September 16, 2010

Pope-a-dope

From BBC News: Crowds gather to welcome Pope to Edinburgh
An estimated 125,000 well-wishers have lined the streets of Edinburgh to catch a glimpse of the Pope at the start of his state visit to the UK. . . .

The Devine family from Fernieside in Edinburgh, who had turned out for the last papal visit, were among those who gathered on Princes Street.
The Sinner family, meanwhile, from Clackmannanshire, stayed at home.
Holidaymaker Francis Piscopo, from Malta, was also among those cheering as the Pope left Holyroodhouse and made his way past Abbeyhill in the city.

He said: "The Pope is following us I think. We saw him in Malta. Then, when we arrived in Cyprus, we missed him by a day and now he's here in Scotland with us.
Yes, that's right: the Pope, the world's worst stalker. ("Honey, that man in the gold hat driving the giant perspex cake tin is behind us again.")

Mr Piscopo continued:
"The crowd here seem a bit more mooted though."
"Mooted"?! Was it a crowd of agnostics?

Meanwhile, senior papal advisor Cardinal Walter Kasper declined to accompany the pontiff on the visit, after likening Heathrow to a "Third World country".

The cardinal's secretary Oliver Lahl, however, was quick to reassure the world that the remark wasn't meant to be offensive, saying in a statement (and this is delightfully true):
"All he was saying is that when you arrive in Britain today it is like landing in Islamabad, Mumbai and Kinshasa all at the same time, because there are so many cultures and religions and races from all over the world.

He was simply saying that Britain is no longer a mono-cultural country. There was nothing racist or xenophobic in that."
Yes, there is absolutely nothing racist or xenophobic about referring to any non-white culture as "Third World". Can I hold that shovel for you, Monsignor?

Lahl added (and this is even more delightfully true):
"He is in bed so he can’t check the internet to look at the coverage, but he has been informed."
That is a thinly veiled request for an iPad if ever I heard one.

God bless the Catholic Church.

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