After a rather funny and intense email exchange with some fellow school moms that ended up with Pope debate, I decided to ask a few of my friends what there thoughts were about the Papal visit.
Here's what they had to say:
"......the whole Pope thing is just so totally idol worship.....Aside from the fact of his wacky beliefs (and I am being kind here) what kind of world do we live in which there is the existence of a pope-mobile? I mean seriously, JK Rowling couldn't have written anything more strange and atrocious."
To which I responded:
" I'm actually a bit fascinated with the Pope, or at least with the attention given him. I strongly dislike his beliefs, but find it most interesting that he has at least acknowledged that a bunch of children were molested by their spiritual leaders. I can't think of anyone whom I would want to stand on line to view, and I just stood in line to see the Queen of England - but not on purpose. I don't know, maybe Bono?"
And then I heard back from another mom:
"You should read Angels and Demons - then you'll really be disgusted with Popes and junk. This Pope seems like a harmless baby doll to me. I would like to hear the discussion he had with George Bush. That had to be comical. I think I might stand in line to see the Dalai Lama. It would at least be a line of interesting people - maybe not as interesting as Bono."
"....don't you think the pope hat is just a LITTLE phallic? Love, Sinead O'Connor. Or, are you too young to get that reference. PROBABLY!"
(answer: I'm not! I was a bona fide Sineadaphile and thought the rip-up was interesting to say the least, and probably career-ending...which it sort of was)
"I was shocked to see channel 14 news showing a continuous live feed of the Mass yesterday.
It was a flashback to the revivals of Billy Graham or Elmer Gantry."
"I give him props for meeting with sex abuse victims and talking about
peace at the UN. He seems to me like someone more comfortable as an
academic theologian type who sometimes says things in an overly abstract
or impolitic way that would fit better in a classroom or abbey than a
humongous religious rally. Being a social liberal I of course disagree
with him about a bunch of stuff but that is neither here nor there in
the grand scheme of things. "
And you can read one friend's review of the NYC visit here.
More later - people seem very ready to chat about all this. Why is that? I know ABC thinks (via the close captioning I saw whilst at the gym) that people are searching for meaning in life and for hope in these dark times etc etc etc etc