Although David thinks that I , as a non-believer, could not fully have appreciated the occasion, I would have liked to have been in the room when the Pope visited Sydney. Peter Phillips is the director of the Tallis Scholars (any one of whose records is more beautiful than anything else you'll hear all year) and a columnist for The Spectator, where he wrote:
The music list for the Pope’s visit to Sydney was an eye-opener. Apparently the local clergy had proposed the usual dog’s dinner of ecumenically safe big-hearted tunes, sung by one community choir after another, until the Vatican intervened. When the Pope’s choice was known, one commentator (Noel Debien of St Francis, Paddington) wrote, ‘There were gasps of horrified surprise from 1970s Catholic liturgy-lovers (who prefer “Kumbayah, My Lord” and “Leaving On A Jet Plane”),' as Victoria’s Missa Vidi speciosam and Palestrina’s motet Tu es Petrus (‘a look of bliss’ escaped the pontiff as it began) were sung liturgically. Also performed by papal command were the Gregorian Propers for the day, including ‘Introibo ad altar Dei’ as the procession reached the sanctuary. The motet at the procession of gifts (sung by a massed youth choir) was Mendelssohn’s ‘Sehet, welch eine Liebe’, sung in German, a fact which further inconvenienced the Seventies radicals. There are those who pray that Obama will not be shot; and there are those who pray that the Pope will not die of old age any time soon."