Monday, April 21, 2008

No Pope here

London, ON, April 2008 [Click to embiggen]

When you live in a smaller city, you accept that certain things will never happen where you live. You will not have a major league baseball team. Instead, you will have a succession of semi-pro clubs playing, virtually ignored, in really old and quaint riverside ballyard. Similarly, you will not attract Tier A musicians and bands. Instead, they will play your town 25 years after they were considered Tier A. Your mother will still think they're cool.

In a similar vein, the Pope won't be visiting here. Not that I'm terribly broken up about it, since to the best of my knowledge I've never been a Catholic. But it would have been cool to see him cruising down the hastily cleaned-up main drag in his popemobile, waving at the masses in ways that no rock star ever could.

The closest we've come to a papal brush with fame was when Pope Benedict's predecessor, John Paul II, came to Toronto in 2002. He left hundreds of thousands of happy people in his wake, as well as a few dozen businesses covered in raw sewage after inadequate maintenance on the site of the mass rally caused a huge, um, backup.

So as I walked past this large and lovely downtown church a few weeks back, I took a picture of it. I thought that Pope Benedict, despite the mathematically remote possibility of him ever setting foot in this building, would appreciate this oblique view of the brickwork.

Anyone have his e-mail address?

Your turn: Organized religion. Pro or con. Please discuss.

One more thing: I'm not much of a sports fan - I'd rather participate than watch - but while growing up in Montreal, I was privileged to be at the shrine of hockey, the Forum, many times to watch the Canadiens in action. After moving to London, I was forced to endure the catcalls of Ontarians who, upon learning of my hometown, lambasted me for not being a true blue Toronto Maple Leafs fan. Sorry, I just can't do it. Maybe when they win something for a change (nah!) But I digress: the Habs just won their first-round playoff series against the Boston Bruins in the do-or-die seventh game. It's kinda neat to see a city rally behind its team, even when you now live eight hours away. I guess I really am a fan when the team transcends the usually shallow world of mere sports.

Sorry, Toronto, maybe next lifetime.


Anna said...

I think there is nothing wrong with organized religion except the people in it! We are all sinners and anything with humanity involved gets the best and worst of us all. That is where grace comes least in my life anyway.

I hope that came across the way I meant it to sound.

Anna said...

And by the way...I'm in one of those organized religions! ;)

Ms Mac said...

The pope's email address is . He would love to receive an email greeting from you, I'm sure.

Finn said...

Con, without a doubt. The whole purpose of organized religion is to wield power and control over others. It has very little to do with faith.

That being said, I realize that religion can be a source of hope and comfort to people, and in that there is at least some good.

CAROLYN said...

Sometimes organized religion has double standards too. I.E., voting for President because of his religious claims is not a reason to put him in office. However, people have done just that w/out considering the consequences of those kind of claims.

Sorry, guess I'm waxing politically today ;)

Heidi said...

No organized religion is perfect... because it is run by people! Searching is what it is all about, I think. And sharing. Love is to top it all off. Yeah, we do all of that together (perhaps in churches), but together can be good. But there is that potential it could get bad.

Okay... I am going nowhere with my comment so I will stop. Have a great day, Carmi!

Anonymous said...

Terrorism: The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence against people or property to coerce or intimidate governments or societies, often to achieve political, religious, or ideological objectives.

You will go to hell if you do not follow the correct Religion--says who the Religious leaders?

Beverly said...

I, like Anna, am part of "organized religion." I am sometimes embarrassed by that people in the "church" do, but I hope people do not classify me as "one of those." I hope my life speaks the truth of what I believe.