Wednesday, May 31, 2006

So, how many were at Mass?

That's a question we hear sometimes when coming back from a Mass. But in this case, the question is being asked of a very major event -- the last Mass Pope Benedict XVI celebrated on his apostolic trip to Poland. It was held in Krakow and the Vatican Information Service said there were 2 million people there. That's not an unreasonable number.

However, the International Herald Tribune (the New York Times for everyone else) and many other news outlets reported that there were 900,000.

Hmmm, let's see, some quick figuring and that's a difference of about 1.1 million people. Now, it seems to me that a difference of 100,000 might be reasonable when you're talking about a million people. But a difference of another million? That's hard to conceive.

The question, of course, is who should we say is more reliable in this case? Personally, I go with the VIS. Is there an agenda? Yes, but they are not unafraid to tell the truth when things don't go as well as hoped or planned. If there were only 900,000, why would VIS report 2 million and be corrected by the secular media? That doesn't make any sense at all. What does make sense is the secular media trying to downplay Benedict's impact in John Paul's homeland.

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