Gerald reporting from Austria.
A lot of media reports say that there weren’t many people welcoming the pope – BBC said there weren’t throngs along the streets. Of course there hadn’t been any plans or possibilities for such throngs and the streets were blocked by police, even the highway was lined by police. Every venue had a set number of tickets to give out, and all the venues were packed, despite the truly horrible weather. One could barely pass through the masses. BBC also wrote that only a few came to Mariazell on their own and somewhat snidely remarked that Church buses had brought in people. Yeah BECAUSE IT WAS CLOSED TO PRIVATE TRAFFIC ! One could only get in by train or bus. So yeah, the BBC is full of crap – and you can add all kinds of other news outlets. Either they don’t do their homework or they are deliberately lying. People stood in rain, cold and wind for hours, the venues were all jam packed. And if anyone tells you about the anti-pope demonstrators – six boomers with banners, and two banners affixed to houses, that was it. The one ‘we are church’ banner said "peace and hope, sorrow and fear". Oh yeah and there was some weird woman handing out flyers saying Christians don’t need a church – and ironically trying to recruit people for the "Free Christians" community.