Bye Bye Benedict!
Yesterday was the last day of the 20th World Youth Day Festival in Cologne, Germany, and I am so sorry to have missed the pope. I would have enjoyed camping out in blustery bad summer weather, staying up all night--singing and dancing and praying!--to hear the pope's mass in the morning. I hear that a few kids were actually a little too tired to wake up in the morning for the...three-hour mass. Bummer. Who wouldn't wanna see an old man in a bathrobe with a spear and a pointy top hat telling them to get their ass to church on Sundays? In fact, he ordered their asses to church in nine different languages--including Swahili and Tagalog.
Though I myself couldn't manage to clear my schedule for the week to make the pilgrimmage to Youth Day, it turns out that over a million kids did. Literally. It is astonishing to me that an old dude in gold bathrobes can attract that kind of crowd. I don't think any rock star gets that kind of crowd, or has his kind of global influence. It gives me pause to think that most of the world is, in fact, not secular. I guess it is easy to forget that, in this hotbed of corruption and spiritual nihilsm that is the Western world--as the Muslim world often reminds us.
But if there is ever a moment in my life when I actually respond in a sincere and enthusiastic manner to someone telling me in Tagalog not to use condoms, to give up my womb to God, and that, really, this whole sexual abuse scandal in the church was really a big media stunt--please sedate me until he goes away.