A Sydney brothel welcomed pilgrims, urging "potential sinners to commit their sins" before the Pope leaves Australia. The brothel offered a 10 percent discount to anyone with a WYD accreditation card.
Such good taste.
And in related news...
"No Pope" protesters have welcomed young Catholics in Sydney, but plan to hand them coathangers to protest against backyard abortions, condoms to promote safe sex, and stickers with gay themes to promote the rights of homosexuals.
I attended WYD in Toronto, (or I should say rather that it attended me, since I was already living there) and the sad-sack protesters were there too and it was a good thing. Their pitiful numbers - twenty or forty odd - compared to the (literally) hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, was only outdone in pathos by the stark contrast in their demeanours.
The pilgrims were radiant with joy and innocent fun, running around the sad, demented old city in matching-t-shirted gangs singing songs about the Mother of God in Slovenian and teaching the Toronto commuters to sing along on the subway. They crowded onto the streetcars and BRAZENLY broke the dour Toronto commuter rules. Chaperoned by flocks of equally radiant monks and nuns, flapping along in full-sail habitry, stopping to tell anyone willing to make eye contact all about the glories of Jesus Christ and His Church. Oh, and all of them, including the monks and nuns, under thirty.
Hell, they even managed to cheer me up!
The protesters, in contrast, huddled together, for the most part, in the local Anglican/homosexual church downtown, and, carefully recorded by their devoted CBC lapdogs, snarled out the usual whingeings about the wickedness of John Paul and his nasty old Church that wouldn't let them beordainedhaveabortionsbuggertheirfriendscontraceptanddanceinchurch which seemed about the limit of their grasp of Christianity. The only recorded moment in which an actual WYD pilgrim attended one of their rather sad events was when one of the more strapping of them went up to the microphone at their own request and urged them, for the sake of their immortal souls, to be converted, to repent and return to the Sacraments and the fullness of the Faith. (Which moment did not make it onto the CBC news coverage).
Anti-protest laws imposed for the Pope's Sydney visit this week, which could see protesters arrested for annoying Catholic pilgrims, were ruled unconstitutional by a court on Tuesday.
What a bunch of idiot prats the NewChurch people are!
Even the Canadian organisers of WYD, perhaps the most incompetent pack of miscreants ever to organise an event of such magnitude, were not this stupid. Good work guys. Show the world what a bunch of anti-democratic half-wits the Australian Church leadership really is.
I also did quite a bit of pro-lifering at WYD 2002. We did the GAP outside the fence of the Ex. (the wonderfully pro-life organisers of WYD did everything they could to obstruct/ignore our efforts and we were not allowed to hand out literature inside the venues. The pro-life display that was authorised was put in the same building as the government of Canada kiosk. A nice irony.) But it was a pretty good location. We were between the streetcar stop and the entrance so everyone saw us. And we had loads of very annoying conversations. Which, in Christianspeak, we like to call "opportunities".
One young chap named Max had come down from Ottawa to see what all this Pope fuss was about. He claimed to be an "anarchist", but of course was really just a run-of-the-mill muddle-headed Canunckistani leftist mush-brain.His head riddled with logical gaps and internal contradictions. But he was among the most determined I've ever met, coming back for three days in a row. He talked to us for hours at a stretch, with the rest of us taking it in turns to evangelise him. Don't forget that the GAP trains people quite carefully in the classical rhetorical techniques and we were a pretty determined bunch and loved nothing better than going toe-to-toe with the Maxes of the world.
All of which, I thought, was more or less the point of WYD. What if the CanChurch organisers had tried to get a court injunction against Max, (and if it had been upheld) ? What if he had been shunted off by cops for fear of "annoying" us?
I sometimes remember to pray for Max and think of him often.