of the structure. Worship