Kev in Aus

Chronicling the misadventures of a Canadian traveling through Australia. There's seemingly far too many of us!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Get Yer Pope On!

So we here in Sydney are "enjoying" World Youth Day (that being somewhat of a misnomer because it's going on for a full week, starting today and lasting until next Monday). I say "enjoying" because it's a huge pain, since most of the streets in the CBD have closed and those who need to drive or take public transportation into the city are hugely inconvenienced. For those of you who don't know what WYD is (and I suspect that's a large portion of you), it's essentially a huge Catholic meeting with thousands gathering to pray, attend mass, and generally make life completely annoying for those of us who are not religious.

The Pope himself arrived on Friday on his own Pope-plane, with his Pope-mobile, and I can only assume Pope-butlers. Here's what I think is completely asinine. He's here to preach about helping fellow man, sheltering the poor, and all that wonderful stuff Catholicism espouses, but he's charging $150 a head to attend his mass on Thursday. Seriously, man, woman, child, monkey, whatever, you gotta pay $150 just to be in his presence at Randwick racetrack to listen to him preach pretty much the same stuff that Father Jimmy O'Toole preaches every Sunday at the nearest church. Is that not complete bullocks and against the whole "bring God to the masses" ideology? Of course, some people would say it's just like spending $150 to see your favourite rock band or what have you, but I don't know a lot of people that would travel halfway around the world just to see a band, and spend their last dollars on it.

For those of you who may not know (again, I suspect a fair number of you) I would identify myself as being athiest. Now, I'm not against religion itself, I just think that if you're supposed to be helping your fellow man, charging people a ridiculous amount is not really the best way to do it. It pretty much ensures that only the rich will be able to attend, or the poor will have to become even poorer just to hear the word of God. And I'm not alone in this. Seeing as I work in an Irish pub, and Ireland is, in general, a fairly religious country, I've had the opportunity to discuss this with people who do attend weekly mass, and who identify themselves as deeply religious, and they also think it's pretty crazy.

So to summarize: the Pope charges too much for sermons, Irish people love beer, and I'm likely going to this Hell place I've heard so much about.


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