For the record, I did not do much commentary on the Pope's visit because so many other blogs were already doing it, and doing a much better job than I would have.
While I disagree with the point of view this commentator took, he brought up a good point: are we as equally likely to criticize the same things we dislike about NCYC when they happen to appear at a papal Mass? I love Pope Benedict XVI, but I would have to say that the answer is "yes." I am equally shocked and scandalized, perhaps even more so, when these type of song and dance events go on at papal Masses. Whatever else could be said about NCYC, I must point out that none of that dancing or drama stuff was during a Mass. The NCYC Mass was relatively free of liturgical abuse (I say relatively), aside for the poor choice of music.
The fact that Pope Benedict XVI is immersed in the Traditions of the Church makes it even worse when these types of things show up at papal Masses, and I am speaking in general here, not about any one Mass in particular. The commentator who challenged me to criticize the papal Mass seemed to be taking the papalatry stance: "Well, you shouldn't criticize NCYC's excesses because the Pope allows the same thing at his" (implying, of course, that the Pope's decision is automatically correct and therefore ought to be praised).
This line of thinking demonstrates two things: first, the unreasonable degree to whch certain Catholics extend the prerogatives of papal infallibility (i.e., that the Pope ought to be implicitly trusted and praised even in something like the music he allows at a liturgy). But we all already know about this trend. More importantly, I would point out the way in which the things that the Popes allow in their liturgies really do set an example that is followed quite consciously by others around the world. Perhaps the Pope is thinking, "Well, I don't intend this to be a norm. I just permitted it for this unique occasion." But the exceptions that he permits soon become regular praxis in the Church Universal, as every deviation and experimentation is justified with "well, the Pope allows it." Whatever the Pope's intentions are at allowing such things, this is the inevitable result.
So, am I less of a Catholic for thinking the Pope (any pope) ought not to permit the NCYC style hoopla at papal Masses? I don't think so. If you think so, then you have a very skewered idea of how far the prerogatives of obedience to the Pope go. I can be a loyal Catholic and still say the Pope's vestments at his Mariazell Mass were ugly and not in keeping with any liturgical color:
Similarly, I am free to criticize the choice of music, decora, etc., though we all have to remember that this criticism is leveled in a spirit of charity and filial devotion, not one of divisiveness and anger. We criticize the Church not in order to bring it down, but because we want it to rise. There is a world of difference.
I think the Holy Father knows what he is doing, and I am aware that he does not always make the decisions in these matters, that he has people who arrange these things for him. To be fair, his ex-Master of Ceremonies Marini was fired right after the above pictured Mass in Mariazell. But if Benedict is sincere about wanting to restore the liturgy, then he needs to speak out on these things a lot more frequently and with much more conviction, especially if they occur at one of his own Masses.