Listening attentively to Pope Francis.
Said one oldie, Fred Methuselah, 95, "I no longer feel able to enjoy the benefits of World Youth Day, including standing in a muddy field in the pouring rain with a large crowd, participating in special liturgical abuses such as obtaining my Communion from a vending machine, or even taking part in mysterious Jesuit events called "Ignatian experiments"; the W.O.D. is far more to my taste."
For many bishops, attending World Youth Day is something of a nightmare, although many of them nobly turn up in order to support the young folk. "We're being very ecumenical in Kraków this year," commented one bishop who was putting a brave face on things. "They've got that young chap, Cliff Richard, doing a gig. This is what really appeals to the youth of today."
Bishops Dancing at WYD in Rio.
"Still," he continued, "it is embarrassing for someone in their 70s to be cavorting around like a teenager. I've been told that the WOD in Eastbourne will have none of that, merely an evening of liturgical ballroom dancing at the Kieran Conry Dance Hall, for those who really want it. Or there's Catholic Bingo: Laudato Si', 23! Letter from Joseph Shaw, 44! We're all off to Heaven, 67!"
Said one deacon, "One tradition that we're keeping is that of getting a flashmob of people dressed as nuns to do wild dances. We don't expect the over-80s to take part in this (except perhaps for the ever-youthful Cardinal Cormac), but some of us in our 40s and 50s can still 'groove it', as the saying goes."
Some of these could be mistaken for real nuns!
If you can't make it to WYD, then do join us at WOD! You can book through Saga Holidays.