Papal visit draws small crowd

What happened?

There was a record low turnout for the closing papal Mass in Georgia.

According to the Associated Press, only a few thousand people attended the Mass in the Meshki stadium, which has a capacity of 25,000. With a Catholic population of only one per cent, half the seats in the arena were left empty.

During his visit, the Pope still made a point of reaching out to the Orthodox in an attempt to heal doctrinal differences that split the Church in the 11th century.

What the media are saying

The Pope was left “red-faced”, the Daily Express declared. It reported: “Ex-Soviet Georgia is overwhelmingly Orthodox Christian and less than one per cent of the population is Catholic, according to government figures. Still, organisers were hoping for a much bigger turnout than the some 3,000 people who came to the Mass at a stadium in the capital that has a capacity of 25,000.”

​How to continue reading…

This article appears in the Catholic Herald magazine - to read it in full subscribe to our digital edition from just 30p a week

The Catholic Herald is your essential weekly guide to the Catholic world; latest news, incisive opinion, expert analysis and spiritual reflection