There’s an awful lot of unsupported waffle about ‘militant secularism’ in the press of late, which to me is nonsense and, in my opinion, the plaintive whinge of those who are used to have their particular brand of woo being accepted as worthy of great and unquestioned respect. When the metaphorical curtains are yanked back and their woo discovered to be nothing more than some weird guy pulling some tattered strings, they are naturally quick to get gnarly.
Well get gnarly all ye want woo-meisters, it is what it is. If you want to believe in a rather capricious deity, knock yourself out, but don’t expect everyone else to hold your beliefs any higher than they might hold your reverence to a particular football team. While the majority of our schools remain are under the wing of the CC and we have the Angelus on both state radio and television I doubt militant secularism is really too rampant.
With gnarliness in mind, Enda Kenny, our current honcho, has spoken of a visit from head catholic honcho, the Pope. There is chatter that he might pop over to Ireland to shore up the leaking dyke of the catholic faithful. Attendance in the churches is way down, and our a la carte attitude to our nation’s number one religion suggests our (generic) faith is slip-shod at best.
Enda says the Pope, should he visit, would have ““proper decorum in respect of his position and his status”.
But what is that status?
Now that Ireland has closed the Vatican Embassy here, do we still consider the Pope leader of a state? Can the vatican really be called a state? I don’t know, I pose the question so that we can discuss it. Should we, the tax-payer foot the bill of a papal visit, regarding it as a visit from a head of state– much as we did with Obama and Queen Elizabeth, or should we get real, realise the Vatican is hardly a true state and let the Pope pay for his own travel plans as head of a religion.
Frankly, we’re pretty much broke as a country and minding the Pope would be an expense we could well do without. But if our census is to be considered we are still a catholic nation and he the spiritual leader.
I do not consider myself catholic so I could long do without the pomp and twaddle of a ceremonial visit, but perhaps others feel differently. So what do you think? Pope visit, yay or nay?