It's been announced that Pope Bene-dick-t will be coming to England in a year's time. My oh my! It's the first time we're been 'honoured' with a Papal visit since, well, all of 27 years! How have we managed to survive so long deprived of blessings from the Holy Father in person? However the question remains as to whether such an increasingly frail old biddy will himself last another year - to be replaced (through God's personal choice, of course) by yet another aged reactionary who parades that essential Papal qualification, rampant homophobia. There could well be the added 'attraction' of his successor quite likely being the first black Pope for over one thousand years, probably even the first in history. No doubt this added 'feature' will be used to trumpet extra validation to the proclamations of his Papal Bulls.
The 2010 Papal itinerary will include the city where I lived 1975-88 and where I'd like to retire back to in order to live out my final years - Oxford. (A small city steeped in arts and culture, which I revel in.) Interesting to see what kind of reception he'll get there from the University authorities and the student bodies. Although superficially conservative through long pro-establishment history, a significant and vocal proportion of University students are actually quite radical = some very much so. I can't imagine they are going to miss out on the chance of delivering a loud raspberry or two.
One of the random people of Oxford interviewed on TV was practically having orgasms of delight at the news. "He's a good man!" she gushed - while I thought "Hmmm. Moot point!" - as though the phrase 'good man' was the clincher which justifies his bile-spouting pronouncements causing suffering, misery and alienation to hundreds of millions. Oh dear, better stop now. Got to keep an eye on the old blood-pressure.
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