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Monday, March 31, 2008

Pope Benedict, Aboriginal people, and walking a kilometer in another's thongs?

The Catholic Church in Sydney is hosting World Youth Day - a major international Catholic fest - in Sydney in June this year. It is planned that Tall Ships will be in evidence and that Sydney residents, as they do very often, will take to the harbour in everything from yachts to bath tubs to welcome Pope Benedict who will arrive on a sailing ship.

Now this event has not been noted for its consideration of other people. Little or no consideration was given to those in the racing industry when the Catholic Church showed its take-no-prisoners attitude to staging the papal mass at Randwick. Negotiations took what seemed like forever and have resulted in Federal and State Government intervention with Australian and New South Wales taxpayers footing the bill.

One wonders how the Catholic Church will handle another hiccup in its planning agenda. Aboriginal people are concerned about the arrival of Pope Benedict on a sailing ship. Too reminiscent of the beginning of white settlement they say. Presumably, the Pope will be clad in his usual white so it just might be a case of looking like Great White Father, Miss Eagle thinks.

When you can do nothing else: bear witness.