Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Praying for Bread

As many of you know, the media can be so presumptuous sometimes.

Take, for example, the photo shown above. The AP caption that ran with it begins "Faithful Catholics pray outside St. Cayetano's church in Buenos Aires..."

As we all know that only white suburban American Republicans with penchants for cultural war and litmus tests can truly be considered "Faithful Catholics," that damned liberal press has yet again defamed the one true flock...

...or have the copy editors shown a better Catholic sensibility than the loudest thread of US Catholicism?

To our story, marking yesterday's feast of Argentina's patron of bread, labor and prosperity, the faithful camped out for days in the hope of touching the statue of the saint, "some tearfully raising stalks of wheat symbolizing jobs gained."

"I've come to give thanks that things are getting better and that our economy seems to be slowly returning to normal," said 66-year-old retired schoolteacher Nelida Burdazco. She said many of her relatives had gotten jobs since recovery began three years ago.

"Inflation is still worrisome and we still have far too much unemployment, but things are looking up," Burdazco said, joining an enormous line that snaked for 17 blocks to the cream-colored church in the suburban working-class district of Liniers where an image of San Cayetano is housed.

Known in English as St. Cajetan, San Cayetano died in Naples in 1547. Among his works was the founding of a bank to help the poor and offer an alternative to loan sharks.

Retirees surviving on small pensions, factory workers in coveralls and office workers make the pilgrimage each Aug. 7 — San Cayetano's feast day — in good times and bad.

Given my own straits, if I knew about it, I woulda joined 'em. Lots of Italians in them there parts, to boot.

AP/Natacha Pisarenko