May 11, 2007

Pope in Sao Paulo Stadium

I watched part of the Pope's visit to Brazil last night on EWTN and concluded the youth were there to be entertained. Lively songs, dancing, and a festive atmosphere prevailed in the Sao Paulo stadium. I watched the TV broadcast for only about 40 min, and the program organizers believed they needed to attract young people with candy. Personally, I believe sweets are not good or necessary, as witness the attraction of young Muslims to the difficult work of militant Islam.

Partly I was concerned because of the music. Art is powerful, and music and dancing stir up our emotions. All of the arts are powerful shapers of character. A long time ago, I bought a large book that described how music was used to influence societies. I did not hear the kind of music last night in Sao Paulo that called people to higher things. Did the Pope call Brazilian youth to holy things? Yes, he used words--but the music and other arts did not reinforce his message.

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