How's that Ice-Cream, Todd?


Last year, during debate in NSW Parliament about the World
Youth Day laws which have since been deemed "repugnant to fundamental
rights", Greens MP Lee Rhiannon raised concerns about the cost of the religious event to the NSW public. Labor MP Eric Roozendaal
responded maturely with "What would you know? You’re an atheist!"

Again interrupting Rhiannon he exclaimed "What about the
spiritual benefits?"

As the debate wore on Roozendaal continued to renounce
Rhiannon as a heretic and defend the faith of his forefathers who, having
emigrated from the suburbs of Kilkenny in Ireland, joined the under-appreciated
Jewish-Dutch branch of the Sydney Diocese.

The Pilgrim can solemnly inform Mr Roozendaal that atheists
aren’t the only ones to be ignorant of the spiritual benefits of his Holiness’
arrival on our shores – Catholics aren’t that interested either!

As the Pope addressed the youth of the world yesterday, the
youth of the world collectively sat down on the bitumen, ate ice-cream and
talked about that backpacking trip to Cambodia they’d been thinking of taking.

While the Pope addressed the issue of sex abuse within the Catholic Church I was talking to some American attendees about
their mud wrestling exploits in New Zealand when an older member of their group
leaned over to tell us all "When the Pope stops talking next, we’re gonna go
get a good spot for the motorcade [for]some good photos".

Unfortunately for them, they weren’t the only ones to try to avoid the post-address stampede. Several thousand pilgrims began to leave
as the Pope paused his speech for a musical performance. By the time he resumed,
the once dense crowd was filled with swathes of unoccupied ground, and as the
Pope continued pilgrims maintained their exodus – although television coverage
concentrated on the more faithful who had arrived early enough in the day to
occupy space at the foot of the stage.

Never before have I been so proud to belong to a generation
who prefer a good photo opportunity to
listening to the man they believe to be the voice of God.

The Pilgrim is’s World Youth Day correspondent. Stay tuned for daily updates.

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