World Youth Day -“ these three words have not only struck fear into the hearts of many average, not so much God-fearing Sydney citizens but have provoked groans of frustration and anger.

I’m sure by now you’ve all heard the advertisements on the radio exclaiming that World Youth Day, which is actually more like World Youth Week, will see more people descend on Sydney than we had for the Olympics.

Let’s just take stock of that for a moment. More people than the Olympics. What the hell? You are joking, right? These were my first thoughts. My second thought was: Oh God, they’re all Catholic. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Then get this. The organisers want everyone who works in the CBD to take holidays over that week. Echoes of APEC, anyone?

They have also said they are going to be shutting down George St for the week. Well, at least the Scientologists won’t be able to hassle me.

All this for an aging, conservative old man charged with the leadership of a very morally corrupt institution. Again, echoes of Dick Cheney’s visit?

I’m really quite unimpressed with the way that Sydney handles these situations, especially seeing the whole city has to all but shut down for a religion. If it were to be held anywhere it really should have been Melbourne where a much larger Catholic contingent resides.

Catholicism has always been one of the biggest enemies of the GLBT community. Persecuted from the very beginning, anyone who showed the slightest difference from the conservative religion was imprisoned, beaten and murdered. So yeah, you can tell I’m really pumped to have the Pope and thousands upon thousands of these ever-so-accepting people in Sydney.

It’s not that I’m against anyone who is overly religious -“ after all, I was raised Catholic and went to a good Catholic school -“ but I just wish they could just let bygones be bygones and agree to disagree.

All this recent hubbub about religion has encouraged me to review what I believe in. And after a long hard look at myself I’ve decided that, if in the meantime I just stick to trying to be as considerate to others as I can and helping those less fortunate, I reckon I’m on the right track.

I guess I’m just going to have to keep searching for the perfect belief which I’m pretty sure won’t exist without a perfect world.

Perhaps I should start my own religion. Apparently you get great tax breaks and you can instil in your followers the expectation to give a fair chunk of their pay to you. Just call me Father Hans.

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