Thursday, August 18, 2005

London Weighs In

The Brit papers on Cologne, Day 1:

The Times casts a skeptical light:

Only one direct meeting with young pilgrims has been scheduled: a meal today with handpicked Catholics who are not expected to raise the tricky questions of women priests, contraception or Aids.

However, teenage pilgrims spoken to by The Times were not exactly on the papal wavelength when it came to sex before marriage.

“Sex? Depends on the relationship, doesn’t it?” Adam Devine, 16, from a sixth-form college in Erith, Kent, said.

Marine Peloux, 18, from France, said: “I am not a tart if I sleep with somebody and I am not going to be persuaded otherwise.

“Sex is not (the central issue),” Tamara Hannally, a 20-year-old Iraqi Catholic, said. “My faith gives me freedom.”

Moving right along, The Telegraph saw something completely different (as they do):

Unlike John Paul II, he did not kiss the ground, but raised both his arms and gently waggled his fingers in what has become his trademark gesture, to greet the crowds who welcomed him with a series of Mexican waves.

He urged young Catholics to "be inflamed by the fire of the spirit", and advised them to follow the example of Edith Stein, a Jewish woman who lived in Cologne and converted to Catholicism, but was murdered in Auschwitz by the Nazis.

Teeming masses filled the banks of the Rhine and waved flags as they paddled in the water as the Pope sailed past on a boat, retracing the route that pilgrims took hundreds of years ago when Cologne was one of the Middle Ages' largest pilgrimage sites.

He appeared to relax considerably as 160 young people travelling on his vessel knelt before him one by one.

So that's day one.... Today's when it gets heady.



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