...if your father came thousands of miles to visit the country where you lived, and when he got there was too exhausted to meet with you and your brothers.... But he rested up and met with lots of other non-family members and just skipped his time with you altogether. Oh well, sons, I just couldn't fit you into the schedule because it was too full and I was exhausted.
The report of the pope's trip to Sri Lanka and cancelling his meeting with his spiritual sons just made me cry. He had time the next day to make an unscheduled stop at a Buddhist temple. Couldn't he have shortened several other events and skipped the temple stop to squeeze in at least a short time with his spiritual sons. After all, they are the face of the Catholic Church in that country.
Vatican Radio reported some comments
with Fr. Lombardi, head of the Vatican Press Office, about the meeting with 1,000 Buddhist monks and the pope (That's where he got the invitation to visit the temple the next day). "The Pope comes as a Christian leader, in harmony with the Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim leaders on the island and this 'is something historic for the people here.'" You can listen to the Vatican report here.
I think of Jesus telling the woman who came begging for her daughter's deliverance that it was wrong to take the food of the children and give it to the dogs. She begged for the scraps that fall from the table. In this case, the sons didn't even receive the table scraps. But Fr. Lombardi tells us the pope was "in good harmony" with the Buddhists. Fine, but what about the children? The bishops aren't just the pope's spiritual sons; they represent the Catholics of Sri Lanka. Perhaps they had lay representatives ready to welcome the pope and share their smell with their shepherd. We don't know because it didn't happen.
Am I just being a curmudgeon or is there something wrong with this picture?